How to Gauge Readiness for Change


  Whether you're talking about dating, coaching or some other business involving someone's level of readiness for change, you may find this helpful.

Change is my primary motivator. I thrive in the chaos of transformation--it's what keeps me happy and makes me feel alive. When I feel stagnant, something feels wrong.

Not everyone loves change. Some people abhor it, in fact. Gauging someone's readiness and propensity toward change is crucial if you want to be successful in any kind of relationship: personal or professional (or otherwise). 

I know the awe-inspiring duality of the sheer terror and profound bliss of choosing change--I think it's where we are most free. I want more people to know this experience as intimately as I have come to know it.

After being ineffective more times than I can count, I transformed my own misdirected efforts to change other people and environments into my own intentional, self-directed personal transformation. I've changed everything from my eating habits to my career (multiple times) to my gender identity. Now, I send out endless invitations for others to join me on their respective paths. When people resist, I know it isn't a reflection on me or the way I live my life--it's me meeting their limitations face-to-face.

I have a gift for seeing through what IS to what IS POSSIBLE, in myself and others, but if the gift isn't chosen it ceases to be a gift.

It's been a game-changer for me to learn how to gauge someone's readiness so I can spend more of my time and energy on those who share my passion and commitment for transformation because when out-of-the-box thinkers actualize their potential, great things happen.


Here's how to gauge readiness for change:


If someone constantly talks about who they desire to be, what they desire to do and HAVE, they are committed to change. They aren't happy with status quo or being merely "ok". They want more and are willing to do anything to accomplish that. Listen for the person to identity their habits, successes and areas of growth. They are in the process of self-awareness and self-acceptance which is crucial to moving through pain and toward healing and wholeness. When someone speaks to who they want to become and take steps toward achieving it, they are seeing themselves not as static creatures but dynamic, changing beings capable of anything.



A commitment made is a promise to ourselves and another person. It's an act of courage to step up and into a new way of being. People who earnestly take on and honor their commitments don't fear failure but fear the pain of avoidance and denial. Making a commitment like setting a date on a calendar and keeping it without excuses, is a demonstration of character and integrity. People who are ready to change can't stand the stagnancy of ambivalence and choose action over indecision. Their commitments are a reflection of their values, so take notice of what and who they prioritize in their lives.



Someone who is ready to change speaks openly and honestly about fear. When someone can name his/her fear, it holds less and less power over that person.  When people make excuses, they are stalling so they don't have to act. We create stories and justifications, ranging from individual to collective beliefs, to make our stalling make sense. When people feel afraid to change, they surround themselves with others who share the fears as an identity. We can experience something without being defined by it and the person who is ready to change knows that overcoming fear is crucial to that process.



We don't do this alone. We all need help. There are many kinds of change agents--some positive, some negative. Some people claim to be change agents but really contribute more to patterns of abuse, negativity and stagnancy than real change. People so focused on changing others' behaviors often don't have time to address their own issues. I spent a long time doing this. Positive change agents gently address themselves first and foremost and then deftly inspire change in others.



Listen for people who constantly call up experiences they have as blessings in disguise. If they are talking about the same things time after time and not making connections or seeing patterns, they aren't ready to change. When you hear someone naming experiences and identifying a bigger reason or Purpose or a grander plan involving their transformation, buckle your seatbelt. They are ready to rock.


If you're a change agent and work with people who love it like you do, run through this checklist and see how you're doing. Consider your clients, colleagues and the other relationships in your life. 

What do you see? What did you learn? How will you use it moving forward?