Change may look easy from the outside. You may see someone who made a change and think it happened overnight. But for most of us it’s a process, an intentional journey with a few stages along the way.
It starts with a sense of wanting more, a small seed of a question or discomfort with what exists, a glimmer of a possible new path that reveals itself.
If you feel you’d like to improve something in yourself and your relationship, understand that creating change begins with developing awareness.
Consider this model of five stages of awareness that will move you towards a change you want to see in your relationship:
1 – In the first stage, you’re unaware there’s a problem, a tension, that one or both of you are hurting, or that you’ve disconnected emotionally.
2 – In the second stage, you become aware that pain or distance exists in your relationship and that acting, speaking, or responding in a certain way directly affects that pain or distance.
3 – In the third stage, you’re aware after you acted, spoke, or responded in a hurtful way.
4 – In the fourth stage, you start to be aware that you’re acting, speaking, or responding in that way while you’re doing it.
5 – In the fifth stage, you’re aware a moment before you act, speak, or respond in that way and you’re able to pause and refrain from doing so. This level of awareness will make it possible to begin to create the change you want.
Which stage are you at in your awareness of a particular issue in your relationship that needs to change, so that you can create – or return to – the loving connection you dream of? At what stage is your partner?
If you’ve become aware of an area in your relationship that needs work, bring it to the attention of your partner. Recognize that changing a negative way of relating is a process and see if you can consciously go through the five stages of awareness together.
It’s not easy for two people to get in sync to make a change.
In couples coaching, we create a space of greater awareness and you’ll develop tools to reduce the pain and loneliness and increase communication and closeness.
If you’re at a completely different stage of awareness than your partner is at this time, individual relationship coaching will offer you resources to make positive change within yourself that will impact your relationship.