“Evaluating yourself is the first step in helping you to discover your own personal patterns of change.”
Awareness and insight of our own patterns is always the first step. We cannot change anything in our lives without the awareness of how and why we respond the way we do. Evaluating yourself is the first step in helping you to discover your own personal patterns of change. This will show your strengths as well as your areas of challenge, and will help you to move towards bringing about successful change in your life.
Answer each option with a number between 1 and 5: 1 meaning almost never, and 5 meaning almost always.
Change in general makes me feel:
( ) excited and optimistic!
( ) anxious or fearful.
( ) cautious and uncertain.
When I encounter unexpected change, like a relationship breakup or job loss, I typically react:
( ) with panic and anxiety.
( ) by isolating and internalizing.
( ) by reaching out to others for perspective and support.
( ) by numbing my emotions through food, alcohol, or substance use.
( ) by brainstorming and problem-solving.
( ) with energy and enthusiasm to try something new.
When I encounter expected or self-motivated change, like buying a house, starting a new relationship, or living a healthier lifestyle, I typically react by:
( ) feeling excited and motivated – I tell everyone about it!
( ) talking myself out of it – too much work!
( ) opinion polling – how many of my friends and family think I should do this?
( ) setting goals and making lists – I lay out everything I need to do and start right away with my lists in front of me.
( ) feeling really determined, but becoming discouraged shortly after.
( ) feeling immediately overwhelmed by lack of knowledge, resources, or support, and then giving up.
When it comes to habits that I no longer wish to have, my history has shown that I:
( ) start off strong, plow through, finish victorious!
( ) start off strong, lose motivation, and peter out after a few weeks.
( ) start off strong and quit the next day.
( ) start off slow and work steadily through to success.
( ) start off slow and stop in the middle.
( ) keep a moderate, balanced pace the entire way through.
When facing change in the past where I have felt discouraged, I tend to:
( ) immediately connect with people who support me to help me recharge.
( ) take a break and regroup and try to restart.
( ) feel ashamed and quietly quit.
My friends would say that when it comes to change:
( ) I embrace it like a pioneer and feed on the thrill!
( ) I avoid it like the plague and dread every minute of it.
( ) I am somewhere in the middle, keeping perspective between the success and disappointment.
And now, some factors to consider:
- Take a look at your high scores and list below the items that you almost always do.
- Do the same for your low scores.
- Based on this awareness exercise, what personal change patterns do you notice?
- Going forward, which habits do you think are your greatest weaknesses that make change harder for you?
- Which present as your greatest strengths that you can draw on to make change a more successful process?
- Think of an area in your life that you’d like to initiate change in – breaking a bad habit, making some positive changes to your health, employment or relationship changes, etc. List some ways in which you will begin to make this change.