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Making Real Change: Passing Through the Sticky Middle Place


There is so much conflicting advice around making change in our lives.  I believe change is a daily process.  It isn’t a just do it and be done with it concept.  Change takes time and change takes commitment.  Mostly change takes a consistent process of showing up, being curious and fine tuning the process.  Change takes real intention.

One of the main areas I help people grow in is learning how to speak their needs.  Learning how to say what they want and ask for it in a loving direct way. Speaking your needs is a powerful process for reducing anxiety, building connection and being authentic.  Initially for most people, when they first start learning this concept they have to figure out what their needs are.  For so long they have ignored or denied their needs for the sake of time, making peace or just pure exhaustion. So there is a time period of just naming needs and determine what they are.  This is the first step in speaking your needs.

Then there is a time period of learning how to ask for your needs in a kind, negotiable way.  This is where things tend to get touchy.  Because people like to skip this step.  This is what I call the sticky middle place of change. Any time someone is trying to make a change they tend to work in extremes.

Sara decides she wants to eat better so she goes from eating junk food and pizza most of the time to restricting and eating only 100% healthy foods.

Fran decides she is going to work out so she goes from doing nothing to working out so hard she can hardly move.

Linda decides she is going to start speaking up for herself so she goes from never expressing a need to demanding her needs be met.

What is missing is that middle learning curve period.

With eating: where we are curious and figure out what we get from eating junk food and pizza.  Where we learn about healthy eating and what drives our desire to eat better and what habits we need to establish to eat healthier.

With working out: where we figure out what workouts we enjoy, how much we can do before we get too sore, when is a good time to work out for us and what do we need to do to make it a comfortable, easy part of our day.

With speaking our needs:  where we learn what its like to have a need and then speak it out loud, where we figure out what it feels like to speak a need and not have it met, where we learn how to negotiate needs with out getting defensive or judgmental.

It is here in this sticky middle place that real change happens.  When we skip this sticky middle place it is hard for real change to occur.  When we jump right to the extreme we get so exhausted and burned out that we throw in the towel to any real change.  Sometimes we need to jump to the all in phase in order to jump start the process, but if we don’t back pedal to the sticky middle place….real change won’t happen.

Want to truly Live Happier…embrace the mess of the sticky middle place and watch real change happen in your life.

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