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Navigating the 5 stages of change

“The only constant in life is change”.

We all go through so many changes in life, whether you’re considering a career change, you may be facing changes in your relationships, what is important to you may be changing.

We also experience other more frequent changes day to day; joining a new team, starting a new project, embedding a new habit or exercise programme. We might be making changes to our daily routine.

Everyone is on their own journey but whatever stage of change you’re at, the recent episode from High Performance Podcast covered ‘5 stages of change’ which I found reassuring and insightful.

They note the 5 stages as: Dream, Leap, Fight, Climb, Arrive.

Dream - Where you are inspired and ambitious. Full of hope and energy, you create your vision. That might be the desire to get fit, change career, leave a relationship, start a new hobby.

Leap - This is where you make the decision to do it. You have a leap of faith. This means doing something different to what you were doing previously. You jump in, with both feet.

Fight - The tricky stage where things might go wrong. You question if you’ve done the right thing but it’s too late to go back, yet you can’t see ‘success’. You might doubt yourself and the path you’ve taken. It’s time to dig deep and remember your vision and why you started.

Climb - You begin to see glimmers of progress. If working in a team, this can be when the team is working well and all pulling in the same direction. You’re challenged yet motivated to continue.

Arrive - You’ve made it, you celebrate success at having reached your goal. This is the time to reflect back at your journey and acknowledge yourself before going again.

There’s not set timeframe for any of these stages but helpful to reflect on which stage you may be in right now.

Asking yourself ‘What do I need to get to the next stage?’ could be a useful question. Sometimes what you need is also to be comfortable with the discomfort, especially if you’re in the ‘Fight’ stage.

Keep going - you’ve got this!


Gemma Brown is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation, working with individuals and groups to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma works face to face with clients in the Cambridge area as well as via Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.

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