People Change When the Pain of Staying the Same Outweighs the Pain of Changing

JT - Be the change that you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

A few years ago, I came across the quote – “People change when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of changing.”

It has been attributed to a few people, so I am going to go with unknown as I haven’t seen it written in a book – only in a presentation.

Today I wanted to share with you a model that I use with clients to help shed some light on this quote.

What is the Formula for Change?

The Formula for Change, which is also sometimes referred to as the Change Formula, was created by David Gleitcher (Cady et al, 2014). It was changed a few times, however essentially indicates a similar thing. The original formala for change is identified in the image below –

Then it was as adapted in the 1980’s by Kathie Dannemiller (Cady et al, 2014) to the following –

And I have recently found another adaptation for this formula by John Adams (Wheatley et al, 2003), which is outlined in the following diagram –

For me personally, I like the last one as it adds in other people and also looks at beliefs. So what does this mean for making a personal or professional change? Glad you asked….

Using the Formula of Change in Your Career or Life

As indicated about, I like the John Adam’s Formula for Change as I think the support of others and also looking at beliefs is really important. Subsequently, I decided to share with you an example of how I am currently using this formula of change in my life to learn Pilates.

  • C = the change I am making (i.e. to learn Pilates).
  • B = do I believe I can change and is the change desirable? Yes and yes.
  • D = can I disrupt the status quo? Yes.
  • V = do I understand and accept my vision and goals? Yes.
  • F = am I clear on my first steps? Yes and have already taken a few.
  • O = have I involved others? Yes I have and have also set-up an accountability buddy.
  • R = am I aware of any resistance? Yes and continue to untangle from it!

Over to You…

I hope this has given you some insight in to the quote – “People change when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of changing” and how you can start to transform and make some changes in your life (if you choose to). If you would like some support and accountability as you make changes, you are invited to join our Lead from Within Community

References –

Cady, S. H., Jacobs, R., Koller, R., & Spalding, J. (2014). The Change FormulaOD Practitioner, 46, 34

Wheatley, M. J., Tannebaum, R., Yardley, P. Y., & Quade, K. (2003). Organization development at work: Conversations on the values, applications, and future of OD (pp. 62–64). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

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