How do we make meaningful and sustained change in our lives? As someone who started her career as a public health educator, I’ve been curious about this topic for a long time.
While the kind of health education that I’ve been involved with has had more to do with policy changes and community organizing than with counseling individuals what or how to eat, exercise or stop smoking, I’ve been drawn to finding a balance between impacting change both through big-picture policy issues as well as through supporting the change efforts of individuals throughout my various career paths.
- Kindness to yourself
- Curiosity about what you do
- Willingness to act on your own behalf
While Roth is talking about addressing issues of emotional eating, I think she’s on target for really any issue that someone wants to change in their life: cultivating loving-kindness towards one’s self and the thing you want to change about yourself; being curious, rather than judgmental, about what you notice about your behavior; and willingness to take meaningful action in a way that serves you.
It’s the combination of these three elements that is so powerful, I think. Any one of these elements alone would likely be insufficient. As I say to new and prospective coaching clients, it’s the paired balance of insight and action that we aim for in coaching: insight with no action is just an interesting conversation; action with no insight is a list of checked off to-do items.
Regardless of what issues you are looking to impact in 2007 – personally or professionally – how would a combination of more kindness, more curiosity, and a willingness to act help you move forward and make a difference?