Formula for Change

In my work as a transformational life coach, I am blessed with many opportunities to discover new modalities which support our individual, and collective, transformation.  I came across this amazing formula for change, and I am compelled to share it here as reminder of just how enormously powerful we are, when we apply the use of our beyond-conscious mind through deep self-reflection and insight.  This formula was created by  Richard Beckhard, and I find it to be quite dynamic when taken to heart and applied to personal change.  Here’s the formula:

D x V x FS > RC.  This formula contains three important elements that must be present in order to effect true and lasting change:

D is the experienced dissatisfaction with your current state or situation.  To enrich this formula, think of it as the difference between your current state or situation and desired state, or potential situation, that you desire, and your awareness of your inner demand for change.

V is the vision of the desired future state, of what is possible.  Think of the values in which your vision is based.

FS are the positive first steps toward that vision and the willingness to take them.

For change to be sustainable, the product of all three of these must be greater than RC:  the current resistance to change.

According to Beckhard’s change formula, to overcome resistance to change, you need to experience at least some degree of all three factors.  So if any of V, D, or FS is at a 0 level, your ability to take action or sustain change is unlikely.  If you are having trouble with a needed change, the first thing to do is to figure out which element is low.  To overcome resistance to change, here is what you develop:

  • A sense of dissatisfaction and a genuine demand and decision to go beyond the current situation.
  • A clear and compelling value-based vision of what could be possible.
  • Clear and feasible first steps that you are willing to take.

    A good, strong coach understands and uses a solid framework for the journey that first supports exploring the macro-vision (the purpose and outcome that you have in mind) and then focuses on the micro-vision that includes the first steps to move into action.  The art of transformational conversations start with asking powerful, open-ended questions so that you can become curious enough to swing your attention to a compelling purpose and vision.

    For me, this stage is where I was called to do the most internal work.  It was hardest for me to define my ultimate vision; and then to clean up the layers of internal chatter and disempowering self-talk that kept me living from my smallness for far too long.  My personal challenge to stop repeating old behavioral patterns and formulate new possibilities was immense.  My journey toward self-mastery was somewhat painstaking, as I felt the powerful spark (more of a surge, really) inside of myself, yet I was unconsciously incompetent about how to bring it into from from the formless.  Trusting the feeling of not knowing has been an integral part of this stage of my journey.  I wasn’t entirely prepared for the onslaught of emotional resistance that would assault my newborn optimism.

    I have learned to passionately defend my newborn ideas and the infancy of my spoken burning desires for profound change.  Radical love…. my vision involves radical love on a global scale.  The process of achieving our dreams involves supreme focus and dedication, on a regular basis, as concentration becomes the hallmark of clearing up the emotional brain clouds that douse us with fear.  We cannot do this alone.  The more open and willing we are to be guided, in the careful hands of a powerful and conscious coach, we will experience tremendous growth during this stage, and hit momentum if we allow ourselves the consistency and hard work required for our full growth and evolution.

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