Change and Identity


Why is it so hard to change? A huge hurdle in my life and in coaching leaders in general is cracking the code on change. It’s not just a desire to change, but the decision to change coupled with the discipline to follow through.

I have recently been reading some amazing information about different stages people go through when trying to change. One of the models was by a man named Kegan. It’s really one of the most fascinating things I’ve read in a while. It was also very sobering.

Stage 4 is called the independent self and only 25% of adults ever get to this stage. (Basically 75% never leave stage 3 which is when people find their identity based on their surroundings as opposed to their identity being based on who they want to be.)  Isn’t that interesting?  How many of you are feeling like you are still being controlled and influenced mostly by your environment?

Here are a couple other points:

“to transition to the stage, people can no longer ignore or distort the call of the soul.”  BTW-This is a completely secular textbook.

“They face the fact that following their own path often means disappointing others, risking failure, and/or contradicting the norms…”

“People at this stage may begin to focus diligently on self-development as well as the development of others.”

Now here is something way cool. At stage 6, Kegan calls this The Sacred Self.

“Research suggests that spiritual practices such as meditation and contemplative prayer accelerate the development through stages 2-5. Level 6 does not develop without longterm spiritual practice.”

In this secular textbook, Kegan addresses that 1% of adults reach fulfillment in who they are ONLY by turning to “spiritual” practices.  That’s where Christian Coaching has a leg up on other coaching. We believe that only by the Spirit, can we truly become who God wants us to be.

Leaders fight to change. Leaders figure out their identity and then change. Leaders move past allowing their surroundings to dictate who they will be, and they create their identity based on who they WANT to be. Powerful.

Are you ready to be part of the 25%?

Tyler Reagin