Getting Yourself Ready to Make a Change

By Debra LeClair Psy.D.

As transitions are happening all around us as we move from summer to fall, many of us are feeling the inevitability of change on an inward, personal level. While the idea of change can be welcomed, actually making the shift can bring up a lot of fear, especially when it involves perceiving risk or unknown outcomes. Standing still is an option but not usually one that works for long. So how do you prime yourself to make a life shift? Starting with some simple acts, below are some tips to help you through the process.

1) Clean out a small physical space—whether it’s the trunk of your car, a kitchen counter or the clutter that has gathered around your computer. It doesn’t have to be a big production (although if clearing one area inspires you to move onto another—go for it). This type of act helps prepare us for change because our human psyches innately connect with metaphors. While cleaning off the kitchen counter may not seem like it would do much, it is a step that links to our deeper consciousness around releasing ourselves from stagnancy and/or confusion. Having “practiced” on the objects on the counter builds our ability to achieve greater clarity while getting accustomed to going through transition. To magnify this process, it’s a good idea to ask yourself the following questions as you are clearing, “What here is no longer serving me? What don’t I need anymore?

2) Again turning to your everyday life, assess a household routine or the physical placement of objects in your workspace to see if the way it is now supports of hinders you. Does having the stapler sitting on a table across the room from your desk cause you to just put papers in a stack to “deal with later”? Does ironing your clothes in the morning create an even more harried beginning to your day? Small changes on the everyday plane help the psyche to get in touch with what can be energizing and away from what drains joy. Questions to ask in this process are, “What would simplify this routine—and make me happier to do it?”

3) Try something different, just for the hell of it. The idea here is just to open up to new possibilities, allowing yourself to see something that might have been overlooked before. Tasting a new food, trying on a style of clothing that you had dismissed as not being you or taking an alternate route home further builds our capacities to embrace change more skillfully and confidently.

Based on her commitment to human potential, Debra co-founded Full Spectrum Wellness LLC, a holistic health and learning center that has thrived in the Manchester Millyard since opening in 2002.  As a certified life coach and psychologist, Debra works with individual clients around career and life transitions.  She also works with businesses around stress management, workplace wellness and team building. To contact, please email