Nahid Blog

The Stages

  • Pre-Stage One – Testing the Waters
  • Stage One – The Tornado
  • Stage Two – The Marathon
  • Stage Three – The Rainbow
  • Stage Four – The Transformation

Pre-Stage One — Testing the Waters

You have a dream or a fantasy that you flirt with from time to time in your head. You wonder whether you should try to make it happen. You wonder if you have what it takes. Then you forget about it. For a long period of time – could be months or years, ideas pop in and out of your head. You may even have spurts of energy where you gather information or start moving forward, but they are very short lived. Throughout all of this you feel uncertain. The stage ends when you decide for certain that you will at least give it a shot.

Stage One – The Tornado
Key Entry Point:

Mentally, you decide that for whatever it’s worth, you are going to go for it. This mental decision point may precede action for several months, but the questions you mull over in your head have changed from “Should I do this?” to “How will I do this”?

What it Feels Like:

Exciting, Scary, and Exhausting

What You Can Expect:

  1. Every action takes much more energy than you think it should
    1. You get extremely anxious as you plan to act
    2. What seem to be relatively simple tasks completely drain you – both before and after you do them
  2. An emotional roller-coaster
    1. Sometimes you are so excited you can hardly breathe as you imagine how you are finally making this happen!
    2. Other times you feel discouraged, wrought with self-doubt, wondering if you are taking the right steps, and what compelled you to think you could do this in the first place.
    3. Sometimes you are afraid to do something that seems simple and will avoid it at all costs
    4. Sometimes you want to hide under the covers and escape from all of it
  3. Over-reaction and emotional attachment to results.
    1. Discouragement is especially prevalent after getting a result that wasn’t what you hoped for
    2. Really needing for something to work out – knocking on wood a lot
    3. Complete elation when you get the results you had hoped for
    4. Sentimental attachment to first signs of success
  4. Sabotage seems to run rampant – both from within and without!
    1. Life events, your family, career, obligations pulling you away from your endeavor. Just when you think you are moving forward, something earth-shatteringly important gets in the way.
    2. Lots of procrastination, lots of distractions, lots of needing to take a break and relax
  5. The people you thought you could count on most for support surprise you.
    1. They may offer support but don’t follow through
    2. They express anxiety over what could go wrong
    3. They know people who could help you but don’t introduce you
    4. They keep treating you as if you aren’t going to change
    5. You get the feeling they don’t believe you can pull it off
    6. You get the feeling they are threatened by your action/success

How to Get Through It:

  1. What you most need:
    1. A reason stronger than short term results to maintain energy and keep going.
    2. Faith, because you have no guarantee of success.
    3. Lots of support and encouragement from good friends who believe in you more than you believe in yourself.
  2. Realize that everything will take more time and energy than you expect because it’s new – take baby steps and rest a lot between them.
  3. Accept that this will be like swimming upstream, and the current will keep pulling you backwards – persist, persist, persist. When something prevents you from getting something done, reschedule it, or try to do part of it. Chip away and take your time.
  4. Gather information, mentors, guides, books, buddies, support like it’s going out of style. You’ll need all of it to help you stay focused in periods of discouragement and self-doubt.
  5. Stay Away from naysayers: people who are used to you being the way you are now, people who tell you about all the obstacles.
  6. Find new people who haven’t seen you in your last role, who will believe in you in the role you aspire to.

Moving out of Stage One:

You get to a point where you realize that this is going to be a lot harder than you think. You may decide that this is not what you want after all. Or, you may begin to feel a strong sense of determination. The determination moves you into stage two.

Stage Two — The Marathon
Key Entry Point:

You realize that this is going to be a lot harder than you ever imagined, but you are willing to put in the work.

What it Feels Like:

Hopeful, Frustrating, Like Real Hard Work

What You Can Expect:

  1. You have more clarity about what you want – you can visualize your goal.
  2. Most of the time you have confidence that you are doing the right thing.
  3. You begin to let go of all expectations, because you seem to continuously break records for all time horrible results.
  4. You know the positive results are a long way off, but you see evidence of change, and are optimistic.
  5. You have times where you are achieving really great results and you feel really good about yourself and your endeavor.
  6. You have times where you feel like for every step forward you take, you are taking five steps backward.

How to Get Through It:

What you most need:

  1. Resources: energy, motivation, money, time, health, friends, creativity, optimism, survival skills, something to fuel you for a long haul.
  2. Balance: the ability to step away from it and enjoy other parts of your life.
  3. Perspective: a humble detachment from your failures and successes, the ability to see what you will have gained from your work/investment regardless of the outcome.
  4. Develop a sense of humor, learn to laugh at yourself
  5. Be willing to try new things. Learn from everything you do – what went right, what went wrong, what can I do better?
  6. Creative Problem Solving: You will run out of money, you will run out of time, you will run out of energy, you will be on your last leg over and over and over again. Learn how to survive and stick it out one more month.

PreMature Stage Two Exit:

You run out of resources and can’t figure a way out of it. You must decide to drastically change your plan, either by taking a detour or a break. In most cases you can maintain your direction at a lower level, or you will revisit it later. In some cases, the new direction presents a new opportunity, and the experiences you’ve had so far integrate into your new direction.

Moving on from Stage Two:

You start getting more comfortable with both positive and negative results, because you’ve seen positives turn to negatives and negatives turn to positives before. You are more focused on the process than the results. You begin to work more effectively and efficiently. It doesn’t take as much energy to do what needs to be done.

Stage Three — The Rainbow
Key Entry Point:

You are focusing on the process more than the outcome, you are working more efficiently and effectively, and your confidence is increasing – regardless of the results.

What it Feels Like:

Confident, Exciting, Relieved, Energizing

What You Can Expect:

  1. You aren’t there yet, but you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and you know now that you can make it.
  2. You are starting to get more positive results.
  3. You still make mistakes, and have disappointments, but you react to them differently – you view them as part of the process: you learn from them and move on.
  4. You feel more confident.
  5. Other people are starting to see you as an expert. People who didn’t seem to believe in you before are coming around.
  6. Sometimes you feel that you can’t meet the expectations of others – that you are a farce – that they are seeing you as an expert when you really aren’t.
  7. Now that you have mastered the basics, you begin to see new things that you need to learn and do better.

How to Get Through It:

  1. Take advantage of your ability to be more efficient and effective to get more done and accelerate your success.
  2. Think Excellence – raise your standards; use your new skills to produce the best results you are capable of.
  3. Focus on refining everything you do so that it fits in well with your life and you really enjoy doing what it takes to be successful.
  4. Make sure to enjoy the process – this is actually the most enjoyable stage of the entire change cycle.

Premature Exit:

Much less likely in this stage but may occur because life happens. Usually in this stage you can handle problems or detours and get back on track fairly quickly.

Moving on from Stage Three:

You’ve gotten so close to your initial goal that you no longer doubt that you will meet it, and maybe you increase it. You feel confident and natural in your new role. You begin to spend less time thinking about your actions and begin to do them automatically.

Stage Four — The Transformation
Key Entry Point:

You’ve completely integrated the change into your life. You know longer think about it because it’s “you”.

What it Feels Like:

Natural, comfortable, routine, sometimes boring or disappointing, the thrill is gone

What You Can Expect:

  1. There is no turning back because your change is part of you – it’s who you are, what you do. You would have to go through an equally dramatic change process now to change BACK to what you did/who you were before.
  2. You are beginning to focus on other areas of your life.

How to Get Through It:

Typically, in this stage you are done, and you are thinking about the next thing in your life that you would like to change.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *