Are You Really Ready to Change?

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How do you feel when you look at your life right now – how your day has been lived, the way you look, the things you’ve done and are doing, where you are, the people you’re around, the life you’ve laid, the thoughts that surround you?

If there are things you want to change in any part of your life there’s something you need to know.

And it’s not pretty:

Change isn’t for everyone. Change isn’t easy.

But hang on…I don’t mean that the process of change isn’t easy. That’s the cakewalk part – when we do the ground work and are ready to move the process becomes far easier than we ever imagined. Trust me, I’ve experienced that myself – having lost half my body weight, broken out of the ‘corporate cage’, creating my own business, left a safe but unfulfilling marriage and moved countries – AND I’ve seen it happen as if my magic in the lives of my clients. No, that’s not the hard bit.

The hard bit comes before the actual change.

And it’s about being honest and looking at where you are and what you want with no smoke-screen, no armour, no protection. It’ll make even the strongest vulnerable.

So, here’s what I mean:

These two things are vital in order for you to change:

1 . You must connect with what you want.

And I mean REALLY want.

Not the things you think you can have. Not the ‘better’ option using the skills you currently have. Not the thing that everyone else thinks you should do. Not the option that seems like the most likely to succeed. Not the choice that is less scary than the others.

Drop all that.

Be honest. Dig deep. Go inside. Lose the ifs and buts. Forget about the possible.

When I was 280lbs, it would have been nice to lose a few of those, but what I actually wanted was to be half my weight. When I was working for Microsoft in software support, it would have been nice to transfer to events organisation, but really I longed to unleash the things I was truly passionate about. When I was studying alternative therapies, it would have been nice to set up a practise with a friend in the UK, but what I longed for was to move to Italy.

Those ‘it would be nice’ options didn’t inspire me, didn’t motivate me, didn’t make my heart sing. And I know, because of that, that they’d have involved serious effort and frustration on my part – and I’d have probably given up on them, or been quickly looking for the next thing. Instead, by going for what I really wanted, my persistence came effortlessly and I have loved the journey – actively creating something I really want every day.

What is it you really want? What do you long for? What fills you with so much joy when you think about having it? What makes you go ‘damn right, that’s want I want’?

2. You must assess where you are with honesty.

Look at where you are.

In this process it’s likely your mind will come up with excuses for why you are there, whose fault it is, what happened to you, why it’s difficult for you. I had a huge long list of those.

We’re not interested in that here. We want an honest, direct assessment of where you are. Imagine the past is wiped away and you only have today. Where are you NOW?

The key to change

The key to your motivation and to the steps you need to take, is holding those two things: where you want to be and where you are together at one time in your world, psyche, consciousness. With that you are in an incredible position of power.

And that sentence is easy for me to write, but so hard to actually do. Because it’s excruciating, because with it we become aware of the gap between where we are and what we want. And we become even more aware of the pain that we feel in not having what we want. And we become aware of the fear of failure and disappointment.

When, at over 20 stone (280lbs/130kg) I realised that I actually wanted to weigh half that, when, upon the first few steps of a golden career path with financial abundance all around me I realised I wanted to start again, when, in the centre of a cosy, secure marriage with a faithful, beautiful man, I realised I wanted to be free, when, whilst planning a new career in the UK I realised I actually wanted to live in a country I didn’t even speak the language of….the pain was excruciating. Laid in front of me was the vast chasm between where I actually was and how I really wanted my life to be.

And I wanted run and hide – as you will. And who’d blame you? Back to safety, back to the pain of where you are…because it seems nicer there. But the ironic truth is that, in the long run it’s NOT nicer there. It’s nicer where your dreams are.

If you can hold these two things together – and care for yourself as you do, understanding that it’s not easy and you will feel pain, sadness and fear – and stay with them, you’ll start to develop the clarity, focus and motivation to make REAL change.

Photo by Angelo González

Alison Ottaway

Alison is the inspiration and guiding light to a generation longing to step out of the mainstream. She is founder of the life-change movement Path Less Trodden – her passionate, yet down-to-earth message being born out of the many successful transformations she's made in her own life. You can find out more about Alison and how you can walk your own Path Less Trodden at

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