In group training, I have shared a change formula that says if the current pain level of where you are is less than the pain of making a change; you are more likely to keep the status quo. It is only when the pain of remaining in the status quo overtakes the pain of change that people make a change.

During my coach training at Academy of Coaching and NLP, we were introduced to another change formula, credited by Richard Beckhard and David Gleicher.

C = D + V + F > R

C is the desired change

D is the dissatisfaction with the current state

V is the vision of the desired state

F represents the first steps in making the change

R is the resistance pushing back against the change

What I like about this change formula is that you can pinpoint the bottleneck better. Once you identity the bottleneck in your own change process, you can tackle how to unplug it.

Let’s walk through an example. On a Friday, I had someone call me about career coaching. We discussed his goals and the service fees. It was clear he wanted to improve his current state by finding a job that paid him better – even if it meant making a change in professions. He was ready to start immediately. We set a time on Monday to meet and I sent him the information over the weekend.

At this point, there is nothing in the change formula that prevents from him from moving forward.

On Sunday, I received an email that he was canceling our meeting because he and his wife discussed the coaching and their budget. She did not think they could swing it financially. BAM! The R (resistance pushing back) came crashing in and created the bottleneck in achieving his vision.

Sometimes we assume that everything will work out and get surprised. Other times we know where the bottlenecks are and something stops us. Whatever the reason, change will not occur until you deal directly with the resistance. Use it to figure out what is holding you back.