Transformation - A Matter of Choice

I was at a church service recently where the Rev. John Crestwell spoke about transformation.  To paraphrase, he stated that transformation starts by making choices to effect change. The context that he was speaking in was around organizational transformation. And it's clear to me that this would also apply to individuals as well.

So what's the big deal, you may ask. You see, I've been searching for the right expression of where I want to focus my coaching efforts; who are the people that I want to work with. The reason this struck me so powerfully is, in that moment, I realized that this captured some of my deep-seated beliefs. I believe in the power of transformation and the power of choice. At that moment, I knew that this was where I want to focus my coaching.

Why is transformation so important to me? Simply because I am living a life of transformation, and I want to guide, coach, and mentor those who are ready to pursue transformation in their lives. You see, back in 2004, a close friend of mine sponsored me to go through Rapport Leadership International's Leadership Breakthrough 1 training. This training marked the beginning of my transformational journey as a person. Here are a few ways I've transformed my life because of this event.

First, this was the first time that someone outside of my family believed in me so strongly and had such faith in my abilities. This, in and of itself, was transformative for me. Yes, my parents and wife all believed in me. It was quite different for me to have a friend invest time, effort and even some money in my future without expecting anything in return...no strings attached. He clearly saw something in me that I didn't see in myself and didn't realize that I had in me. That feeling of having great expectations of me AND having someone who believed so steadfastly in me has really shaped my transformation and exemplifies how I want to support others during their transformative journey. This was the beginning of a new chapter of my life. It is the basis for my mission, which is to champion, inspire and stand with people who are ready to transform their professional and personal lives by living at cause and by making conscious choices in pursuit of their self-defined success and fulfillment.

Second, this began a transformative journey for me both professionally and personally in the world. I have taken on positions, taken action, and blazed trails that I would never have pursued. I've accepted leadership roles at my church, left a job because the culture changed into one that no longer suited me, taken time to realize how I want to give back to make the world a better place to live, completed a rigorous coaching certification process, and started my own business in order to achieve that vision. I support my family better because I understand how to stand with people pursuing their goals. And I understand that my definitions of success and fulfillment is unique to me, just as your definitions are unique to you.

Third, one of the greatest lessons I learned was to remain flexible with the plans that I create because life has unexpected twists and turns. I am living a life at cause, where I get to choose my response to what happens in the world, not in effect where I feel powerless to do something and have no choices. The key here is to view the events that unfold from a perspective of possibility, not from a place of things not going according to plan. And, when I'm in a situation where I see no options, I ask for help. It takes courage and fortitude to ask for help; to take a risk in revealing that you haven't got all the answers; to show yourself as somehow incomplete or not in complete control. What I've found from my personal experience is that most people absolutely love to help others!

Fourth, there is no playbook for life and the rules you choose to live by are open to interpretation. At one point in my life, I was given an assignment to complete without being afforded an opportunity to ask really specific questions about the expectations, which had been my default way of working. Sitting alone with no one to ask for guidance, I realized that this was a metaphor for how I lived my life. I realized that sometimes I get to jump into the situation, trust my instincts, be creative in the moment, and forget about conforming to rules. And, by conquering my limiting beliefs about not knowing what to do and changing my perspective to “whatever I create is appropriate,” I regained my power and enthusiasm to move forward. I am able to focus on what's in front of me at that moment instead of focusing on not knowing how to fulfill the assignment.

You can plainly tell how stoked I am about the transformations that have taken place in my life. How would you like to transform your life? Where are you holding yourself back? What worries you the most about transforming your life? What are the biggest obstacles to beginning your transformative journey? I really want to know because I want to help you overcome whatever inertia keeps you from living a life according to your plan, taking some risks, showing up big in the game of life.

Gary Bamberger