Making Changes – What Is Troubling You?

Making Changes – What Is Troubling You?

Making Changes – part 3 of the series. Be Clear About Your Emotions!

What Is Troubling You? In the last post in this series  I discussed the need to be quite clear about what you need to change. I said you needed to be as specific and detailed as you could in the way you defined the change.  Starting with a clear and detailed description has a huge impact on the success of your change.

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Next you need to think about how you really feel about the change. No significant change is made without some impact on our emotions.  Understanding what those emotions are and knowing how to manage their impact can be key to success.

Troublesome emotions

Troublesome emotions like anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, hurt, jealousy and envy can occur at any time in our lives.  They might be associated with lots of different events. Sometimes they occur when most people may think there should be nothing to worry about.  But they worry you. And they can be very difficult to deal with.

Perhaps one theme and one emotion recurs time and again.  It hasn’t stopped you doing something but it has made it more difficult to do and less satisfying.

Teasing out exactly what the emotion could be is the first step in understanding the thoughts and beliefs behind it.  It can help you gain control of the emotion and make sure things turn out more positively in future.

What Is Troubling You? What do you really feel?

What do you feel, when you think about the change you have to make? Exactly what emotion is being stirred within you?

Now is the time to take some time for reflection. Try not to judge yourself for the emotion you feel. Be very honest with yourself.  Sometimes support from someone you trust like a coach can be helpful in working out what is troubling you.

The next post in this series will be about what aspect of the change is triggering the emotion and why?

If you have tips to share with others about making changes in your life – please get in touch.

Working with a coach can help you to change successfully – email me at the address below for information on how I can help you.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link


Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

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Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

In the last post in this series I asked you to start thinking about emotions and I explained how identifying your troublesome emotion helps you gain control and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future.

Now, you need to identify what is most difficult for you about the change. 

This is important because it helps you get to the root of the problem and so you avoid spending too much time on the peripheral issues. It saves you energy you would have spent dealing with less important aspects of your change. For example, you might feel angry about something that happened last time you tried to make this kind of change. But what really caused you to feel that way?

When you know what it is that is actually causing your big emotion, you can start to develop a more helpful attitude. 

Find a little time and a quiet space to go through this exercise. Think about what happened in the past to make you feel this way. Now imagine someone telling you the same story. What advice would you give them? Imagine questioning them about what happened and pressing them to tell you more and more about how it happened until you get right down to the root cause. Now what is that fundamental belief about themselves that is making them feel uncomfortable.

What advice would you give them to help them have a more healthy attitude? Now step into their shoes and think about you having the same experience and how you can now apply the new approach. Practice thinking in this new way. 

Success here depends on being very honest with yourself.

If you need support from a coach in sorting out the fundamental belief that is stopping you making positive changes, get in touch, my phone number is below. 

The next post in this series will be about setting goals for your change and how to avoid the pitfalls in goal setting. 

If you have tips to share with others about making changes in your life – please get in touch.

The links to the earlier posts in this series are below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at

Related articles
  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 3 Be Clear About What Is Troubling You
  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 1 Admit A Change is Needed

  • Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 2 Be Clear About The Change You Wa


Anger usually arises from some form of perceived transgression against yourself.  It needn’t be real – you just need to believe it happened!

It comes about in three main areas

  • Some one or some thing gets in the way and stops you achieving a goal
  • Someone or some organisation breaks you personal rules.  For example, ‘I’ve worked for them for years and now they want to get rid of me!’
  • You self esteemed feel threatened

You feel angry and you may lash out verbally or physically.  Or you may displace your aggression and take it out on someone else.  Instead of attacking you may withdraw – storm out! Or you may attack indirectly – for example, subverting or spreading rumours – a passive aggressive response.

But it is clear that prolonged anger damages you mentally and physically!

You may believe that letting it out is the best way to deal with it.  But ‘cathartic’ expressions of anger reinforce your anger because the underlying beliefs are strengthened. To get over being angry you have first to get over the idea that others make you angry! If others annoy you, it is you who presses the anger button so that you ‘blow your top’!  You ‘lose your temper’, no one takes it from you!  And you probably regret it later which shows that other options were available.

Your self talk determines how you respond to a situation. Anger results from how you think about a situation, not the situation itself.

Examine the potential results of your anger in terms of damaged relationships, poor performance and the effect on your physical and mental health!  Look at alternative responses  – being more assertive ( stand up for yourself without loss of control), developing an early warning system by recognizing the early signs of anger (muscle tension, clenched fists, the rising voice and impatience) and learn how to diffuse it,  You can talk yourself down or leave the situation and when you are calmer think how to deal with the situation in a more constructive way.

Here is a really useful website

With grateful thanks to Life Coaching A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach Neenan and Dryden 2002