People desire transformation in their life, but it’s one of those “much easier said than done” things in life. We can be very good at fooling ourselves that our situation, poor habits or character defects are “not that bad.”

The road ahead may be a long one, depending on what transformation(s) are being dealt with.

Change brings up many fears of what others will think, fear of ourselves, fears of the past and fears of the future. 


Step 1:  Release Denial

The first step in coming out of denial is the admission of needing help. Keep in mind, it is one thing to admit help is needed. It is quite another to have the willingness it will take to extract the root. 

If you’ve lived with your struggles a long time, that may be all you know. Even when the clarity begins to come, it can be hard to accept the truth that is right in front of you.

1 John 4:18 (ESV) tells us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

Your relationship with Jesus is critical in stepping out of denial.  It begins with walking through your fears and accepting the truth that His perfect love will see you through.


Step 2:  The Stark Reality of Powerless

Most people do not like it when they aren’t in control. Truth is, we aren’t really in control of anything, but we like to believe we are.

Coming to grips with this truth can be tough, especially for leaders. As a leader, you have a great deal of responsibility for projects, people, and assignments. Therefore, that’s what you do in your day-to-day; you take control.

The ultimate reality that you are powerless with no real control over a personal stronghold may be hard accept.

Romans 7:18 (NCV) tells us, “Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them.”

Things that get in the way of admitting your powerlessness include pride, worry, resentments, and any number of other fears.

Most people do not like it when they aren’t in control. Truth is, we aren’t really in control of anything, but we like to believe we are. Click To Tweet


Step 3:  Hope for the Future

Philippians 2:13 (NLT) tells us, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

It’s easy to lose sight of the hope you once had when traveling through a transformation journey.

When the pain of letting go, the pain of coming clean, the reality of facing consequences is staring you in the face, hope appears very distant. It can even feel out of reach.

This is where you begin to find out how open you really are to change. Are you willing to walk through the tough places ahead in order to have the transformation you desire? 

Hope is an absolute! The power to change is not something you simply conjure up within yourself. The Holy Spirit is right beside you on your transformation journey.  He speaks the only truth that matters.  Listening to anything else in your head can easily rob you of seeing the hope in your future.


Step 4:  Give it to God

Transformation requires a decision. At some point you have to decide if you are going to lay the struggle at the feet of Jesus.

We all know the back and forth battle of giving our stuff to God and taking it back. Give it, take it back. This can happen more times than we can count.

Ask yourself, “what is it going to cost if I don’t turn it over to God?”  “What’s it going to cost me if I don’t make this change in my life?”

The bottom line issue when it comes to this part of the process is trust. We would all like to understand exactly what is going to happen if we make the commitment to change; if we give it to God.  

Think of this way, you don’t know what will happen if you submit to the change, but you don’t know what will happen if you don’t either.  One thing you can count on, change that is obedient to your Heavenly Father will not result in bad.  That doesn’t mean that consequences of past choices will go away, but scripture tells us in Romans 8:28 (NLT); “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God…”  

Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG) tells us, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart. Don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.  Run to God! Run from evil!”

Learning to trust can be a long part of the transformation process. You may have many reasons not to trust others, not to trust yourself and wonder, how can I trust God?

Even so, the truth is, it’s not God who has given you a reason to lack trust, it’s the sinful world in which we live.


Step 5:  Boundaries with Accountability

At this point, you are ready to move forward and ready to take action. Set yourself up for success.

Eagerness is good, but healthy boundaries to keep the eagerness alive is much better!

Here are some good questions for your best path to success: “What will help me stay true to my commitments?” “Who will be my best accountability partners?” and “How will my accountability partners assist me?”

Having an accountability team, surrounding yourself with people who will be honest in love, is a great approach. Good accountability partners must be able to share what a person needs to hear; not what they may want to hear.

Proverbs 15:22 (ESV) tells us, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed.”


Step 6:  Ready, Set, Go!

It’s time to take real action. It’s time to submit to the changes God has revealed in this process. One day at a time, with mission critical priorities identified and scheduled.

It’s important to move forward one day at a time. It’s important to know those priorities that will make or break the plan.  And, it’s important to ensure there is time set to execute those priorities.

Taking action must include releasing control to God and giving grace to yourself. Likewise, it is important that you are accepting the changes in your life and you are yielding to the growth.

Be aware, self-sabotage through fears and limiting beliefs will likely crop up. When they do, you need healthy support around you so you don’t lose sight of all you’ve gained.

1 Peter 1:13-14 (GNB) tells us, “So then, have your minds ready for action. Keep alert and set your hope completely on the blessing which will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Be obedient to God, and do not allow your lives to be shaped by those desires you had when you were still ignorant.”

Coaches are a great partner to help you be ready, alert, hopeful, and obedient as you persevere in your transformation journey.

Taking action must include releasing control to God and giving grace to yourself. Likewise, it is important that you are accepting the changes in your life and you are yielding to the growth. Click To Tweet


Step 7:  Daily Inventory

Matthew 6:34 (TLB) tells us, “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow, God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”

Times of reflection for prayer, expression of gratitude, and self-examination are critical.

There are very few overnight transformations. The Holy Spirit reveals many things in the process, things you may have no idea were coming. This often creates anxiety.

Generally speaking, there isn’t one issue that stands alone. More often, it’s an entanglement of issues that need to be delicately unraveled.  This takes time.  Patience is required.

Processing with God daily, making use of wise advisors – accountability partners, a coach, a pastor – equips you for success.

The process of true transformation is a deep introspective journey. Coaches are blessed to help people make changes that give them their life back and bring new life to those around them.  Use a daily inventory process between meetings with your coach.  This will help you stay on track and know what you want to focus on.

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NCV) tells us, “The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it?  I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.”


If you are seeking help with your transformation journey, I would love to come along side you.  Maybe you aren’t even sure where to start or if you are truly ready for transformation.  Coaching is a process that moves people forward faster and more completely than you can do alone.   Simply click here if you would like to know more about how coaching can help.


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This article first appeared in Christian Coaches Magazine (CCM).  Written by Debbie Luxton, life coach,  John Maxwell Team founding partner and leadership coach, author and women’s retreat leader; written for CCM Spring issue April 2018.




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Debbie Luxton

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