Shift happens.

personal development Oct 11, 2021

Transformation is a term that's quite ubiquitous these days. Why is that?

You can't scroll for even a few seconds through social media without tripping over a "transformation coach." In the Akimbo Workshops where I serve as a head coach, "transformation" is the word students most frequently use to describe their experience at the end of a workshop.

In full disclosure, I'm guilty of overusing transformation in my own work. Who remembers when my title at Creative on Purpose was "Transformation Specialist?" 

I wonder if we've lost track of what transformation really means?

For instance, I often see people substituting "transformation" for "change." This begs the question, if transformation is merely change, what's the point?

Transformation seems a specific kind of change. What kind? Let's start with what kind of change transformation is not.

Transformation is not:

  • to change in form or structure (that's metamorphosis).
  • to change into another substance (that's transmutation).
  • to change in appearance (that's transfiguration).

I see transformation not as a particular outcome or destination but as a process. It's a state of becoming that leads to a change in nature or character on its way to the next change in nature or character. 

But does transformation happen to you or through you? Does it happen from the inside out or the outside in?

In my experience, it's almost always a "both-and" experience.

You can create and hold space for yourself and others where transformation is possible, but that's no guarantee it will happen. Some of the most transformative experiences in my life have been uninvited and entirely accidental. 

You can't schedule transformation but when you lean into the edges of your understanding and abilities, it sometimes accepts the invitation.

Maybe transformation is a story? A story wrapped in identity. A story we tell ourselves about who we are and who we seek to become. If so, those stories are also about constructing and destroying boundaries and limitations.

Choose your story, choose your future. 

Whether a transformation is internal or external, the result is seeing and being differently. Transformation reveals thresholds to possibility, potential, and transcendence, inviting us to exceed or surpass the self-imposed limits of our understanding and abilities. 

What transformation story are you telling yourself today?

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

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