The Journey to Our Destination Often Holds Many Riches

Physicians are achievement oriented. We strive, we accomplish, and then we strive for something else. But there is so much between the striving and the accomplishing that we would benefit from investigating, acknowledging and appreciating. The CLAIM S model of change, developed by Virginia Kellogg, MCC , provides a structure for us to understand and benefit from as we pass through the entire process of change.

C – Completion

As we or our circumstances change, we may notice not being as happy with some aspect of our life. There is a need for change, yet we often hold on to “the way things are.” In this phase, we become aware that in some way(s), our life no longer fits us. Recognizing and admitting that a change is needed takes tremendous courage and self-compassion. Until we come to terms with and let go of those aspects of our life that don’t suit us, it is difficult for us to let in what is new and needed.

L – Listening and Longing

As experts at delayed gratification, many of us learned to turn down the volume-on our wanting; our unfulfilled desires often led to disappointment. So we may set our sights low or simply accept what life brings. As we begin to contemplate change, it’s wise to listen to our deeper voice telling us what we actually long for. For example, if you are considering a new research project, is your longing for recognition? Contribution? Relief of patient suffering? The need to discover? If you anticipate a need to change your staff, is it to simplify your life, expand the scope of your practice to adventure into a new and exciting area, or to build a team that reflects your personal values?

A – Answering the call

When you give in to that longing and begin to move toward your new project/phase/life, you are answering the call. You may not know exactly what you are moving toward yet, but your instinct is strong and you have decided to follow it.

I – Incubation and Investigation

Knowing what you are longing for, you begin to delve into the possibilities. What will satisfy my longing? What is possible? At this stage, it’s best to think big and consider any possibility. It can be difficult to remain here, as our habit is to dive into action. Give yourself more time — it is in this phase that our original impulse is often expanded, refined, and transformed into something even more thrilling.

M – Movement

Now you throw yourself into action, creating the new project or pursuing the new venture. This is the stage when we are “accomplishing” something and things can move very quickly. It can be a time when we begin to doubt ourselves — can it be this easy? Can I really have something this big or this good?

S – Satisfaction and Savoring

We now take time to really appreciate what we have accomplished or become. We recognize the effort and authenticity that we brought to the process. If we fell short of our goal, we notice what we learned. It is a place where we truly feel our impact in the world. We experience the satisfaction of honoring whatever value inspired us to make this change and we savor both the accomplishment as well as the more fulfilling life we are consciously living.