While change is a crucial aspect of one’s developmental journey, many people remain resistant to it, preferring instead to stay in their comfort zone. That said, one important question needs to be asked—is there a way for us to learn to embrace change? How can we get better at dealing with transitions? 

I am Dr. Debi Silber and welcome to another insightful episode of A Dose of Dr. Debi.

Today, we will be discussing two different approaches to change: the revolutionary way, which is quick and drastic; and the evolutionary method, which is slow, gradual, and gentle. We will also be tackling how to identify which approach makes sense for our individual circumstances. 

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In This Episode

  • Learn the difference between evolutionary and revolutionary approaches to change
  • Discover the applications of these distinct approaches 
  • Find out which approach is a better fit for your situation


Hi there, Dr. Debi here welcome to another Dose of Dr. Debi is part of the From Betrayal to Breakthrough podcast. So today I want to talk about the difference between evolutionary and revolutionary. What do I mean?

Years ago I had a client who I was pushing pretty hard. I mean, that’s why they hire me. She was a health client, and wanted to look a certain way and feel a certain way so I was really pushing her, thinking that that’s what she wanted. She stopped me one day and she said; “Debi, my changes need to be evolutionary not revolutionary.” It stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t quite understand what she meant back then. But, what she meant was; “My changes need to be so slow and gradual that I barely notice I’m making them, and because of that. I’ll sustain those changes and keep moving forward.” Versus; “Throw me in the deep end and I have to figure it out.”

So change happens, whether you take the evolutionary approach or the revolutionary approach, but I want to talk today about finding out which one resonates best with you. So if you find that you’ve been wanting to make all of these changes, physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually whatever it is, and then you’re sabotaging yourself, I want you to take a look and think; “You know, is it possible that my approach has been the wrong one for me that I need an evolutionary approach and I’m giving myself a revolutionary approach?” Or; “I’m giving myself a revolutionary approach, and I really would be best served with an evolutionary approach?”

Let me give you examples of both. The first thing that comes to mind is, and most of you know I have four kids, (25,24, 21 and 19). I have one of my daughters, who happens to do really well with the revolutionary approach. She would rather not make any changes, and then throw herself in the deep end and figure it out. It’s like throwing yourself in the deep end and figuring out how to swim, versus, let me see if I can take a little swimming lesson. Let me see if I can learn something. Let me see if I can read a book about swimming, let me just do one thing that can bring me closer to it. Nope. She’d rather not and dive right in. She’s done this so many times and has found that for her, it’s a brilliant approach.

I’ll never forget, she’s done this many times, (and I may have even shared this on one of the episodes) where she just came to me one day and said; “Mom, I need to go to China for a semester, and I already figured it out, and it’s 10 credits and it’s actually less expensive than school.” It sounded reasonable and knowing who she was, I was like; “Well, okay.” Maybe she knows something that I don’t know and okay I’ll go along with it. And so she does this, and then she calls up when she’s there, after the first couple days; “Oh my gosh, what did I do, this is crazy, I don’t speak the language, I’m a vegetarian. I don’t know what to eat, I can’t ask for anything. I made the biggest mistake. Oh no!”

Well, a couple days later, she calls back; “Oh, Mom, this is the greatest. It’s the best thing ever. It’s so nice. There’s a lady who cuts up my fruit for me and I know my way around and it’s amazing.” It was the greatest thing ever for her, the revolutionary approach was a good one.

Now, there are other people and I have so many people within The PBT Institute where they need to take an evolutionary approach. And for them, it could be something as simple as they just joined the membership, they join the community, and that’s it. We don’t hear from them within the community, we don’t see them within the community, but they’re just dipping their toe in, and maybe they’ll do a module of one of the programs, maybe we’ll just read some of the posts that we have on our forums, all of our different forums different categories and topics, maybe they’ll just attend one of my classes, and then they’ll do that for a few weeks. Then, all of a sudden, they may comment on one of the forum posts, they may post a comment after one of the classes, they may put their video on during one of our live classes. What they’re doing is getting a sense of comfort on their own time, on their own schedule.

I mean, you can think of a million different examples. In every topic, where this approach can work for you. Now some people need to see more of a dramatic change, and they need to take that revolutionary approach and here’s the thing, too. With that revolutionary approach, a lot of people do that because they don’t trust themselves, they don’t trust that if they take the time, they’ll see the results and they may get bored, they may fall off track, they may not have the motivation to continue when the changes are so gradual. That’s totally okay if that’s you, that revolutionary approach may be a better one for you. Because think about it, when, when you do take that revolutionary approach, you are forced to change.

If I bought you a ticket to some foreign country and, and you landed there, you would adapt very quickly. You’d have to figure it out because what’s your choice, right? It’s like learning a new language. You can learn it by studying it, by reading about it, but how much quicker do you learn it when you’re immersed in the culture? You see? So, that would be a more of a revolutionary approach. But some people really feel much more comfortable with that evolutionary approach. Here, the changes are so slight, so small, so gradual, yet so consistent, that over time, they don’t really feel such a big change, it didn’t create a shake-up to their whole environment, it didn’t create such a shake up to everybody, everything (them included), so it was enough that they could include it within their daily routine, include it in their lifestyle, embrace it, get familiar with this new way to be until it becomes a habit that is slowly a part of them.

There’s no right or wrong here. The only thing that doesn’t work is when you do nothing. So if there’s any area of life, whether you’re talking about any area of health, whether it’s anything having to do with your work, with your relationships, with trying something new, it’s going to take, doing something new, doing something different, feeling something different, thinking something different. You have to do something differently, to create a different result. S

Which approach feels like a better fit for you? Here’s what I recommend. Take a look at all the areas of your life, see what needs tweaking. Now, this is part of the From Betrayal to Breakthrough podcast so there’s a good chance you’re healing from a betrayal or you were lied to, you were deceived in some way, you were betrayed, whatever it was. Take a look at how you’ve been moving through that, when it comes to change. You are only moving in one of two ways. You are only, every single day, by every single thought, behavior, action you have, you are moving further or closer to whatever it is you want. So, which way are your thoughts, behaviors, actions habits taking you?

Are you taking that revolutionary approach which is taking you so much closer to what you want, quickly? Then you quickly have to catch up (let’s say your body is there but your mind isn’t, your emotions aren’t and you have to catch up quickly). Or, are you taking that evolutionary approach which is so gradual so slow so gentle, but it feels better? Here, it’s not as chaotic, it’s not that shock of; “Oh my gosh, here I am in this foreign land, what the heck do I do?” It’s a more gradual approach for you. There is no right or wrong. It’s only knowing who you are and knowing what the best fit is. But, if you’re interested in any type of change, physical, mental, emotional, whatever it is, it’s going to take doing something differently.

So here’s what I recommend. Take a look at what you’re looking to change, (body, mind, life, lifestyle, relationships, finances,) any topic. Then, take a look and say; “Which would be a better approach for me based on who I am, what I need?” If you don’t do well with that evolutionary approach because you fall off track or lose interest or don’t see success, quickly enough, then maybe the revolutionary approaches for you. Think about it though. Take a look ahead. If you’ve taken that revolutionary approach at some point and it freaked you out and so you sabotage yourself because you couldn’t handle that drastic of a change, that’s not an approach for you.

Take a look at the two options. There’s the evolutionary approach which is slow, gentle, gradual. There’s the revolutionary approach which is drastic and big. Which one’s better for you? Hope that helps. And what I also suggest you do is, if you like the podcast, subscribe, rate review. Tell all your friends. And if a chapter of Trust Again, a free chapter just to get a sense of it serves, you can find that here.  

If you know you want the whole book, go for it, and you’ll find that you can get it Amazon but don’t do that, get it from me first, because this way when you come back, not only do you get it from Amazon, but you come back and get all kinds of bonuses from me. You can find it here.

Don’t stay stuck, whether it’s the evolutionary or the revolutionary approach, make those changes so you look, feel, and live your best. I’ll see you next time. Bye.


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211: Reclaiming Vibrancy After Body Betrayal w/ Dr. Lisa Olszewski