Lots of people think change is so incredibly hard, we look back on our life and past experience to see that we have tried and failed and tried and failed, over and over again, so it must just be true=change is hard. Have you done this before? Have you tried to change, and not been able to sustain the change? I know I have. But when I started doing these 3 simple steps, I realized change isn't as hard as I thought it was. It's only hard when I forget to do these steps daily.
Change doesn't have to be hard. But being human, we are uncomfortable with change. Our minds are wired to stay comfortable, because discomfort could also mean DANGER. So we do what we have always done, simply to stay safe. We find ourselves always doing what we have always done, hoping things will be different. Every time we try something new and we don't get it on the first go, we tell ourselves, "oh this is going to be too hard (and dangerous) so quit now before you waste too much of your valuable time!" We literally just keep doing what we have always done, which is to revert back to comfort, every single time. And we go crazy thinking we have tried everything.
The first step is to be mindful of where you are. Mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn says that mindfulness is “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally." So this step is really about taking a moment to become aware of where you are starting from, what is your current state? Pay attention to your feelings and thoughts. Be deliberate at the attention you use to become aware of how things are and accept that they are exactly as they should be in this moment. Don't judge yourself as being behind or that you should be doing better, or be further along the process of growth etc. This can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.
The second step is take 100% responsibility for the results of your life in this moment. You are not the victim in your own story, you are the hero. Everything is working for you, not against you, if you allow it. The worst of circumstances can be the springboard to incredible things happening in your life. If you are 100% responsible for your life in this moment, then there is no one person or thing that can be your obstacle. No one has to change so that you can feel better. This is absolutely the best news ever, because it means you don't have to wait for anyone to help you along. You don't have to have anyone's permission to change, expect your own.
If you are 100% responsible then you don't have to waste your time blaming others, rationalizing or justifying, making excuses, minimizing, hiding from or abandoning responsibility, denying or lying, rebelling, complaining, finding fault in others, getting angry, making demands or entitlements, doubting self, losing hope, giving up, quitting, indulging in self-pity and a victim mentality, being indecisive or being confused, procrastinating, allowing fear to rule your life. If you take 100% responsibility for your life, you have just skipped most, if not all, the reasons we use for our personal failures or lack of success and personal growth. Literally taking 100% responsibility for your life is the winning ticket to getting the life you want.
This second step is where I work with my clients the most, we really go into the details of the results of our lives. Our results come from all the things we do, most things we do habitually and that is why I help my clients build habits. Realizing that all the things we do comes from how we feel. What we're thinking about, focusing on, and believing is what creates our feelings. Our feelings never lie, they always tell us what we are believing. These beliefs are often subconscious, or we believe them so strongly that we just think they are facts. Talking through things with a coach is always so enlightening because we discover what we are believing and then we can decide on purpose if we want to keep those beliefs or toss them.
Talking through our thoughts with someone who can hold space for us is incredibly helpful. We often feel stuck because we think we don't have a way out, that we have to feel a certain way because of the given circumstances, that there just isn't a solution, or it's out of our control, but this is never the case. There is always more than one way of thinking about a problem and that is the beauty of working with a coach, you see that what you believe is 'just true,' isn't actually the only way of thinking about it.
One false belief I used to have, that I didn't even realize I had, was I thought kids were supposed to obey their parents. I deeply believed this and I also thought that I had to be frustrated or disappointed when they didn't obey me. Like duh, it's one of the commandments, so obviously I need to keep this belief and be disappointed if they don't obey! How I felt about this situation came from the expectation I had about my children. I thought they needed to change in order for me to feel good. Great realization to have, that was me blaming my feelings on them and man was it causing a lot of pain for me. Thinking my kids should always obey me. I would be fighting that reality and therefore very disappointed and frustrated that they weren't doing what they should be doing. So instead of blaming my frustration on my kids, I took responsibility for how I was feeling. I decided I would rather believe that their job is to learn and be curious. While my job is to teach, I can teach about commandments without thinking they should absolutely obey everything all the time or they are doing it wrong. Once I decided this was their job, then I could ask them to do things and watch as they push the boundaries and resist obedience etc. but my reactions became completely different. It was easier to react in a kind and loving way and direct them back to why I have rules or boundaries and that they come from love, instead of needing to be obeyed. This sounds like semantics, but it's not, it's a whole paradigm shift that has brought so much light and joy into parenthood for me. My results are my own, my results are not how my kids behave or what they do. I used to get this confused. The way I respond to my children is 100% my responsibility, the way I respond is because of how I am feeling and thinking and I am the only one in charge of that. Before I learned how to do this I thought that my getting frustrated at them was their fault and if they would just change, then I could be a good mom, blah blah blah aka feel better...etc. I have built mindful habits to become aware of this and it's incredibly freeing.
The third and final step to changing your life NOW is just to make a decision. DECIDE that you want to change and that you can figure it out, no matter what. Decide a specific way you are going to put in the daily work of change and be true to that decision, even when it's hard, even when you don't want to, even when you lose motivation, even when you want to find another way, even when all the excuses and good ideas come to mind. So if you know that all plans work, then just find one you like. Find a fitness regimen that you are drawn to or sounds fun, find a teacher or coach who speaks to you and you like their personality and presentation of information. Then get to work.
Because frankly, all diets work, all planners work, all methods of business growth work, all exercising works, all parenting books can help, all teachers and coaches can bring value, all of them work. The only one that will work for you though, is the one you decide that you are willing to work for. It really is that simple. What is the difference when we are willing to work for the specific diet, planner, method etc? It is simply the decision we make. We decide that this is going to be the thing, we decide we are willing to put in the time, money, and effort to make the change.
Literally this is all that is happening when we actually change. The first step is we realize where we are and stop beating ourselves up for it. Second step is to realize that we are 100% responsible. Third step is, we just decide that this is going to be the thing to help us change. We think it is the program, the diet, the method, the person etc. and that we have finally found the 'right way' to change. But it is none of those things. It is just realizing where we are, taking 100% responsibility for our results and deciding to put in the work.
If you practice these three steps on a daily basis and you intentionally remind yourself of these steps when you forget, there is nothing you can't do.
It's the most fun work and I would love to help you through them. I am here to help, so send me an email or sign up for a free consult and we will get to work on change. These three steps have been absolutely life changing for me and I know they can be for you too.