Yesterday, I was talking to a friend who felt ‘stuck’ and not sure what to do about it.
Her intention was to get start a new business venture, but it wasn’t happening for her… did I have any suggestions?
This is the tricky part with friends, too much information and you see their eyeballs roll back in their head.
Too little information and they feel cheated.
What to do?
I like to stick with the basics. Regardless of whether you want to start a new business, lose weight or start going to the gym on a regular basis, there are some simple steps you need to take that will make all the difference.
Paraphrasing Og Mandino, “we’re all a slave to habits, might as well be a slave to good habits.”
To change your habits, you have to incorporate five critical elements to creating permanent and lasting change, or, like News Year’s Resolutions, you’ll quickly give up.
So, what are they?
1) Be passionate
When you want to create change, there must be oodles of emotion and desire to want to create the result.
Passion is pure potential. It’s powerful. It’s motivating. It’s magnetising. With it, a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g is possible.
Best possible scenario is that you’ll be operating from a position of “I want this with every fibre of my being”. You can reeeally feel the heat, energy and movement emanating from that statement.
If you’re operating from “should’s” “need to’s” and “have to’s”, you’re already at a great disadvantage.
Reeeally want it. Get passionate.
2. Baby steps
If your plan is to leap the chasm from Miss Sedentary to daily walks of 21kms before breakfast, it’s fair to say, you’re setting yourself up for some challenges. Lots of ‘em.
Yes, well spotted, I know that specific example is obviously extreme. But that’s exactly what we humans do… we set our own bars way too high, way too quickly and we completely disregard from where it is that we are starting.
Which leads to overwhelm. Overwhelm leads to inaction. And, “hello”, we’re back where we started…nothing’s changed.
3. Unwrap inner conflicts
Inner conflicts can be considered a gift.
Really. I jest you not.
We all know that I Just Can’t Get Started Frustration. That inability to get started is often caused by having conflicting feelings about the thing you want to change.
We humans are hard-wired to abhor change. It scares us.
If you think that change will be “really hard because I’ve never done it before”, or your thoughts sway towards, “well it’s unlikely I’ll succeed”, then you will unconsciously work to prove yourself right.
Because that’s how beliefs work. They’re self-fulfilling little darlings.
What’s great about this particular roadblock is that you get the opportunity to unwrap the beliefs which are causing you to stall. When you know what your current beliefs are, you can replace them with other beliefs.
Ones that will help you.
Treat the inner conflict as a gift…unwrap it. Do NOT place it in the corner and ‘deal with it later’. Because it’ll loiter in your blind spot, just out of sight, causing all sorts self-sabotage.
4. Are you trying to deal with problems you don’t have yet?
Often immobility is caused by the ‘what if’ scenarios dancing in your mind. The start line is as good a place as any to deal with ‘em.
One option is to address these pesky ‘what ifs’ by voicing them aloud. Put language around them. Very often the act of acknowledging the ‘what ifs’ (which is really just an adult word for fear) will cause them to evaporate.
If voicing the ‘what ifs’ fails to bring relief give yourself permission to Cross That Bridge if (not when) You Come To It. As in, quit trying to solve problems you don’t have yet.
Be aware of the scenario you prefer to not have, devise a game plan to address it, but do NOT focus on it.
5. Get up close and personal with your your pay off
Yup. You already know what I’m talking about.
If you have a habit that you really, really, really want to change or you do stuff that makes you cross and frustrated with yourself for doing it, and yet you still do it…then listen up.
Everything we do – even the stuff that hurts us – we do because on some level we get something out of it.
There’s a pay off.
A hefty pay off which, until we know what it is, will preclude us creating change.
Smoking, excessive drinking, overeating – whatever your thing is – you’re getting something out of it, dear reader.
If your goal is to walk around the block every morning but you fail to set the alarm, the payoff might be: 1) you get to spend that time doing something else, 2) you get to do what you’ve always done, or 3) you get to avoid confronting yourself and seeing what comes up when you do something new and uncomfortable.
Let me spell it out for you…
You get to hide.
You get to blame.
You get to make excuses.
You get to stay safe.
You get to stay in control.
You get to be certain.
I’ll leave it to the master wordsmith, Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
We always have a choice.
You can either embrace your fears ….. or … you need to get comfortable hanging out with its cousin … the pain of regret.
Hmmm. Clarifying stuff.
If you can’t get started on something that you really want, ask yourself these questions:
- Exactly why do I want this? Make a list. A looong list.
– How will I feel when I’ve achieved this goal? Paint a vibrant picture. Really feel it.
– Can I imagine having achieved my goal right now? Can I ‘act as if’ I already have it?
– Does it feel right in my belly?
– Have I broken my plan into small enough steps?
– What thoughts in my head are holding me back?
– What thoughts do I need to replace them with? Make ‘em serving, supporting, nurturing.
– What fears bubble to the surface when I think about taking the first step?
– What will it cost me emotionally / financially / mentally if I don’t take the first step now?
Now. Are you listening?
Take the tiniest, baby step.
That step might be so small that you don’t think it’s worth mentioning.
But it is.
And all those baby steps will add up.
“It’ll take forever with these tiny baby steps.”
Time will pass at the same rate, whether you take these steps or not. And if you do, you will inevitably get where you want to go.
Take one step today. N.O.W. Off you pop. One. Step. Today.
Good on you :)
Love etc, Avril