6 Steps to Initiating Successful Change
I saw a video sharing the wisdom of a four year old little girl talking about resolutions and why most people do not experience success. It got me thinking about how most of us enter the New Year with a hope and an anticipation that quickly fades as we fall back into our old habits and our beliefs of how we believe life should be. Why is it that the faith we have in January quickly fades when we don’t see the results we had hoped to see? Why is it that the change we have asked for does not happen by saying the words? The simple answer is that change must be intentional.
What does that mean? If you are like most people you hear the suggestion but it doesn’t make any sense to you. You thought you were being intentional with your New Year resolutions and it almost seems insulting to infer otherwise.
The good news is that you are not alone. Most people are confused and really don’t know where to begin. With a few small and correct stops you can begin to redesign your life and successfully create the change you have been seeking. Let me outline a few key steps for you.
You Must Change
The truth is that your life won’t change until you change. The changes you seek happen because you have found the will, the courage and the determination for your life to be different. Change does not happen without your involvement. It happens one step at a time. Change involves intention, commitment, and a belief that what you have asked for will come true. Change begins with you and a willingness to shift your current mindset. It is a very intentional process!
It has been said that the experiences of your life follow your thoughts and emotions, much the same way that your steering wheel follows your eyes down the highway. In order for your car to head in another direction we must shift the focus of your eyes. The same is true with your life. In order to have a different experience you must shift the focus of your thoughts. Just like your car wanders from the road when you focus your attention to your left or right, your life will change direction with a shift in your thoughts.
Changing your thoughts must be conscious. It must be done with awareness and the change is created through repetition. One step at a time. One of the reasons change does not happen is because you try to make the change in one large step. You may commit for a week or two, perhaps even a month or two, and when your big, giant leap of faith does not come to fruition you give up.
Change comes with the small, intentional, and consistent steps taken each and every day.
It happens when you continue to put one step ahead of another.
Did you know that most people will not pursue what they want because they are afraid to lose what they have? It’s true! Most people can’t imagine that what is coming into their life could be better than what they know to be true in this moment.
This next step became very clear to me this week when I rearranged the plants and rocks in my aquarium. I have a very large fish that likes to hide under a rock. He had, long ago, outgrown “his” rock and so yesterday I purchased a new and bigger rock for him.
He was definitely upset by the change and refused to even come close to the new rock. You could almost hear his discontentment that things were no longer the same. It took hours for him to approach the new rock to discover that he could comfortable fit inside without bending his body in half. Today he refuses to leave or share his new home. Imagine if he had never left the corner of the aquarium, too afraid or angry, to try something different?
As a human this isn’t entirely your fault. Your subconscious mind is running the show and it prefers things to remain status quo. It is far too busy keeping you alive and safe to be constantly adapting to change and therefore it will create all kinds of road blocks, usually in the form of fear, to keep you stuck.
It doesn’t matter your education or experience you have most likely been conditioned to “get things” and are ill prepared to “lose things”. You perhaps confuse letting go with losing and this increases your resistance to change. What you are choosing to do is to release old beliefs and limiting self-sabotaging dialogue that is preventing you from living your best life!
You must belief that what you are gaining is far better than what you are releasing.
Putting Yourself First
For lasting change to happen you cannot be worried about what other people think of you. You can’t be worried about who will be hurt in the process. Creating and implementing change is about putting yourself first. The intentional change you make must be right for you and this decision cannot be made if you are focused on the opinions and judgement of others. It is about doing the inner work, clearing antiqued patterns of the past, in order to create something new.
This is a time to be gentle with yourself. This will most likely be a new way of being and you must allow yourself to grieve what you are letting go of in order to embrace what the new.
When it comes to living your best life you cannot
accomplish this unless you begin with yourself.
Changing Your Mindset
Change requires a shift in your mindset. You have lived your life a certain way for most of your life. You have probably not taken time to review and evaluate your beliefs and thoughts to see if they even belong to you. Many of the thoughts and beliefs you harbour have been inherited, at a very young age, from those around you and without question you have accepted these thoughts as true.
Creating change is a lifestyle change and is not something that can be rushed. You cannot squeeze this in when you have time! You must make time to be consciously aware of what you are thinking all of the time. The secret is to be aware of your thoughts, to recognize that you have the power to change them, to intentionally change them, repeat and repeat and repeat this new thought until you have created a new belief system.
Change involves a certain level of faith, which in of itself can be a mindset shift. Faith in yourself and faith that you have been clear and concise with the goals that you have set. Faith you are deserving of receiving your goals and finally faith that they will show up exactly as they should. It is very difficult to connect the dots going forwards. But when you take the time to look backwards you can see how each and every experience has brought you to this moment.
Change is not a linear process.
Busyness is a distraction
Your subconscious mind is brilliant and very clever in its ways of stopping you from implementing change in your life. It keeps you busy, preventing you from thinking or being alone with your thoughts, in order to preserve the familiar.
You cannot begin to implement change if you do not assess your life and clear away old ways of being. You cannot possibly know what you really want if you have not taken the time to know what you do not want.
Without slowing down and being still we will never
have the time to create the change we want to see.
Lastly, but certainly not least, you been conditioned to “chase your happiness”. When you reach for external objects and people to create your happiness you create a goals that is constantly out of reach. Even when you achieve what you wanted it lacks a feeling of fulfillment because it was never your definition of happiness to begin with. This void triggers the next search and creates yet another feeling of disappointment.
Happiness is an inside job. No one can define or create your joy.
The secret to happiness is found in the small moments every day. Gratitude allows you to recognize these moments and embrace them. Letting go of expectations removes disappointment. And finally forgiving yourself and others brings you a peace you have not felt before.
Be grateful for the moments you have today
As a human being you are programed to crave change, to grow, to develop your true potential. The restlessness and yearning you feel is your soul’s desperate attempt to get your attention, to force you to change your focus and remember who you are. Reclaiming your authenticity must be intentional. In order to successfully achieve your new year’s goals you must be the change you seek. You must push fear aside and choose you! Understanding that happiness is an inside job allows you to recognize that busyness is only a distraction, in order to prevent you from shifting your beliefs. Change is a full time job.
I belong to a mediation group and our facilitator asked us to create a list of changes we wanted to see in 2018. Each week she asks us if we have created our list, to acknowledge the shifts and changes we have noticed on our journey of growth. Each week she simply asks us the question, without judgement or criticism, if we have committed to change.
As you shift your mindset chances are you will fail many times before you succeed. The secret is to acknowledge the fall and start over again. It will be uncomfortable to step away from what you have known into the unknown. But with intention, commitment, and belief in yourself you can make this change happen.
Is it worth it?
Tammy Adams loves to problem solve, inspire and motivate others who are ready and committed to change. Tammy has spent over 30 years in the field of education and as a certified coach Tammy teaches individuals to challenge and conquer their limiting beliefs and insecurities to create the life of their choosing. As a Grief Recovery Method Specialist Tammy understands that unresolved grief can limit an individual’s capacity for happiness and is gifted at supporting individuals through the pain and isolation cause by an emotional loss, of any kind, to a place of happiness they believed no longer existed. Tammy’s clients say, “Tammy helped me unpack the baggage and put a smile on my face in the process. It’s a rare quality for someone to fully listen without judgement but yet still steer you in the right direction.”