Category: Discipline

The Power of Pausing – How Reflection Helps You Grow

By , July 3, 2013 6:28 pm

iStock_000025377786LargeFollow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”

~ Peter Drucker, Management Consultant and Author

Stop – pause and take it in.

In our busy world there seems to be little time for commas let alone full stops and new paragraphs in our day! We are so busy in the do-do of doing, that there is often haste in our learning experiences and we allow little time for reflection – we just move onto the next experience, grabbing as much in as we go!

As a Leader of Learning, I know that if you want learning to turn into growth, then you have to STOP – PAUSE and TAKE IT IN. Sometimes you have to allow the specific learning from an experience to catch up with you. You have to breathe and let it percolate through.

How often do you take the time to pause and let the lesson you’ve learned soak in and create a paradigm shift for you?

Most learning experiences are One and Done!

A person might read a book or attend a one-day workshop. They may set a quick Action Plan at the end of the workshop, but then return to work the next day and fall back into the old habits of doing what they’ve always done. Any thoughts or potential changes in thinking drain away to be replaced by the existing neural highway of old patterns and unconscious habits.

I was training a Personal Effectiveness workshop this week where at least four people were disappointed with themselves for relegating their personal development to the bottom of their To-Do Lists. I encouraged them to return to work after the workshop and start work by reflecting on what they had just learned and how to implement it into their lives – one step at a time.

Here’s what I know about reflection and how it’s so important for your learning and growth:

Learning from experience – Is one of our most powerful ways of growing if you apply reflection to it. When I was learning to be a coach my coach would FORCE me to follow the principles of each step of the Learning Cycle (David Kolb and Honey & Mumford) through. It really paid off as my learning became rounded and whole. Here are the four elements:

  • Have an experience
  • Review the experience
  • Conclude for the experience
  • Plan the next step

I realized that you don’t grow from the experience unless you pause to take time to reflect afterwards and apply what you have learned.

Many learning opportunities are lost each day because we have the experience and then do nothing with it except move onto another experience.

You need reflection to take an experience and understand it. Learning and growth in the moment will only happen if you allow a pause for reflection.  Experience alone won’t change your mindset or your approach to how you do things. It’s your understanding of that experience that creates a paradigm shift. If you stop to reflect, you give yourself some space to allow your understanding to catch up! This is so important for learning.

The power of pausing gives you time to think. I cannot emphasize enough the value of stepping out of the do-do of doing and creating some reflective space to think alone. Reflecting equals growing! I use Honey and Mumford’s four steps to create some good questions to generate some deeper thinking around any learning experience. Here’s what happens when you allow reflective practice into your life:

  1. It allows you to revaluate where you are now and re-connect to where you want to be. It gives you further insight into how to (or how not to!) get there.
  2. You have to slow down to speed up. Accelerated momentum towards your goal will happen if you schedule some time to reflect before moving on. Rushing from A to B to get things done might mean that you miss something significant because you are too focused on the finishing line and not on the growing to get there. Learning is left discarded along the way.
  3. Reflection allows your experience to percolate and true learning and growth catches up. You can understand the significance and tweak your approach or take corrective action for next time. In other words, you get to plan and apply it in readiness for your next experience.
  4. You get good at describing what happened and how to apply the new wisdom. This makes you a better mentor to others.
  5. Successful people build reflective practice into their daily lives. They schedule time to THINK as well as DO. Their doing is purposeful and effective because they have given themselves space to walk through their experiences, look at it from a different perspective and plan their next step.

Most people miss out on so much learning from their experiences because they don’t pause to reflect. They make the excuse that I haven’t got time to sit and ponder! I’m too busy! What they are really saying is that they haven’t got time to learn and grow.

To be successful in life it’s important to think and reflect as well as do. If you want to keep growing, you need to create reflective space into your life, where you can ask yourself some questions that generate understanding from the experiences that you are having!

Create some reflection time for yourself today!

 

When are you going to get started?

By , June 26, 2013 6:31 pm

someday word in wood type“Everything huge that I’ve ever achieved I started before I thought I was ready. I just did it scared and grew into it along the way!”

~ Elaine Bailey, Coach-Mentor, Author, International Speaker

In my role as a career strategist, I meet a lot of people who are settling and surviving in their current career while they are waiting and hoping for THAT DAY when they will get to do what they REALLY want to do.

I call this: “The Someday Syndrome!”

It looks like this:

“Someday…

…I’ll get my act together and start my own business.”

…I’ll do that course and get my qualification.”

…I’ll sign up for that Mastermind program because I know it will make all the difference to my success.”

…I’ll write that book.”

…I’ll change job and become a ……. I’ve always wanted to.”

SOMEDAY… Doesn’t exist.

It’s not real – It’s just an excuse you use to give yourself permission to stay stuck and settle where you are.

Someday is like an untethered kite blowing out of control in the wind. It holds your dream in suspended animation.

Someday has no deadline – it is infinite. Before you know it your life is over and that someday never came.

Here’s my question to you:

Instead of someday…Why not NOW?

Maybe you’re thinking that you’re not ready, perhaps this feels true? I know that if I’d waited to be ready, I’d still be working 9 to 5 in a Bank in  East Yorkshire, UK. It was safe and secure!

Are you waiting to be ready?

…You might be waiting your entire lifetime for the right time and you’ll never do it.

Most people aren’t prepared to invest in their someday.  So what they really want stays a dream. Someday comes at a price.

How much does someday cost?

This was a great question that one of my coaching clients asked me recently. I helped him break it down.

Doing what you want to do and living your dream involves personal investment.

It’s not just about gathering information, the hardest part is often implementation: taking the steps necessary to bring it to life. This will cost you time, commitment , attitude, and energy (even when you don’t feel like it). It can be hard work and yes, there may be a few sacrifices along the way.

One of the biggest obstacles of success is that we get in our own way. We lose the mental fight with our own laziness and ignorance when things feel too hard or difficult. We slip back to our comfort zone because it’s easier settle for what we already have.

For most people the price of success is too high. They prefer to settle for an easier life. They aren’t prepared to reach through their fears to find the courage to keep going and keep growing through change or take a few risks.

Here’s how I see it…

  • I only get one life. I owe it to myself to make the most of my days here and make each one count.
  • I dare to dream BIG and go deeper than I’ve ever gone.
  • I don’t always know how to do it, but I’ll do it anyway.
  • There will be days where I’ll challenge myself because I want to quit.
  • There will be days where I never knew that my life could be so beautiful.
  • I’m here to make a difference and I’m following my heart.
  • I’m committed to keep learning and growing and leading.
  • I’m honored to do what I do and blessed to notice that the work I’m doing affects the lives of those I serve in such a positive way.

Doing what you want to do has its ups and downs like everything in life. It may take more time and effort than you anticipated.

But the pay off is huge…

It changes your life from deep within. You feel more alive and the returns on you, your family and the people you serve are even bigger than you would even begin to imagine.

“Nobody ever got ready by waiting. You only get ready by starting.”
~
John Maxwell.

 

How are you getting ready?

 

Why You Have to Take Consistent Action if You want to be Successful…

By , May 29, 2013 4:37 pm

Working businesswoman“Motivation is one thing – Keeping momentum is another. To Keep Growing YOU have to Keep Going!”

~ Elaine Bailey, Coach-Mentor, Author and Speaker

I first started writing blog posts in 2009. I was initially scared to put myself out there. But I made a commitment to write and post an article EVERY week.  I have posted EVERY week since I started, no matter what was going on in my busy life. I showed up, did the work and made it happen. I’m disciplined and consistent in my approach to writing.

It has paid off. My results have far exceeded my original goal: I’ve been invited on numerous radio interviews, published in English Textbooks, written chapters in books, spoken from the stage, and been given a scholarship to write my own book! These articles have also connected me to new coaching clients and corporate contracts.

What did I do to get all this?

…I showed up consistently and did the work!

It doesn’t matter how good you have been in the past, how talented you are or how many amazing opportunities are coming you way in the future…

Your performance is linked to discipline.

Consistency is the key to continued growth and achievement of your goals in whatever you want to achieve.

If you are inconsistent with your progress, you’ll do things when it’s convenient or when you remember and you’ll get inconsistent results. You’ll fall short of your desired results.

Other people will see your inconsistency. This will affect their perception of you and it could negatively affect your ability with clients or your chances of a promotion because:

“How you do anything is how you do EVERYTHING!”

 ~ Christine Kane, Mentor and Speaker

People sometimes come to me for coaching because they have mastered the job, but not mastered themselves. They come with their success stories of how awesome they’ve been in the past, but can’t understand why it’s not happening for them NOW.

Personal growth requires two things:

  • Work mastery
  • Self mastery

Knowing the work isn’t enough. You have to know yourself too to create habits that consistently set you up for success…

Your future success relies on your personal growth – you have to keep growing!

How to create consistency:

PURPOSE

You might start with a clear purpose and know what you want to achieve. Personal motivation and enthusiasm usually kick starts you into action.

Motivation is what gets you going. This alone won’t keep you growing because it can soon disappear once things start to get harder.  When this happens you have to dig deeper for your WHY and re-connect to your purpose to keep your motivation alive.

The more you understand WHY you want to do this, the more you are tuned in to your purpose, dedicated to growing towards it, and the greater your chances of success.

Know what motivates you and play to your motivational strengths when you’re stepping up to do the work each day (I motivate myself with a treat such as a walk when I’ve finished writing).

Get clear and then keep reconnecting to your purpose.

PROGRESS

If you are inconsistent with your progress you’ll probably become impatient, you’ll make excuses and your motivation will be replaced with resistance and discouragement. It’s easy to let your good intentions slip or give up altogether.

  • Begin from where you are and start with the basics.
  • To gain momentum and increase motivation you need to break down big goals into small action steps that are doable.
  • Focus on one step, then the next.
  • Show up EVERY day – whether you feel like it or not.
  • Consistency is the path that leads you from an idea/goal to your outcomes and results. Walk this path daily – make it a habit.

These small incremental steps guided by discipline are what keeps momentum flowing and leads to great things! Little and often is the key.

Successful people show up and do the tedious work when it needs to be done.

Getting into the habit of working through what needs to be done. You may not enjoy doing every aspect, but every step takes you closer to your outcome.

Find away to value the process. Appreciate every moment of the journey.

PERFORMANCE

A common mistake is to attempt too much too soon in your haste to race to the finishing line.  This affects your performance and your results fall short of your desired outcomes.

Be conscious of your performance and keep checking in on how you are doing and what you still need to learn. Believe me – you’re never done!

Feedback is a great tool. What are people saying about the work you’re doing? What do you need to stop doing?

It’s okay to do things imperfectly and learn as you grow.

Being consistent isn’t always easy. You have to learn and lean into it and make it part of your daily or weekly routine.

Where do you need to be more disciplined in your life?

 

Do you struggle with how long things seem to take?

By , April 24, 2013 6:59 pm

iStock_000009447353Small“Infinite patience brings immediate results.”

- A Course in Miracles

Every summer holiday when I was a kid my Mum and Dad would take us to the seaside. We LOVED it! It was the highlight of the school holidays.

Being on the beach was so much fun. Driving to the beach, though, was a different story! My Brother and I dreaded the journey because it was tedious and boring. We sat in the back winding each other up and usually after only five minutes of travelling we’d grow impatient and repeatedly ask: ‘Are we there yet?!’ This trip always seemed to take forever. It was so frustratingly slow in our anticipation of being able to play on the beach!

Some of my coaching clients struggle because they want it all – NOW. During our first session they want the answer to EVERYTHING so they can just run a successful business or just get promoted into that leadership position.

“Give me the information, the tactics and I’ll rush in and get on with it!”

We live in a fast-paced world where everything is needed NOW! So there’s a lot of pressure on getting instant results – quick fixes – making money fast!

I saw this recently when coaching people in a modular business program. Two clients wanted all the content at the beginning instead of working through the program a module at a time in order to build a firm foundation. There is a difference between racing and pacing your way to success. Yet our impatience gets in the way.

As my mentor taught me: “It’s not just about information, it’s about implementation.”

Building a successful, sustainable business or becoming an effective leader takes time. You have to build the knowledge, skills and gain experience. Sometimes you need to start by creating a firm foundation and then experiencing things. It’s about creating consistent action and understanding the depth and breadth of what you are learning.

In our haste to be successful we create urgency and pressure to get it all done as quickly as possible. Racing to tick all the boxes doesn’t guarantee a successful outcome – you are missing the depth and breadth of understanding and connection along the way. This urgency gets in the way and blocks your progress.

Here’s the thing…

There is no destination… you’ll never be done! Your work isn’t about trying to get somewhere – it’s about being somewhere right now in every moment. I’ve noticed that sometimes the faster a person wants to zip through things the slower they actually move. They miss out on the experience and other messy stuff! Which is a huge part of being a leader or running a business.

They get bogged down in frustration, overwhelm and beat themselves up for not being successful. Instead of focusing on their current experience right now. It’s those little steps – one after the other – that creates momentum and ultimately completion. This can’t be taught – it has to be experienced.

If you just want to get the work over with in order to achieve your goal, then I guarantee it’ll be hard work, tedious and dull (like sitting in the back of the car with my Brother on the way to the beach!).

1. Take a deep breath – Breathe! This helps you to create a circuit breaker from your current thinking. Focus on your breathing and take your attention away from your frustration and urgency. Create some breathing space.

2.  Recognise and then let go of any anger or frustration or judgments – notice them but decide that they don’t drive you. You get to choose your thinking. Look out for any resistance and let go of old stories and doubts that no longer serve you – they are not the truth. Rushing ahead isn’t always a good strategy; it’s not about ticking boxes and getting stuff done.

3. Be fully present in the moment – This moment! Focus on the scenery along the journey, not just the end goal or the length of the journey you have to take. Savor the moment. Take time to enjoy what you’re doing. This will dissolve any anxiety and boredom and neutralize tedium. When YOU show up so does everything else (trust me on this one!).

4. Keep it simple – Focus on one thing and do it well. Break things down into small doable tasks and do them one step at a time. Where you place your attention is EVERYTHING! Attention creates your experience and connection with the one thing you’re doing right now in this moment. Have fun with it. Protect your attention from any BSO’s (Bright Shiny Objects).

5. Slow down to speed up – Create the right pace for yourself. Stay grounded and re-align yourself to where you are now and check in on where you want to be. Focus on reality and know that completing the ordinary stuff makes a difference because you’re creating momentum and completion through implementation. Things are more joyful when you slow down and stop trying to kill yourself!

For me, success is all about your thinking. You are what you focus on. Choose to move away from frustration and impatience instead of rolling your eyes at how long things will take to get done!

 

5 Reasons WHY You Can’t Get Things Done…(…And how to deal with them!)

By , March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

iStock_000012995878SmallThe No. 1 common challenge for many of my coaching clients is the problem of getting things done!

Most of us have been on numerous time management workshops and read books on the subject. We know what we should do, but we still can’t seem to apply the strategy consistently.

Having the tools, processes or strategy is one thing…Setting your thinking and programming your inner dialogue for success is another!

Here are the top five reasons for not getting things done that I’ve experienced when coaching and training my clients (Oh! And I’ve observed a few of them in myself too!):

Overcomplicating things – It’s easy to become overwhelmed and create a complex strategy for something that is relatively simple. If you have too much to remember: doing this, not doing that and worrying about the other, then you become anxious and worn out and nothing gets done. You’ll look for other distractions.

You keep a complex plan in your head – You add to the problem by trying to keep a complex plan in your head. Relying on your brain as a storage device to remember EVERYTHING doesn’t work! Have you ever thought you’d remember stuff, then when you’ve gone back to it later, you can’t remember the detail and have to start all over again?

“I’m just not very organized…” This label is an excuse to give you permission to stay stuck. The reality is that you are VERY organized at being UNORGANIZED: You are following entrenched old habits and patterns. They just take you to a negative outcome. You’re just organizing the wrong things! See the pattern here? You may feel out of control, perhaps your emotions have taken over.

Quality of your inner dialogue – If I say to you: ‘Don’t think of the colour blue…’ What do you do first? You think of blue before you decide not to think about it! So if you’re saying to yourself: ‘I mustn’t forget to…’ you are programming yourself to forget! This is known as a bad command in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms. If you repeat this to yourself, you are likely to forget! You are focusing on forgetting rather than remembering!

You are too busy to think about it – You are stuck in the ‘do-do’ of doing and don’t take time to think something through to decide how you might do it differently. You wallow in procrastination. Thinking seems too easy to do so you resist or you perceive that it’s not a valuable use of time.

Here are some potential solutions:

1. Clear out the mental clutter – You can over-plan and over-strategize. So step back and get rid of the clutter. You might have far too many steps in the process, or you’re going into too much detail.

  • Lighten the load by simplifying your process.
  • Place high value on simplicity!
  • Look for an easier route. You have to choose the right strategy for the situation.

2. Get out of your own way – Are you fighting with yourself, getting caught up in drama and creating feelings that are sabotaging your progress? Notice what is going on inside – write it down. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself.

  • Become organized at being organized!
  • What needs to change?
  • What would being organized look like for you?
  • Lose the label and dump the excuse of being unorganized.

You can do this!

3. Change your language – Listen to your inner dialogue. Are you giving yourself bad commands? Remember if you’re saying to yourself: ‘Don’t forget to call Jenny.’ You are actually saying: ‘Forget to call Jenny.’ You are more likely to forget! Change the quality of your inner dialogue by turning it around to something like: ‘I will remember to phone Jenny today.’ Give yourself commands in a positive way.

4. Make time to think it through – Allow thinking time! Use visualization as a tool to set your mind for success. See yourself making the call to Jenny:

  • What are you saying?
  • When are you calling her?
  • Walk this through in your mind several times.
  • Then take action straight away to make it happen.
  • Make a post-it note and keep it in sight so this call is your mental radar today.

You are re-training your brain to get things done. Simple strategies work well. Think simple!

5. Attitude changes everything – To change your thinking you need to change your perspective towards the situation. The situation IS the situation, it doesn’t change – you are wherever you are right now. If you know that this is something you should do, then change your attitude towards it. This is what is holding you back.

  • What would it be like to be in control or on top of this situation?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you saying?
  • How are you acting?
  • How will you feel when you’ve completed it?
  • What difference will it make?

Having a coach can help take responsibility for getting things done.

Clear out the rubbish in your current strategies for getting things done, stop fighting yourself, listening to your negative inner dialogue, and getting lost in the mountain of steps in your process.

Simplicity is everything! Look for a more effortless path and don’t be so hard on yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

Success Needs a System – Here’s How to Create Yours!

By , February 20, 2013 5:01 pm

We all have ideas right?

Some of us have LOADS of them!

You may see yourself as an Ideas Person. Ideas just pop out of your mind all the time and it’s hard to keep track of them all. You feel like you might burst with excitement! But how many ideas actually leave your mind and make it into the real world?

Many of our ideas float around like untethered kites and never crystallize into anything tangible. The latest idea just becomes another distraction as you continue generating more and more of them. They stack up in a holding pattern waiting to come in to land. This stack can become exhausting and overwhelming because you don’t know where to start or what to do with them all.

I often coach creative clients who have loads of ideas. Every coaching session, they arrive with another one (yes… I’m guilty of this sometimes too – you ask my mentor!). And of course, this latest idea is the best one yet! …Until, the next idea comes along a few days later! Months can be wasted dreaming but nothing ever gets done. There’s no action, there’s just the next idea coming along…

 

IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          IDEA          Another IDEA

 

If this sounds like you, then you need a formula to create some momentum…

Without a having a system it’s difficult to take an idea and make it happen (even the good ones).

I’ve learned that there are three elements to taking an idea an making it real:

Your idea needs to become grounded if you want to give it a chance of becoming reality.   Creating a system or process helps you to take your idea and plan HOW to create some momentum. You then need to take specific action to make it real.

Here are a few tips around each of these elements:

IDEA

I’ve sat in daylong leadership strategy meetings where loads of ideas are shared and everyone is very excited and enthusiastic. A year later the same ideas are still being talked about, because nothing happened in between.

We often see the IDEA as the sexy exciting bit because it’s fun being creative. There’s nothing quite like that adrenalin rush when you think you’re on to something new and great!

Get clear about your idea understand WHY you want to make it real.

Sometimes we stop at the idea stage because we’re frightened to take the next step and make it happen. If you don’t start then it can’t fail, because you didn’t have to try. Your idea needs your energy and belief if it’s going to germinate into reality. You have to take a few risks and step out of your comfort zone and do some things scared.

SYSTEM

For an Ideas Person, the SYSTEM bit is the painful process of planning and working out how it’s all going to happen.

For some of us planning, thinking it through and then creating a stepped process to make it work is the tedious bit… YAWN!

Why?

Because it involves sitting down and working it out a step at a time. THIS STAGE is hugely important because it’s the difference between your idea staying just a dream or becoming real…

Creating a system/process for implementing your idea will save you a lot of time and energy. Get some help from someone who can help you create a framework for what you need to do if this is not your GENIUS work!

Here are a few tips:

  • Create an Ideas Book if you’re always having loads of ideas. Write each one down in a paragraph as you think it.
  • Re-visit your book every one-two weeks to re-read each idea and cross out any that no longer feel like they are do-able or ‘have legs’.
  • Schedule time to take your idea and break it down into doable steps.
  • See your idea as the vision and the system as your tactical plan:
    • What tactics you will employ to make it happen?
    • What’s specifically involved in making this become real?
    • What individual steps need to be taken?
    • Who else needs to be involved?
    • When to you need to do it?
    • Where will it happen?

Work backwards on a timeline to identify some milestone dates and will help you to break down what needs to be done. Remember, big things are done in small chunks! Breaking it down will make it doable.

Creating a framework and then working through a process gives you clarity and direction. It helps you to feel more confident and in control.

ACTION

This is where the rubber hits the road. You have to actually show up and do the work! Just talking about it doesn’t make things happen – You have to DO it!

  • Schedule small pockets of time in your calendar and take one step at a time.
  • Commit to making it happen
  • If you decide to delegate or outsource part of the work then you’ll need to commit being responsible for leading them to do a great job. There is a difference between delegation and abdication!

Take conscious, deliberate action regularly and this will help you to create momentum towards your outcome. Building momentum will encourage you to keep taking action, as you move towards your goal. You’ll also start to feel a sense of completion.

Review your progress regularly, so you can tweak and modify your plan if necessary.

If you have an idea that you want to bring into the world, always create a system for it and plan ahead for its arrival!

Success needs a system – EVERY TIME!

 

Why Learning New Behaviour Can Feel Like Hard Work!

By , December 19, 2012 7:38 pm

Even though I travel to the States regularly, I still have to concentrate when doing some of the simple things like crossing the road or driving a car when I’m over there.

Stepping off the sidewalk and looking right for oncoming traffic… isn’t a good idea in the USA… because they drive on the right!

Something so simple can make me feel stupid, especially when I keep catching myself looking the wrong way! Duh! I just get the hang of it and then I fly home again!

Here’s what’s going on…

Whenever I cross the road I’m operating from my internal map that applies to the UK, one that was conditioned in me as a child: Look right, then left, then right again!” In the UK this works well but it could be potentially dangerous for me when I’m in the USA. So I have to consciously supervise my behaviour when I’m over there, because I’m not in the habit of looking the opposite way.

During our life we create systems for virtually everything that we do. Many of these become deeply engrained habits and patterns: We don’t have to think about what to do – we just unconsciously do it.

Do you remember what it was like learning to drive? All those things to do at the same time!! You had to consciously self-supervise your behaviour to be able to drive. It took so much effort and concentration.

Once you’ve mastered something you no longer have to focus your attention on your behaviour – you just get in the car and drive! Your behaviour is automatic once you’ve mastered the capability and acquired the confidence to do it.

Transition isn’t always easy…

Change involves us stepping away from what we know and feel comfortable with. And if you’re transitioning into a new role, playing a bigger game or wanting to show up differently in your life, this can feel huge…

I train Leading Through Change workshops and it’s common for people to associate change with negative words such as uncertainty, pain, loss, suspicion, worry, and self-doubt. It makes us feel disorientated and threatened as we cling to the past, holding on to what remains of our comfort zone because the future feels scary.

Change can also bring possibility, expansion, opportunity, excitement, and growth (both personally and professionally). It’s also a natural element of life – we are ever changing and in constant flow from the moment we are born to the moment we die (and possibly beyond!).

One of my clients was surprised recently about how exhausting change is! He was having an internal battle between his head and heart: His head was getting tired of all the consistent hard work,  but his heart wanted to remain true to WHY he was wanting to change.

Creating sustainable change is often about unlearning automatic behaviours that no longer serve you and replacing them with new ones that help you to be more successful.

If you want to learn a new behaviour or replace an old one, then you have to:

1. Identify the specific behaviour you want to change. Understand WHY you want to change it.

2. Focus your attention on that behaviour so you can start to recognize when it shows up because energy flows where attentions goes!

3. Become a student of you by observing and reflecting on your progress and notice the change in your behaviour as you develop. Become consciously aware of your self in the moment.

4. Be a supervisor of YOU by being deliberate and replacing the old behaviour with a new one. Employ conscious self-control – this is also known as self-supervision. This is the bit that is often exhausting because you have to keep checking in on yourself.

5. Give yourself permission to do things badly at first. It can take time get the hang of things. Be consistent and keep trying, even if it feels hard or you don’t feel like it. Persistence is a great tool – you’ll improve with practice.

6. Pace yourself with the change. Catching yourself in the moment can be exhausting work because you have to constantly think about what you’re doing. When you’re tired, it’s harder to be persistent because as things become more difficult, you resist. It’s a bit like lifting weights at the gym: The first attempt is easy and then it progressively gets harder as your muscles tire, until you can’t lift it anymore.

7. Self-control isn’t always a sustainable resource. Sometimes you need to take a break and rest. Otherwise the voice in your head starts complaining that it’s too hard; I’m crap at this! – and the self-supervisor lets go of the reins because your head and heart are not in congruence.

Just know that behavioural change can be exhausting work because you have to employ extra energy in the form of self-supervision to keep a check on all the new things you’re trying to do. It might be controlling your emotions in a meeting, managing the impression we’re making on others, handling nerves, or focusing on a new way of doing something – Whatever the situation, you’ll feel the need to supervise your behaviour.

 

 

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