Category: Self awareness

How to Stop Being AVERAGE – Develop YOUR own Potential

By , June 6, 2013 2:32 am

Road to Nowhere“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”

~ Abraham Maslow, psychologist

Did you know that most of us only use a small percentage of our ability and never reach our full potential? We settle for an average life, take average jobs with little desire to stretch out of our comfort zones to explore our own potential beyond our default position. We often fall into our careers and wait for things to happen to us rather than shaping and making it happen for ourselves.

We make excuses to justify why we didn’t make more of ourselves: The time wasn’t right, I didn’t have the money or the opportunity never presented itself. We believe our story and settle into patterns and habits, doing the same things with the same people and the years roll by. Rinse and repeat. Until one day you’re looking in the mirror at an old, tired person and saying to yourself: “What the hell am I doing with my life?!”

We are taught to blend in and follow the path of least resistance. While average feels safe it can also create a sense of unfulfillment – is this all there is? You are dissatisfied with your life or work, but can’t really articulate why.

Have you ever felt dissatisfied and wondered why things haven’t worked out the way you’d hoped? There’s a lot of pressure to follow the status quo. It’s easier to blend in with those around us, using them as pacesetters for our own life.

Here’s how my clients describe what average feels like to them:

  • Plodding along
  • Just getting on with it
  • Mediocre
  • Numb and dull
  • No balls (sorry!) to stand up and do something different
  • Passing the time away
  • Waiting for something to happen
  • Checking out and being lazy
  • Stuck in a rut
  • I should do something about it
  • Maybe next year when… (Insert your own excuse here)

Personally, I’ve never wanted to be average at anything. When I worked in a bank NO ONE wanted an average appraisal. Average meant that you were written off; you had limited value and potential.

My own life continues to be full of stretching and reaching for a new normal, both in my professional and personal life. You have to create some tension to move out of your comfort zone and into uncharted territory if you want to create a new experience and a new normal for yourself. Sometimes it’s scary too.

Creating tension is what gets you going!

Here’s how…

It’s easy to stay where you are rather than to change and take a risk to become something different. The gap between the two seems wide and scary.

It’s a bit like having a back massage, when the masseur finds a knot… they have to apply some tension to increase the flow and flexibility of soft tissues and joints (…and getting rid of all those ‘knotty bits’). You have to do the same if you want to change.

It’s ALL about choice…

Here’s how to step away from average…

Where do you want to stretch? What areas of your life would you like to stretch and create some growth tension just now? How is NOT doing this making you feel? Where are you falling short of your potential?

What’s stopping you? Write down all the reasons WHY you’ve settled for the status quo. What excuses are you using to stay stuck? How are you getting in your own way? What is the story you are currently telling yourself? Re-write your story looking for a positive place to start.

Find the courage. Build your fire within and find the courage to push through your comfort zone – to break through your current mediocre mindset. Let go of things that no longer serve you, step away from the familiar and leave it behind. Explore the unknown and take a few risks if you want to change and grow. This is what life is all about (get a coach to help you)!

Embrace the tension. Lean into feeling uncomfortable. Recognize your growing pains and become your own masseur! It’s challenging to change and you will feel some resistance. Keep growing through it. Remember that any obstacles are the raw materials for your solutions. Create forward motion – don’t cling to the past. Take action in the present and begin to shape your own future today.

Keep growing! If you stop learning, you stop living. You become mentally and spiritually inactive. It’s like you die on the inside. Be curious! Looking forward and taking consistent action will fill you with energy. Create a strategy. It’s the small incremental things that you do each day that make a difference. Don’t take the foot off the gas when you’ve tasted success… Dream Big and go deep!

It’s your life!

Keep Going…Keep Flowing…Keep Growing!

 

 

How to Manage (and Grow Through) Bad Experiences

By , May 22, 2013 5:41 pm

iStock_000006322263Small“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.”

~ Virginia Satir

Life is messy and uncomfortable at times. Things don’t always go to plan. We encounter bad experiences as well as good ones.

For example, you might get criticism from someone that makes you feel raw and vulnerable. The pain feels so real it hurts you to the core. Perhaps you can’t let go of it in your mind, you keep replaying it over and over.

When you’re stuck in the middle of a problem it’s hard to see it as an opportunity. It’s easy to wallow, say woe is me and keep replaying the story of just how bad things really are. You may react to the situation in one of the following ways:

  • Explode with anger
  • Get frustrated
  • Shrink inside yourself
  • Get caught in the drama (…and jump on the pity bus!)
  • Ignore it
  • Cry
  • Blame someone else
  • Freak out and panic
  • Become anxious and obsessed with worry
  • Fear (of failure or being exposed)
  • Discouraged and want to quit
  • Want to run away, change your name and start again!

Why do we react this way?

…Because the pain feels so real, it makes you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, and if you give it power then it will stop you dead in your tracks.

I came across this quote recently:

“Every problem introduces a person to himself.” ~ John McDonnell.

I LOVE this because I believe whatever you are going through in your life you ALWAYS have the opportunity to grow through it and from it. Every experience unlocks a little more about who you are and how you show up in the world.

Here’s how I see it…

It’s ALL about your attitude towards the situation and how you manage it and pain it creates.

Let me explain some more…

Pain is a great teacher – The pain that you feel when something goes wrong teaches you about where you are just now and who you are in that moment. It’s like looking at yourself through a mirror – It’s a gateway to a deeper level of self-awareness.  If you can hold up a mirror (or have a coach hold it up for you) there are some great lessons to be learned. How you handle the experience you are having defines whom you become and influences the ultimate outcome.

You are NOT alone – The truth is that life is messy! Yes! Shit happens! Life is full of ups and downs. We all experience both negative and positive times. You can’t avoid it – It’s just a natural part of life and an essential part of being human. No one enjoys or wants to have a bad experience. Know that this moment will pass and you will move through it and beyond it.

Lead your way through – How we handle the problem defines us and determines whether we settle and survive or create and thrive in our lives. You have two choices here: 1) Allow it to hold you back and limit you OR 2) Allow yourself to learn through it and grow. People who are successful often talk about a difficult time and how this was the pivotal moment on their development.

Own it don’t deflect it – Don’t become the victim: woe is me! Take responsibility for moving through and making change. Some people cling on to their story replaying it for everyone to hear. It becomes their excuse for staying stuck. Look for the opportunity in every situation.

Reframe the situation – As a coach, I constantly work with clients who have setbacks and negative experiences. My role is to help them reframe their problems and transition through their pain using it as a catalyst for success. How can you use this situation to unlock your creativity and find a solution? Here are a few prompts:

  • What is the problem?
  • What am I currently thinking about it?
  • How does it make me feel (what emotions are associated with it?)?
  • What am I learning?
  • What do I want the outcome to be?
  • What options are available to me?
  • What support do I need from others?
  • What’s your first step?

Remember there is no destination. Start from where you are right now and see every experience (good or bad) as a place where you can make positive change and growth.

“Keep Going – Keep Flowing – Keep Growing!”

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!

 

 

 

 

 

How to be YOURSELF – Even when talking to important people!

By , February 27, 2013 2:34 am

Be Yourself“Leadership is not about holding on to territory, it’s about letting go of ego, bringing your spirit to work, being your best and most authentic self.”

~ James A Autry, The Servant Leader

Why are people sometimes so afraid to be themselves?

One of the key principles of self-leadership is the importance of being you.

However, some of us hide who we really are and instead present an image of how we think the other person wants us to behave in the hope that we will be accepted or liked.

I see this happen a lot in business, especially when leaders are stepping out of their comfort zones to play a bigger game. In corporate you might be attending a meeting with senior managers. As a business owner, you might be meeting an influential client or someone who is a role model and you feel star-struck to work with them.

Whoever the person, it’s easy for us to feel small, unworthy, inferior, or of lesser value. We perceive them as being so much more important and fall to pieces in these situations instead of being our normal, confident and articulate self…

Our internal thinking has a huge impact on our confidence and self worth. Our social and parental conditioning is against us being authentic and over time we have created rules, such as:

  • It is disrespectful to disagree with our elders, seniors or those more important than us.
  • Only speak when you are spoken to: We are taught what to say, when to say it.
  • Who you are is shaped by those who have influence over you. (You hand over your power to them.)
  • Don’t brag about what you’re good at as it might make other people feel uncomfortable. Push it down… (This is why most of us struggle to talk about our own successes.)
  • You have to be submissive with people more important that you.

Society creates ‘norms’ and we measure ourselves to them. We are under pressure to fit in. So here’s how we respond:

  • You want to keep the peace and hope they like you. So you say what you think they want to hear in order to become a people-pleaser.
  • You believe that your opinion is of lesser value and doesn’t count or it doesn’t matter. You perceive the other person’s opinion is of far greater value.
  • If you challenge or disagree with something, then you’ll be shot down or seen as difficult or negative.
  • You should keep your head below the parapet and blend in.

We live up in our heads most of the time, believing our thoughts to be the truth (you literally are what you think!).

Most of us go through life not knowing who we are or what we want. We settle, survive and keep our heads down. This is easier than trying to be yourself. Being real exposes you to vulnerability and judgment – this is scary.

The perception that someone is more important than you is often based on old concepts of power, especially in business. We try to work out where we fit in in the hierarchy.

True power comes from your personal power as a human being. By building trust and support you naturally attract other people.

Here are some tips on how to be you:

1. STOP WORRYING about what other people are thinking about you. You have no idea what they are thinking. These assumptions aren’t real. They are probably not thinking about you at all! This distraction only makes you get your own way of success. Instead of worrying about what to say, or how you look, focus on your intention for the meeting. Be 100% present for the person who is talking.

2. KNOW YOUR VALUE – Be useful as a leader to those you serve. Know WHY you’re attending the meeting.  Understand the value that you bring. You are there to provide information or  expertise so that others can make an informed decision. You are helping them to understand and make sense of things and prevent them making mistakes: Here’s how I can help you…

3. BE AN EQUAL –As human beings we all have the same worth and dignity. We are all equals no matter what role we play. See yourself as a consultant, not as a sub-ordinate. Let go of ego (theirs and yours) – it’s a distraction. Understand that some personality styles are different to yours. They package their language in a different way. It’s normal, not personal.

4. ALWAYS BE YOUR REAL SELF – Be the same person at home as you are at work… because you are! Be your authentic self – It’s who you really are. You have the same values whatever role you are playing. You already know how to interact with people at other levels – This is no different – Just be YOU. Find the language to help you say what you want to say.

5. FIND THE COURAGE to be you. Learn to listen to your heart as well as your head. People want an honest opinion, not ‘lip service.’ Be authentic and respond assertively, even if it is a difficult message. Remember, you are just talking to another person – we are all the same.

Be the person YOU want to be… from today!

It’s really okay to be YOU – Take yourself to work!

 

Do You Know Your Own Value?

By , February 6, 2013 8:33 pm

“Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that their price is too high when, in reality, the value communicated is too low.”

 ~ Seth Godin, The Bootstrapper’s Bible.

While this quotation focuses on entrepreneurs, I think it’s safe to say that most of us aren’t good at knowing or promoting our own value at work or in our lives.

Most of us don’t know how to market ourselves to others and it’s easy for our strengths and talents to become the best-kept secret in the organization we work for or the business that we’re trying to create. If you’re a business owner, you’re charging less than you should. If you work in corporate, you might be waiting in the shadows hoping that your boss (or someone else) will notice you.

I’ve met leaders and business owners who have amazing talent doing the work that they love. I’ve listened to them play down their own value and dismiss their work almost trying to convince me that they’re not really THAT good or they are just ‘lucky.’

Because what you do is easy to you, doesn’t mean that it’s easy for others. I’ve worked with clients who have felt guilty about doing work that they love and are passionate about. Isn’t work supposed to be hard?

There’s no guilt associated with being on purpose and sharing your brilliance with the world. I see it as your true purpose for being here!

I think some of the challenges around knowing and leveraging our value is cultural. We are taught to play things down because we’re frightened to appear pushy, sound desperate or ‘full of ourselves.’ Our early conditioning might teach us: Don’t stand out – Blend in. So instead, we learn to hide our light and keep our true value a secret locked inside.

Here’s how I see it…

To be successful you have to own your value and brilliance and learn how to communicate it authentically to others.

The most important part of knowing your value is getting out of your own way!

The voice in our head warns us against promoting our value with others because we feel like we are selling ourselves!

This is not true…

You are selling a solution, a different approach, an experience or your expertise and advice. You are providing benefit to others to help them move forward, make change or achieve a successful outcome.

People perceive the value of others directly from the benefits that they can receive from working with them. Think about someone you admire or perceive to have value. What difference have they made to you? For example, they helped you to see something that helped you to be more successful in a situation.

It’s true that you often see a glimpse of your value mirrored back in the gratitude from the people you are helping or serving. I know that over the years my clients have taught me my value, through feedback and gratitude. This is a gift and not something to be pushed aside quickly because we’re too embarrassed to hear it.

My mentor taught me to listen to this feedback and TAKE IT IN…

This helps you to see your value through the lens of others. You start to believe in yourself and get out of your own (Ego’s) way! This is a great gift from those who we serve.

Sometimes it’s hard to know how to value our work, or how to charge people.

Here are a few places to start…

Know your strengths – What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Take time to get to really know yourself. Make a list of things that you’re good at – Don’t hold back now! Ask other people to share their observations of your strengths. Start to see yourself in the feedback and gratitude that people share with you. Own it! A great book to get you thinking about your strengths is StrengthFinder 2.0 

You bring more than your credentials – Qualifications can sometimes be important in your work. But it’s not just having the qualification – It’s the application of it! You also bring a combination of your unique experience in the world. In other words, you bring everything you are to your work. One of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with has no coaching credentials. She brings an abundance of experience, intuition, authenticity, passion, and results. She lives what she teaches. This cannot be learned in a classroom. This is life experience!

Share your strengths with others – Walk in your power and own your brilliance. It’s a waste NOT to use the unique gifts you have been given. Through using them you are helping others to be more successful. If they don’t know about your strengths, they won’t be able to find you. You are providing a valuable service by letting others know what you have to offer. You’re helping them get clear and make a decision.  People who stand in their power share why they love what they do… they don’t try to tell you why YOU should love it!

Set your thinking for success – You are what you think and your value and your pricing reflects this to the outside world. So others pay you a reflection of what you think of yourself. Your playing small could be limiting your beliefs and holding you back from promotion or diminishing your value and stopping you charging what you are worth. People who admire you (and a great coach) can help you to see your value in yourself.

I have value do you want some? Remember that you are providing solutions for others, giving them hope, so they can be more successful. You’re helping them achieve more by communicating what you do and offering to help. Validate your gifts and stop playing small. Practice how you communicate this and your message will become stronger and clearer. You are doing a dis-service to others by not sharing what you can help them with.

What value are you sharing with the world?

Are You Challenging Your Coaching Clients Enough?

By , January 16, 2013 10:42 pm

 “Effective coaching is about challenging assumptions, examining habits, overcoming barriers, and embedding change.”

~ John Blakey & Ian Day – Authors – Challenging Coaching – http://challengingcoaching.co.uk/

 

A few of my professional coaching friends and I were talking recently about a common coaching challenge:

Why do some coaches shy away from holding up the mirror to show a coachee something that they might not want to see and may be avoiding about themselves?

Have you ever finished coaching someone and then wished that you’d been more direct during the session because you recognised the core issue was but too scared to give feedback or challenge them? So the issue takes up space and is not dealt with directly.

One of the common disappointments about coaching is that the coachee isn’t challenged enough by their coach (according to my Masters Research).

Sometimes coaches need to move beyond supporting to give feedback and challenge their coachee to move to a deeper level of self-awareness, helping them to be more accountable. This is hugely important if the coachee wants to break through blockages to achieve their goals.

The coachee may be following a textbook of what they need to do in terms of a step strategy for their business or how to lead a team, but they are still not getting the results. Things aren’t working.

Getting great results is not just about the knowing WHAT needs to be done… it’s also about HOW you do things.

Your coachee might be following the process and doing everything right, however, it is their personality or behavioral traits that are actually holding them back. For example, they might be overplaying a strength and getting in their own way of success.

I call this the Human Factor – how you show up and interact with others is so important. Yet this can be the one thing that stops you getting clients or commitment from your team. It’s also a difficult and sensitive area to coach.

Of course, no one wants to hear that their own behavior is pushing clients away or upsetting their team. Especially when they are trying so hard to make things work…

But who’s going to want to tell you that your behavior is stopping you from getting clients or from effectively influencing your team??  Some coaches are too frightened of upsetting you. After all coaches are meant to be supportive right?? And giving this kind of feedback doesn’t feel supportive.

Here’s the thing…

Whether you coach people for performance as a leader in an organization or you run your own coaching business, you’ve probably learned to coach from a traditional supportive stance. Most coaching books heavily focus on this approach for success.

I agree that being supportive is important for building trust, respect, developing rapport and for creating a safe environment to grow. This environment enables individuals disclose their private thoughts and feelings and develop their self-awareness.

Sometimes being supportive isn’t enough and you need to help your clients reach a deeper level of thinking that takes them out of their comfort zone, holds them accountable, makes them face those issues and roadblocks and take risks to courageously achieve their goals.

Great coaches intuitively know how to challenge and hold the tension until the pressure point is opened up and resolved. It’s like when having a back massage, you feel the tension of the masseur applying some pressure to a specific point, then they hold exactly the right amount of tension waiting for those knotty bits to move (I’m sure there’s a technical term for this!). It almost feels painful, but the relief releasing those knots is worth all the discomfort!

It’s the same with deep coaching…

As a coach, you have to be okay with challenging and pushing self-awareness to a deeper level for your coachee. You hold up the mirror and apply tension through feedback, challenging them to be accountable and take them out of their comfort zone into what Cranfield Business School calls the ZOUD (Zone Of Uncomfortable Debate) so you can get to the core of the issue and resolve it.

Applying and holding tension isn’t always pretty because you are creating discomfort. It might initially create a reaction of tears, anger, anxiety, worry or the coachee may feel tense and stressed.

Intuitively you need to recognize this and apply your supportive coaching skills to re-create a balance, by tapping into their feelings, taking a breath and re-grouping before stepping back into the ZOUD and working through it together. You have to believe that this will lead to a breakthrough for your coachee and provide positive supporting skills to face rather than avoid the issue. This can be a challenge for you as the coach to stay in your power and push further than before.

Working through the knotty-bits can take time, but the release of pressure and clearing the block can create transformational shifts for your coachee.

Staying stuck in a solely supportive style doesn’t deliver the full potential of coaching for your coachee. Going deeper has a much greater impact -increasing self-awareness and creating upleveled performance and results.

I ALWAYS want my coach to challenge me so I can live outside of my comfort zone.

If you coach people – Are YOU challenging them enough?

 

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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