About those times when no matter all rationalization, commitment and hard work doubt creeps in and we feel stuck when in fact we are driving ahead at full speed...
My clients achieve extraordinary successes and make massive changes in their lives because of the work we do together. What’s more, those shifts happen really quick. For a month or two their views, attitude towards life and actions are transformed and results are inevitably produced...
... But ... the game doesn’t end there. It actually has just begun!
Many don’t feel consistently good even after they’ve achieved extraordinary things. Why? Have I not done my job properly as a coach, have they not been good coachees? Who failed? Someone surely did, isn’t it?
The answer is a big and fat NO!
No one failed – and I want to stress on the fact that “the coachee”- YOU who decided to work on yourself and successfully changed certainly did NOT fail. (I think there is always more a coach could improve on but even with that in mind no one failed)
However, this horrible feeling that something went wrong and didn’t work is often there in the long run.
Why is this happening & what should we all do?
The answer to the why question is simple but difficult - “no one likes gradual results based on habits” – let’s face it - it’s not sexy.
In a fast paced world with a focus on the individual ability to conquer it all, we have the expectation that results ALWAYS would follow after we undertake positive action in a particular direction. Most of us are aware of the power of focus, hard, consistent work and knowing what we want. On that note the area of ‘personal development’ is becoming more and more popular. Self-help books, coaches and a ton of success related publications are available and people do use them and dramatically change their lives for the better. So it is extremely unsatisfying to experience this “it’s not happening as I want it” thing.
As mentioned my clients all achieve breakthroughs in regards to their personal development and I am so genuinely proud of that. They start to understand themselves and their reality on a much deeper level, taking hard and committed decisions and subsequent actions. They get pumped up about everything that’s happening and is to happen, inspired by the findings. Adrenaline raises so it’s all a bit amazing. They manage to change their lives.
However, day after day those same people need to maintain the course of action that they committed to and it gets hard. Not every 24hrs are meeting the expectation of “amazing outcomes”. The hype is not always there and at times it may even seem boring to go for your dreams.
And this is when it pops up – the feeling that that you are not doing it right! The critical voice that says you are not developing fast enough…discouragement and doubt come in.
“I feel stuck again and I am unhappy about the fact that I didn’t tick off all my planned to do items”. This is often a theme I hear after an initial session or two. The surrounding of people who are not on the same “positive change wave-length” is not assisting either and doubts about whether or not plans, wants and wishes will actually materialize appear. On top of that the media additionally influences our expectations and promotes the "here and now" pressure about everything.
So, the resulting worry IS NORMAL! It is not so easy to change! It is not easy to change even small areas of your life. If it was everyone would be doing it.
Why it’s not easy? Because you are fighting against very strongly embedded HABITS that were practiced for a long time. When you and I say that we want to improve a particular thing and go for it what we are actually doing is - changing and improving the routine associate with the results we currently get. Those routines are hard to change but not impossible. It takes time and the time needed is 1) part of natural process of personal development 2) strictly personal
What matters is only one thing! Remember this well:
You need to keep trying to change the routine and not give up on the idea regardless of the fact that you don’t seem to do it as smoothly as you initially imagined you would.
Regardless of the fact that there will be days in which you won’t tick off your ‘to do list’ or you won’t know how to go about achieving a particular goal or you will be plain lazy – attempt again to be the version of yourself that you want to be...and then again…and then again.
That consistency, even if not perfect builds into a habit. It builds into a thinking pattern that becomes harder and harder to neglect and erase.
I used to not like exercising. I had no interest in it, I found it boring and frankly pointless especially when I still thought I looked alright without the pain of working out. I am also coming from a family that never really paid much attention to sports anyway, so if I was to say that I am going out for a run I would get the sort of pitty look that says “that’s such BS”. Also, if I refused to have that piece of cake I would be forced “because your mum made it just for you” or “because one bite doesn’t really change a thing”. So it took me a while until I got to the point where exercising and (relatively) healthy eating became part of my life. It took time for me to start loving it, to see the point, to feel the good physical effect even. BUT and this is a big BUT, my nervous system is now wired to the habit of exercising. It is a lot harder to not do it because I consistently attempted to exercise even though it did not happen as I imagined at the very beginning (i.e. sheer will power will magically transform me into a sports lover with an amazing body within 3 months). It is now a habit.
The same is applicable to any behaviour and attitude. Continue to be inspired by your decisions and the changes that have already happened – visible or internal. Then buckle up for the hard part of creating new habits.
So, how to keep going when doubt comes in the picture…
1. On a daily basis write your goals down on paper! Start from there. Physically, each morning, before your day begins remind yourself of what you want. Spend those 10min while you have your coffee or tea.
2. Please, please ignore and/or distance yourself from the well-wishers who are not on your wave-length - be it family, best friends or partners. “You become the average of the 10 people you surround yourself with”. I would add to that one thing – if you can’t immediately find the 10 people you want to surround yourself with ideally just absorbing the sort of information and ideas that you want from books/ videos/ articles etc. will do the trick. That doesn’t mean you will cut off all contact – just plan your interactions and get ready for the challenge – that’s all.
You are good enough, you are doing it right, you have changed massively – it’s just not easy until you get to see and feel the results. And when you finally get to your goal … you will keep going... <3
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