I just started a new group on my Standing Firm programme. It’s a powerful 4-hour programme delivered over 4 weeks, empowering participants to build skill and support for dealing with uncertainty and challenge. It’s all about creating change and new more empowering approaches to life’s challenges.
I’ve also recently delivered some Vison Workshops so I know hundreds more people are started on the journey of making changes and creating new results.
And of course, many millions around the world created new year’s resolutions last month in an endeavour to create new results in their lives.
So I wanted to share with you what I know to be true about making changes…
If we’re really committed to making changes, if we’re focusing on the outcomes we want to achieve and taking the steps we can towards them, one of the first things that happens is a kind of internal resistance which often creates fear or anxiety and almost always slows thing down.
We all have ways of navigating the world and our lives within it, our personal standard operating procedures, based on what I refer to in my coaching as our paradigms: that collection of habits, based on our beliefs about ourselves and our world, that generate our circumstances, experiences and results.
When we’re creating change, our paradigms resist that change because it’s at odds with our thinking and approaches up until now.
Real change calls up real resistance, which will present itself in very persuasive ways, all in an effort to keep you stuck, e.g.,
- dissuasion – talking ourselves out of it,
- delay or distraction – I’ll just watch another episode on Netflix /empty my inbox, do the laundry first …
- Defcon1 – a kind of paralysing fear: if I have to go to the gym again, make that cold call, go on the online dating site, I’ll have an anxiety attack…
And many people interpret this resistance as a sign that they should stop, that they aren’t capable of achieving the outcomes they envisaged or even that they’re not worthy of them.
I want to share with you a different perspective.
That resistance you experience as you try to think and act in new ways are all part of the transformation process. And the pain you feel, emotional, mental, physical or spiritual, is like the pain you feel in the gym when you are exercising muscles for the first time or after a long break.
Often the changes we need to make are simple in essence but aren’t easy to implement until we build those muscles and push through that resistance.
As Lao Tse put it so succinctly, “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.
Every transformation is going to require us to let go of the old caterpillar-ness in order to arrive at our butterfly-ness. And that transition phase can feel a bit like the end of the world because it is the end of the old order.
I’ve had my own experience of this of late. As can be the experience of many entrepreneurs and especially solopreneurs, I lost some of the balance between life and work over the past year. And while I am changing that now and have put myself in a supportive structure with my own coach and a group of like-minded entrepreneurs, my paradigms were putting up a royal battle!
I recognise now that part of me was very wedded to the belief that there aren’t enough hours in the day and, also, that the only way to be truly successful is to work harder, faster, longer.
Maybe you’re familiar with those paradigms? I suspect you are as they are prevailing, collectively held limiting paradigms in our western culture.
So what’s a girl (or guy) to do?
In Standing Firm I share a process called the 3 R’s process, a way for us to recognise the inner battle that’s going on, calm the nervous system, and create a pattern interrupt.
- Recognise and notice what’s happening
- You’ll feel it in your body when you’re in fight, flight or freeze mode – tightness in jaw; pain in chest, mind racing, headache. Or you’ll recognise the tendency towards, delay, distraction or defcon 1.
- Refresh your nervous system and interrupt what’s happening by taking some deep breaths
- Breathing deeply, notice the shift in your body, thing start to calm down and you can think more clearly
- now is the opportunity to repattern your neural pathways and move to more empowering thought patterns and take aligned action
In the context of my experience with rebalancing my work hours, my job was to notice when I was getting into overwhelm and telling myself there aren’t enough hours in the day, use the breath to calm myself and repattern with a new belief: there is a better way and I am applying it with conviction and success.
What is a new belief or affirmation that you can put in place to support you in achieving your vision for 2021 and beyond? Create it in the present tense and repeat it to yourself multiple times as you use this process and repattern your thinking and the feelings that go with it to empowering ones.
Then anchor the repatterning process by taking action.
Again, to give an example from my own experience with long hours working, if I really believe there is a better way that I can learn and apply, I have to anchor that belief by shutting down the computer an hour earlier each day or taking that walk at lunch time or choosing to call a friend during 9-5 when previously I’d have said it’d have to wait.
As Richard Rohr said, “we do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live our selves into new ways of thinking.”
You have to take the aligned action to create new results.
The resolutions you make and the dreams you have are truly possible for you. They are life calling you to something better. There are tools and strategies you can learn and apply to make that period of transition easier, to support you in understanding what is happening and finding ways of traversing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. One of those tools is the three R’s process. Try it out for yourself and see the difference it can make.
I’ve been learning and applying the tools of transformation in my life for almost 5 years now. I stay in a structure of support and continue to grow and learn and I share it all with you through my own workshops and coaching.
If you’d like to explore the kind of support that could be there for you in transforming your results, simply follow the link here for a complimentary strategy session to clarify your goals and the steps to take you there.
If you’d like to explore having me teach Standing Firm or one of my other programmes or workshops in your organisation, please get in touch here and let’s discuss about your needs and how I could help.