You're Not Set in Stone - 4 Simple Steps to Succeed in Change
It’s easy to get set in our ways, stuck in a rut, in a funk, in the routine, at the grind, a bad habit, whatever! The hard part of change is sticking with it. And the grounding force keeping your stuck in stone is laziness. Yoga teacher Gabriel Helpburn said, “most people would rather suffer than work.” Change is work. If you’re ready to put some effort into it, you can change anything, besides the fact that I’m losing my hair. Nobody can change that.
Most of us don’t think we’re lazy, but change is so hard because we dread all the work that is involved in getting there. The life of positive change is not the easier route, but it’s the better one. Change involves pushing outside our comfort zone, repeated dead ends, frustration and persistence. Here are 4 key steps to break free from laziness and make your changes succeed:
1. Value (finding motivation)
Ask yourself 2 simple questions:
What is the value in the change I desire?
Am I willing to do the work for the benefits of changing this?
The more valuable change becomes, the more you are going to put into it. The change you seek must be important to you. If it is solely for someone else, it's a waste of time. Although, changing upon someone's request may benefit the both of you, so that could be potentially valuable. It must have impact on you at a deep level. Cheap changes are easy to brush aside. The area's that negatively affect our lives, make us feel trapped, or hurt others are the one's that hold immense value for change.
Putting things off until tomorrow is the silent killer of change. When we fail to see that what we want to change is extraordinarily valuable, than it is easy to start tomorrow. Value gives a sense of healthy urgency. Because life is urgent. We tend to put off the important things like health, family and personal growth for work and trivial obligations. Prioritize important changes to the top of the list and the power will start to build.
2. Excitement (create your map)
If you are not excited about what it is you are going to change, fuhgeddaboudit! Passion is the fuel that will keep you from getting bored with change. Boredom is the fog that will cover your new routines and push them off your priorities list. When you get excited about something, it’s always on your mind. You write out plans, set goals, talk to people who can help you get started; whatever it takes because you're excited. Getting started is the hardest part. Action inspires passion, never the other way around. Once it gets spinning, the two fuel each other.
Becoming excited, creating plans, and making connections sets up a crucial element of successful change; support structures. Excitement keeps you learning and planning, continually putting new actions towards your goal to help support success. I want to emphasize how important this is because change usually won’t occur first attempt. Having knowledge and plans will support those challenges and lead you to the next step.
3. Learning to Re-Map (addressing difficulties)
At some point along the new path, you are going to hit dead ends; failure, things don’t go to plan, or you miscalculated. Unfortunately, many people get far along in the process of a valuable change, then they hit obstacles and quit. Hitting dead ends is an unavoidable and necessary part of changing. By getting stuck you are forced to problem solve and find a different way. This is where the change occurs; by doing something new than what we have always done in the past. If you give up here, you made it 5 feet from the summit and turned around.
Remapping is a difficult thing to do. You must deal with the uncomfortable emotions of getting stuck or feeling out of options. Eventually, you will begin to look at the problem from a different perspective and think in a different way. This forces your mind to grow outside itself and begin to change. Sometimes this takes many, many remaps. Don’t forget, getting stuck is part of the process. Get ready, dead ends are coming. Take them on head first, because when you find your way through, the change is real.
4. Believe in Yourself
I know you’ve heard this crap before but many successful and happy people say it for a reason. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one can do it for you. Surely people can believe in you, but that doesn’t mean you do. Root yourself on. By wrestling in the dirt, confidence will build and you’ll feel your own personal strength build. Lack of confidence is lack of personal inner strength. We all have a great source of strength within us. Some call it spirit, some call it God. Some believe it comes from outside and works through us. However you believe, start to open up to that source.
Only you can define what success and value is in your life. It is important that you stick to what is true to you. Living according to someone else’s values will leave you in contempt. Sometimes we are so full of anxiety, depression or entropy that we feel weak in our convictions. Mentors or a strong friend can help us get started from rock bottom. We can’t take this journey alone. Someone will believe in you until you can learn to believe in yourself. We all need a boost once in awhile. The important part is being willing to walk on your own. Other’s can show you the way, but only you can walk it.
Lasting change takes time and hard work. Fixing my bad back took years. Quitting cigarettes tooks 1000 tries. Climbing out of a manic depression took hundreds of books and hundreds of remaps. But if you are unwilling to work, you are unwilling to change. It will take time, but surely, inch by inch you are on the way.
Lay out the steps with what you want to change: V.E.R.B.
VERB is important because all change involves action - In the words of the great Lao Tsu, “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”
Better start walking.