Even though we want things to be different, we can find it challenging to initially make the changes we need for the results we want. If you do make a change, do you realise that you need to consciously continue to make those changes; keep on making things different; until they become your new normal? It takes time to not have to consciously “do” something until it is so embedded that you’re doing them without thinking.
Change is not usually an overnight occurrence, and even when it is, you need to commit to it to embed it into your life. How often have you heard people bemoaning the fact that they’ve “made drastic changes” but life is the same as before? Making the immediate change that you want is not the final step. It’s just “a” step. When you want to make changes, be that in the way you think or feel, the way you act or react, or in what you have in your life, you have to initially make the decision to change, and then, crucially, you have to commit to embedding that change into your life. The adrenaline rush of change (it’s related to the stress reaction of “fight or flight”) will get you started, but it’s how you keep going after that initial burst of energy that really makes the difference. Or not.
Learning different ways of being takes time, and usually involves things that look like set-backs or mistakes – but they’re not, I promise you. Many clients who’ve tried to give up something such as smoking or going out with people who treat you badly say to me, “I failed.” I always ask, “For how long did you succeed before you “failed?”” (and I use my fingers to do “bunny ears” in the air). The answers can be anything such as “a day,” “one week”, “three months”, “five years.” My next question is, “So, how did you fail?” and invariably the answer is “Because I went back to the drink / drugs / bad boys.”
“So, actually, you didn’t fail. What you did was to succeed in having an experience of being free from “your addiction” for “x” amount of time. Which is great, by the way, because now you know, deep down, that you can be free for that amount of time, and if you’ve done it before you can do it again.” From then the seed is sown that every step we take is a step forward on our journey, even if it appears at face value to be a backwards or sideways step.
Remember when you learnt to drive? You probably had some prior knowledge of being in a car (being driven around by your parents, for example) but you still had to learn the skill of driving; and then you had to practice those skills. Just knowing the skills isn’t enough to pass your test, is it? You have to practice the skills, build up your confidence, learn the rules of the road, and start to read what other drivers are doing.
You don’t learn to drive overnight, but what you do is decide that you want to learn to drive and then you take it step by step, usually with someone to show you how to do it, and then you practice. Even when you’ve passed your test, you’re still learning and then one day, usually years later, you realise that you’ve just driven one of your usual routes, but you don’t remember the drive itself.
That’s a similar pattern to most change. You decide what you want, you take the first step and then you commit to practising until one day it’s become second nature.
My name is Naomi Martell-Bundock and I have been facilitating people to make deep and lasting change in their lives for 15 years. If you are ready to make a change in your life and are interested in having professional support to make that happen, please book in a free, no obligation “Take back control!” call with me by going to my online diary and follow the instructions.
The “Take back control!” call takes 30 minutes, but book out an hour in your diary as we will decide three suitable actions for you to take towards the change you want to make. Having the time available directly after we speak uses that initial adrenaline surge and gets you moving to where you want to be. You can make the changes you want, and you can change your world.