How to Make Change Happen Every Time!
Ask a person how they feel about what is happening in their life and I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that once prompted they would confess there is at least one important area that could benefit from making one or more changes.
Here’s why most people fail to get the change they want and how you can succeed.
It goes without saying that seldom does a day go by without one’s mind thinking, part dreaming, part reflecting, about how much better everything would be if only they could get busy and begin to make real change in the one area currently occupying their thoughts.
Significantly transforming your life generally requires taking massive action.
At least that is the prevailing wisdom.
The consequence of this philosophy is that few people are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.
Why bother when the outcome is usually disappointing?
Massive effort with little or no reward does not generate a great deal of enthusiasm for the next bright idea.
Let’s face it, how much easier is it to waive the white flag?
Ideas are a dime a dozen and completely meaningless without taking action.
Inspiration is a wonderful attribute, but perspiration is the name of the game.
Or is it?
Of course, it makes much more sense for so many of us to peacefully remain in the comfort zone where it’s cosy and warm.
The big question: Why is change so hard that few people have a genuine appetite for it?
I bet you know what I mean.
How tough is it to permanently stop smoking, lose weight, get fit, or acquire the knowledge to give yourself a greater chance of even more success?
It seems to me the focus of change is hopelessly wrong. I believe the main problem is that the process most people follow pretty well guarantees failure.
The effort required is often huge when the process is faulty.
So, where does the fault lie?
Frankly, the emphasis on making a new beginning with a new process is way too daunting.
To suddenly replace one way of doing something with a completely different way proves a step too far for most of us.
It’s not exactly impossible, but certainly more than just a little challenging.
Picture the scene: At first, you begin and everything goes smoothly, not perfectly but smoothly, but once one major obstacle is followed in quick succession by another complex task the game takes a turn for the worse. The reaction? “I give up!”
You carry out a post-mortem.
Where did it go wrong?
Was it the plan or lack of a plan?
Was it lack of knowledge?
Why didn’t I think this would happen?
How did I overlook something so obvious?
Why did I believe I could do this?
When will I ever learn? And so on.
I’d like to provide you with my approach to change and why I believe it is infinitely superior to the conventional way.
It isn’t change itself that is the root cause of the problem it is the prelude to change that is overlooked.
This critical step is part psychological, part strategic, and part paradoxical.
Let me explain: any transition should start with something ending and not with beginning a brand new process.
This may appear to be a little unorthodox, counter-intuitive, and tricky to understand, but without stopping and letting go of what you currently do the likelihood of success is limited.
To restate this: without absolutely ridding yourself of the old way of doing something you will inevitably abandon any desire for changing to the new way.
Why is this?
After seeing a countless number of people with an assortment of issues I understand that changing anything proves to be extraordinarily difficult.
People simply do not like the idea of it.
I’ll be bolder here – they dislike abandoning a habit so much they will rigidly stand and deliver an argument for their limitations.
It makes perfect sense to end something first before beginning something new, doesn’t it?
But most people just don’t want to do it.
It’s as if their very identity is being challenged.
Fortunately, this can be overcome.
What causes you to get out of bed in the morning?
What makes you think, feel and behave in the way that you do?
What are the driving forces that guide you in your life?
And the big question: What simple yet powerful action could you take to radically improve your results?
What is the one driver above all other drivers do you need in your life to get the kind of results you would be proud of – results that possibly you only dream about today?
What do you need to master to make your ideas transform into the kind change that would make you and people sit up and take notice?
Of course, there are countless human drivers that once enacted will bring enormous benefits.
Challenging yourself, becoming more creative, making a bigger contribution, and improving your competence in various areas, quickly spring to mind.
So, there’s a million things you can do.
But…what would be the one driver above all?
The big momentum builder?
The ring that binds them all?
Sure, you can argue that certain specific skills, once learned, could produce a similar effect.
Tools such as NLP and emotional Intelligence, for example.
I believe the only meaningful way you can answer the big question is to ask yourself certain other questions.
Without identifying what it is you ideally want, it almost becomes pointless thinking about adjusting your life.
Ask yourself these questions:
- “What have you been holding yourself back from?”
- “In the perfect world what incredibly bold change could you make today that would truly transform your life?”
Make it a course of action that is possible for you to achieve.
Make it something you just know you could do in the right circumstances.
- “What conditions do I need to impose on myself – a set of rules – that I need to follow to make sure I STOP doing some things, so
I can BEGIN something new without falling back into my old ways and routines.”
Nothing more than a deep desire for change.
Use the above questions to harness your emotional drive.
Till we chat again, take care, cheerio for now
Reaching Your Own Potential
Obviously, there are key periods in your development when you learn rapidly.
Like a big piece of blotting paper – you soak up everything around you.
But the process does slow down.
So, how can you speed it up again?
Whether you are aware of it or not you are a learning machine.
You cannot not learn!
You can’t stop your brain creating and making new neural pathways.
In fact, you are held captive.
You are being controlled by your awesome brain!
You have little choice.
It will continue this way all throughout your life.
So, as you develop you begin the process of making decisions based on your perceptions and surroundings.
Mistakes are made and you learn from them.
Your life is shaped by what you see works for you, so you repeat the successful actions.
You discover how to communicate effectively and off you go moving forward at the pace that suits you.
Of course, there are critical moments when the decisions made form a pathway that can establish your career, relationships and so on.
These causes create significant effects.
Among all of this, you become an optimist or a pessimist, a happy soul or a bit grumpy.
Your senses determine your favourite smells, colours, tastes, and sounds and memories get formed.
Sometimes one little incident can block you from enjoying something for the rest of your life.
One–time phobias are an example of this.
You say “I never eat fish!” based on one unfortunate experience.
Even though we are subjected to an infinite maze, a jungle of influence, persuasion, advice and suggestions, from a range of sources, your attitudes and beliefs, which affect your decision making, are formed exclusively by you and you alone.
It is true that you may not be in a privileged position to experience a few of life’s pleasurable experiences due to lack of opportunity, but by and large you are the creator of your own destiny. You roll the dice.
The big question seems to me to be: are you actually taking advantage of your own potential?
Or have you resigned yourself to a form of mediocrity that could just so easily be avoided? You could roll the dice again.
So, you were powerful enough to create this phenomenal, unique to you development process, so you have the resources and gifts to change anything you choose.
Is this the time to give yourself permission to make something happen, something outside what your currently do, and find something extraordinary inside you that once started stops you in your tracks, makes you grin, and causes you to embrace your true talents, attributes and abilities?
All the excuses in the world will be set aside because you have decided to throw away any fear of failure, any criticism springing from internal and external critics, and have decided to give something a red hot go!
One of the reasons you can settle for the comfort zone is created when you were quite young and much easier to influence.
Attitudes and beliefs are formed and they can remain with you for the rest of your life.
They strengthen and get reinforced time and time again.
So, in essence you anchor yourself to a set of core beliefs.
But you can wriggle free.
To make things happen, you may have to free yourself from some of these beliefs and attitudes to confidently take up an opportunity that could revolutionise how you think, feel and act to produce one or more brilliant results.
What has been learned can be unlearned.
This can be achieved no matter how thoroughly you have been programmed.
All you really need to do open your eyes and see all the opportunities staring you in the face.
I bet you even know an opportunity, something only you know is there for you right now to make happen.
You have probably thought about it many times.
What should you do?
Eliminate the fear that prevents you from taking the risk.
Make a serious commitment and ignore the barriers, the naysayers.
One of the most powerful, insightful presuppositions of NLP is “the map is not the territory”.
If the thing you would like to do is not the thing itself, why spend any more time believing you can’t do it?
Instead why not open yourself up to any of the options you have dreamed about and wanted to act upon and just do it?
Once you start you will actually begin to know the territory.
You will understand the map is not that daunting.
It’s just not charted…yet.
You will learn how to adapt.
You will learn how to overcome any obstacles.
After all you are a learning machine.
Perhaps it’s time for renewal, for recognizing you can redraw your own mental map, and decide for yourself where you want to go.
Make a decision to stop waiting for conditions to be perfect.
Take a risk. Just take action. It will transform your life.
How to Decide – Limit Your Choice
Right now you only have two choices.
You can continue to watch or decide to give it a miss.
You’ve got better things to do, right?
So, choice is good, isn’t it?
Ask a person whether they would like to have more choices or less choices in virtually anything and they will invariably tell you they would much prefer having an unlimited number of choices.
This makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
We all want to know what options are available before making a decision, don’t we?
Or do we?
The thinking is simple.
More choices put you in a position to make a better decision.
Well, that’s simple logic, isn’t it?
But is it true?
As inspection of the facts reveals that there is absolutely nothing logical about the way people arrive at a decision.
The buying rationale doesn’t always make sense.
It may seem strange to say, but generally people do not even want the best product!
How can you use this counter-intuitive and weird situation to alter the way you buy, sell and influence other people?
Well, if you give people too many choices they will probably resist buying what you are selling, irrespective of the capability, quality, suitability and abundance of what se on offer.
If people are interested in something and you scale down the number of options they are far more likely to buy from you.
Why is this?
It comes down to a psychological term called “cognitive dissonance”.
This occurs when you hold two or more ideas or beliefs simultaneously and you face making a choice.
So, while it is true that people want to have a choice, the availability of too many options will quickly result in a feeling of being overwhelmed.
Faced with too many choices the brain can freeze.
If a person is unable to make a decision – perhaps they are spoiled for choice, they will let the opportunity pass them by.
How can you use this to your advantage?
First of all, make sure you do not cause information overload.
Keep it simple.
“I can give you one of just three options”, is a wiser strategy to adopt.
In truth, people want direction.
Provide a simple, sensible, limited choice and they will follow your lead.
Here’s a small list of do’s and dont’s you can use to frame your pitch:
- Always give the impression that the buyer is in control, not you.
- Accept that too many choices causes overwhelm.
- Keep the available options to a minimum.
- Give a clear, simple yet powerful direction.
Communicate with Distinction – a Surprise Package
How can you make sure your core message, the essence, the pure essence of what you need to communicate, hits the target?
When you want the central theme of your message to be heard, to be paid attention to, how can you give yourself a much better chance of succeeding?
Here’s a way.
One of the biggest problems in getting your idea across is to avoid being predictable.
If someone thinks they have heard “all of this” before your message is doomed.
It will fall on deaf ears.
As soon as a person grasps your intention by accessing certain clues you are unconsciously giving, their own internal defensive machinery starts to power into motion.
But it can quickly grind to a halt, and they will turn off.
They intuitively form an opinion about what you mean to say, and you lose their attention.
Ultimately, they begin to pay something close to lip service to you.
The game is suddenly over.
Once a person believes they know what is coming next they can easily switch off.
You’ve lost their interest even if they continue to smile and nod their heads.
So, what can you do when you really want someone to listen and not second-guess your intention ahead of time?
If you want your core message to hit the target why not consider switching to a far different approach?
Why not attempt the unexpected?
If you want the real central theme of your message to hit home, why not consider using surprise as your main weapon?
Think about the movies.
Most of the time when you watch a movie, you think it was ok, but nothing out of the ordinary.
You pretty soon forget about it.
But when you watch a film with a surprise ending you will think about it afterwards.
Your curiosity has been alerted.
It had made you think.
To get your message across in an important context you have to avoid someone jumping the gun, and believing they already know what comes next.
Here’s where the element of surprise can differentiate you from the crowd.
Ideally, you want to communicate effectively without being predictable.
You want the benefits of your main idea to be unexpected.
You want to add in the right amount of surprise.
It’s no good if the surprise is far-fetched and corny, it just won’t work.
Here’s a neat way to do this.
Determine the central core of your message, the one thing you want them to pay attention to.
It should contain a clear element of surprise.
Next work out the unexpected implications of your surprise.
This is the most significant portion of your message that once delivered will impress and stimulate the listener.
The unexpected implication is the part that talks to the surprise.
This crucial part must be listened to intently, and be fully understood, or the moment is lost.
The benefits of the unexpected surprise – containing your core message, should be heard, and set them thinking.
The wheels should be going round.
They must feel how it can help them.
It must shift their mood.
You need to observe this in their body language.
When you see this you know your communication has authority because they will be unable to activate their own guessing machine.
They will be unprepared.
Your message will be heard.
How to Overcome Setbacks
At the best of times few people cope well with being criticized, of being rejected.
At the worst of times these feelings can be like a hammer blow to your self-esteem.
Of course, being criticized hurts, it stings, because it makes you doubt your own ability.
However, feeling rejected and being criticized is simply part of the process, an integral part of the process, to becoming highly competent in any activity you choose in life.
Prior to a situation that you feel may be too demanding and somewhat worrying, here’s a strategy that you can follow to get your outcome irrespective of the difficulties.
In Great Expectations, Pip was rejected several times by the cold but very beautiful Estella, before he finally won the prize.
EMI rejected the Beatles!
If the road you’re travelling on is too easy, too comfortable, it could well be that you’re travelling down the wrong road!
To become the very best you can be to get the outcome that you really want to achieve, something that’s really important to you, it’s so important, it’s essential to let go of all self-doubt.
Obsessing over being criticized, feeling rejected, and obsessing over the no’s, doesn’t do you any good at all.
Begin by asking yourself: What’s the very worst thing that can happen to you as you go ahead and try to get this outcome?
- What is the worst-case scenario in this situation?
- Make a list of everything that could go wrong
- Then work out how you can accept all of this
Switch Your Perspective
- Focus outside yourself, outside your own thoughts, feelings and behaviour
- Look at things from the another person’s perspective
- Step into their shoes
Ask how you can produce more “value” in their lives
– Transfer the same power to yourself
How to Find Value in Yourself
- Don’t try to be something you’re not
- Stop trying to live up to other people’s expectations
- Think about the next step only and proceed from there
- Instil trust in your inner world and activate it
– Just focus on the next step
Seek and Locate
- Find a value in things that are not so good
- Go ahead and find the Silver Lining, it’s there
- Force your brain to not go negative
- Look for possibilities only
- You can then control the circumstances since your brain will be focused
Your ability to get your outcome begins with your ability not to get triggered or upset when you are beginning to feel upset or feel rejected.
It takes real intention to get what you want.
It takes real intention to influence others.
It takes real intention to influence yourself.
You must be very clear about your desired outcome and have a plan.
You must be completely present to make it happen.
It’s a matter of being not just doing.
Creating value is a powerful influencer and should be at the core of everything you communicate – internally and externally.
So, let go of fear, focus your intention, be fully present, and always talk value.
It’s important to remind yourself of your strengths and just how resilient and resourceful you truly are.
With a positive mindset you can easily overcome obstacles and objections.
I hope this has been of value to you.
Keep in mind you have many faces, so let’s put them to use.