Does the very thought of change send shivers up your spine or throw you into mental anguish? You know what they say – getting awareness around why you feel a certain way is the first step to well – let’s face it – change. Don’t hold back on changing! Learn how to throw the spine shivers and mental anguish out the window!
Let’s define change
You want to make sure you understand something before you peek over that scary wall, right? Here’s Merriam Webster’s definition of change:
- to make different in some particular: Alter //never bothered to change the will:
- to make radically different:Transform //can’t change human nature:
- to give a different position, course, or direction to//changed his residence from Ohio to California.
- to replace with another//let’s change the subject:
- to make a shift from one to another: Shift//always changes sides in an argument.
People don’t like to alter, transform, or shift
So why do so many of us bristle at the thought of altering, transforming or shifting? I know why it’s hard for me sometimes, but I thought I’d check with an expert to shed some light on this question. I conferred with Google and came across a blog called CrestCom. Here’s an excerpt from their article The Number 1 Reason Your People are Afraid of Change:
People fear change because they are afraid they are going to make a mistake and, as a result, get in trouble for it. Humans are creatures of habit and our brains are hardwired to avoid making mistakes. But making mistakes is an inherent part of transition and change.
It comes down to a matter of fear– we don’t want to make a mistake because we’ll look bad, get in trouble, or god forbid, get shamed. So when you’re afraid of trying something new, you need to “Be alert and have another look!” Remember that quote from last week’s blog on practicing awareness? The same applies to change. Get curious, keep looking, get into action, try, fail, dust yourself off and try again. But there’s something more…
I want to change but I just don’t know how
I want to change but I just don’t know how. Have you ever said that to yourself? I’d make that change, but I don’t have the time, or it’s too hard or I hate doing that. Here’s my story on hating doing something that I really wanted to do. I absolutely hated yard work until about a month ago. For years, my lackluster attempt was having a service cut my lawn twice a month and watering it — that was it. But after I quit my soul sucking job, I realized I had a “dream.” I wanted to create a breathtaking backyard — my own little paradise to drink coffee in the morning, relax in the evening and invite friends and family over for parties.
My yard was a mess — half weeds, mold everywhere, leaves scattered here and there, twigs, rocks. Where to begin? I attacked the weeds first. I bought weed killer, and dumped it all over those stupid things–twice! It didn’t work. I hired a service to come and spray. That didn’t work. What a pain I thought. I’ll never get all those weeds out of there! I envisioned living in the prison of my ugly yard forever!
Did I give up?
Hell no!! I had my outcome! I was determined so I got down on my hands and knees and started pulling those darn things out myself! The first time I hated it. After 10 minutes and an achy back I took a break. Then I went back for twenty 20 minutes. It was a little better. I took another break, pulled those weeds, and scraped that mold and after an hour I’d cleared one whole section! Nirvana!
Next step? A trip to Home Depot to get dirt and grass seed which I proudly planted in what I now call section#1! I waited with bated breath and low and behold, after one week, the grass started growing! After two weeks it was lush and a beautiful bright green! I’m rocking it and now I am obsessed! I work on one section at time, constantly admire my work–patting myself on the back all the way and feel damn proud of myself. My DOC (date of completion) is July 31 – the day before I go on vacation. Alleluia!
My outcome, my dream, was to create paradise in my back yard for chilling and inviting friends and family over. I have a dream about two of the photos above, but the one on the far right is closest to my current vision. Now I’m going to go all woo-woo on you because I’m a writer. I’ve morphed my yard into a metaphor for my life. When I wasn’t fully taking care of myself, my life was full of weeds, moss, dead leaves, sticks, stones and more. Even through I had some things right, on closer inspection I still needed to do a lot of work. Believe me– it was hard and challenging to get started on that shift. I had to make big, scary changes. I went through a horrendous divorce, but got out of a toxic relationship and I quit my soul sucking job. Those were big moves that took a lot of courage and time, but I had to let go or I wasn’t going to be able to rock my life the way I really wanted.
You might be thinking — well good for you, but I don’t want to learn something that I hate. And that’s not what I’m asking you to do. I’m asking you to look at something you’re madly passionate about and stop making excuses not to do it. Focus on what you want, why you want it and what meaning it will give your life.
Tony Robbins on lasting change
I’m listening to a Tony Robbin’s course called The Time of Your Life When he talks about transformation, he says to get really specific about what you want, why you want it – your purpose and commitment, and figure out how you’ll achieve it.
Let’s take the first step. To create lasting change you have to know specifically what you want. Maybe it’s buried deep down so start digging! And dig with passion! Put some emotional juice into it. Here’s an example of no juice versus emotional juice: I need to exercise so I can lose weight...Yawn. But if I say, I’m going to get that rockin ass body I’ve always wanted—that gets me pumped!
Next he says you need to have a purpose. What is your why? What drives you to want to achieve something? For example: I need to exercise so I can lose weight. I guess it’ll make me feel better. I’m already asleep – I’ll never do that. But if I say, I’m going to get that rockin ass body so I look like a hot sexy mama and I’m going to put the energizer bunny to shame-–now that gets me going! Drive that emotion into what you want!!
Finally, you need a plan to get that outcome. What do you need to do to get what you want? This is not about a gigantic to do list. It’s about figuring out the most important actions you need to take, prioritize and schedule them. Tony says scheduling is what makes it all happen.
Step 1 — get specific about exactly what you want. Step 2 — figure out your purpose —what drives you to want to do this? Step 3– don’t just let your outcomes roll around in your head–make an action plan and schedule it in your calendar and DO IT! Tony Robbins calls this The Rapid Planning Method (the link takes you to a free PDF which explains his method).
And don’t forget to be flexible! If something doesn’t work out, focus on your outcome and “be alert and have another look.” Be creative and find different ways to reach your outcome. I love this metaphor that my Tony Robbins coach told me. When a plane is in New York and it’s flying to Los Angeles it knows exactly where it’s going, but it spends 98% of the time readjusting the course to get there. The point is – there will be bumps along the way, but as long as you’re focused on your outcome you’ll find a way to get there.
And to make sure I keep growing…
And to make sure I keep growing, I need to “be alert and have another look,” which means I need to pull out those weeds, rake leaves, and scrap the moss because not only do I want lush green grass I want an awesome life that I design. And I can only shape and design my life if I embrace change–both the scary, the unknown and all the beauty and joy that comes with it.
The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself. C. JoyBell C.
I will repeat this one more time: don’t hold back on changing or altering, or transforming or shifting! Start now! Take a look a Tony Robbin’s free PDF on the The Rapid Planning Method he uses. Get started! Don’t let your fear freeze you into inaction. You got this! Start with something small, accomplish it, and then move on to something bigger and then bigger…!
If you have a burning desire to do something, but you can’t get started, email me or leave a comment. Let’s get this conversation going and most importantly, let’s get you going. I haven’t read this book by Marie Forleo, but I love the title. It’s called: Everything is Figureoutable. It’s so true!
See you next week!