If you're like me, and most other people, there are things in your life that you wish were different and would like to change for the better. Although you may have had the best intentions to manifest a desired change in the past, for some reason you have not been able to successfully achieve the results you want.
Perhaps you have wanted to kick a bad habit. Or you feel you deserve a raise or promotion at work, yet something is preventing you from asking for it. Alternatively, you find yourself in a relationship that is no longer fulfilling. Maybe you have wanted to lose weight, and have tried all the miracle diets, or joined a local health club, but never shed those extra pounds. What prevents us from making the changes we desire?
Whatever the change is that you want to make, as a personal life coach I would like to challenge you to reflect for a moment on the following and important question:
"How much do you really want to change?"
Often, we try to make changes in our lives to live up to the expectations of others, or because others want us to. There is nothing wrong with the intention of trying to change for someone else, but my experience tells me that true long-lasting results must come from within.
Life Coaching Principle #1: YOU have to really WANT to change!
Dare to ask yourself this obvious question! What are the benefits of me not changing?
Sometimes people try to create change in their lives, but are not consciously aware of the positive benefits or side effects that they are getting from their current situation.
For example: Some people who label themselves as depressed, stay depressed, because of the extra emotional attention they are receiving from family and friends. The desire for attention, or the need for significance, becomes a strong enough motivator for them to stay depressed.
Think about the positive benefits of the situation you would like to change. What are some of the emotional / physical positive side effects of your current situation? How important are these benefits to you? How could you maintain the same positive side effect by making the change you desire?
People often resist the change they think they want, because of an inner conflict between the values they hold. Let me illustrate with another example: Let's assume that you want to get a promotion at work but never asked for it. Now imagine for a moment that you actually did receive the promotion you wanted. What would getting a promotion mean to you? More money? And how important would that be compared to some other values that you hold? If a promotion means a better paycheck, but it also means more time away from your family, this may create inner conflict which will likely cause you to resist moving forward. What you resist will persist!
Self-limiting beliefs and thoughts
Another reason why people resist change because they hold on to limiting beliefs that prevent them from moving forward and getting the results they really want. Think for a moment about the change you want to make …
How confident are you that reaching your goal or outcome is possible for you? Do you believe that you have what it takes to make that change? In other words, do you believe that you are truly capable of reaching your desired outcome?
Now, again imagine that you already successfully achieved your outcome. How would this new situation affect you and the people around you? And, would that be okay?
By exploring some of the questions above, you may discover some limiting beliefs you hold about yourself or the situation you want to change. It is only when you become consciously aware of the internal barriers - positive side effects, conflicting values, or limiting beliefs - that you will be able to make a full personal commitment to the process of change.
"We can learn to be the catalysts for our own change." (Sarah Ban Breathnach)