by Suzie Doscher, Self-help Author, Executive Coach and Life Coaching for Personal Development.
Change is not easy, nor simple. If you have been told you should change, but are not really convinced that this is true, you are more likely to fail at completing the process. Personally, I recognize the process to be complete when I no longer remember ‘what I was like before.’ Someone still in denial about the need to change will not get very far.
Chances are there will always be excuses in the form of: I do not have the time for this right now, I am busy, I already know how to…, it is not my fault, you do not understand, ‘a leopard cannot change its spots,’ I am too old, etc.
Change can only really happen if you are ready to take action.
Research shows that 90% of the strategies designed for change assume people are ready to take action. In reality, only 20% of the people already involved in some process of change are actually ready to take action. This helps explain why so many attempts to keep New Year's resolutions, lose weight, change behaviours, etc, are doomed to failure.
It is most helpful and supportive and will increase your chances of successfully completing a change if you can engage the help of a friend or life coach. They will help you by being totally honest, motivating, encouraging and in general offering the kind of support you will benefit from. How to best offer this support varies from individual to individual, so make sure you communicate clearly how you need them to be.
An effective approach to changing a behavior pattern is to:
• Realize and acknowledge that things can no longer stay the same.
• Accept that it is possible to do things differently.
• Take the time to gather the necessary knowledge, insights and support.
• Think about how your life will change in a positive way. Pro and Cons lists can help.
• Decide what steps need to be taken to move in the right direction.
• Recognize any denial or disempowering, defensive or self-sabotaging behavior.
• Understand and accept that you and your life are worth this effort.
• Recognize and work through the obstacles and possible self-sabotage routines that appear.
• Most importantly, celebrate your success.
Remember for this to be successful, you need time, a lot of patience with yourself, and awareness that you will have some setbacks along the way. It's all part of the process.
“If you believe you can, or cannot – you are right”
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