The first thing to know about change is to understand that most people focus on “how” and less on the “Why.” However, it’s absolutely critical to know the “Why” first. When you know the “why”, the “how” becomes easier. For purposes of this article, we’ll assume you know why the change you are seeking must take place, (and certainly we have discussed this in other blogs). The “how” is influenced by several key beliefs to creating lasting change:
First of all, you must have certainty that your current situation is not working or is intolerable, and it has to change now. The key word in that sentence is NOW. As in all change, many people believe change is a process and will work towards change. But in reality, what the latest science teaches us about change is that it is not a process but an instant, a moment, a blink, whereby:
(a) You STOP doing something you no longer want to do, and/or…
(b) You START doing something you do want to do.
If you plan for your change to happen in the future, whether it is tomorrow, or next week, or next month, the way the brain really works is this: While it can cognitively think of and ponder the future, mechanically speaking and process wise, the brain works in only two time frames: now and not now. So as long as you program something in the future, in reality, what that means to your mind is this, “I’m not going to do the change now.”
Therefore, change Rule #1 is: “This is not working, it’s intolerable, and it has to change now.” This is the first step to creating this lasting redesign and making it stick.
Rule #2: “I must act immediately to change it.” Several key words are in this program command. It implies it is not someone else, it’s not the team, it’s not anything else. In order for your reality in the world to change, you have to take ownership and you must do it versus “I should” or “I need to” or “I want to”. These are all “failure with honor” words. I must act – meaning – when you wake up, the day you make your change and your shift and your redesign real, you must act immediately to change it. This means that you must act immediately when you wake up to begin changing the things that you do, the things you are thinking about, the emotions you are holding….. everything must change!
The final component to creating this lasting change is the fact that the only one who can change it is you, and you have the ability to do it. “I can change it now. I must change it now. This redesign that I want is absolutely critical to what I want to create for myself.”
When you think about the big changes you have created in your life or your organization, they generally came at the end of some amount of pain – chronic pain or massive pain – or some amount of pleasure or massive ability to have a vision for what you wanted. So you either wanted that incredible part in a play, or captain of that sports team, or to make that sports team, or to learn that instrument. Or, you were motivated by the pain, you couldn’t tolerate an overweight body anymore, or you were going to a reunion, or you were going to appear in a wedding, or you were fired from a job, or you had someone leave you. Something happened painful that you woke up and you said, “I’ve hit bottom, I’m done with this.”
The “I can change” and the ability to wake up that day and begin focusing on the new thought patterns massively and immediately, with all of your committed level, creates the momentum for the change to be real and to stick. With this momentum, even if it was a huge effort to change, you got through it. The times you haven’t changed generally lies in the arena that you believe that you can’t change. Or you believe that change is possible, that others can change, but that you really aren’t able to do it that well. You will then create a story as to why you can’t change and hide that truth. Or maybe you don’t want to change. Your current situation serves you in a way that allows you to create an equation that you have more fear attached to the changed state or there is less of a desire to do something NOW in order to change. So you don’t want to change – you also create a story to hide the truth. Sometimes, we just tell ourselves “we don’t know how to change,” “oh, that’s really hard,” or “I’m not sure how I would do that,” “I’m not sure how I would be that person”. In that space, you will not change. You will create a story that will hide your lack of change.
At the end of the day, what is critical to this process is that you look at the redesigned you. You must be the redesigned you, the reinvented you, and you must be there absolutely now whether that’s baby steps, big steps, a complete cold turkey-flip-of-the switch – “I must be that person today” — whether it’s motivated by pain or pleasure. There will be a component of “now” and there will be ownership and responsibility that you are the one that has to do it. You will not even worry so much about how you will do it because the why will be so big, that the “how’s” will appear as you journey towards the destination of the new, reinvented you.
Within all of the teachings I offer, there is always a new chapter beyond this one. You will win, you will find your peace, and you’ll make something happen. Look back five years in your life and look at the things that you worried about, that motivated you, that created your success or limited you and held you back from great achievements. It doesn’t matter today, five years ago is almost laughable. Five years from today, all your pain, all your worry, all your anxiety and all your fear will also be laughable. There will be a new monster, five years from now that is busy chasing you, causing you to grow, causing you to change as you engage in this amazing journey called life!
Create a fantastic one!