What do you wish you could change in your life right now?
Why haven’t you been able to make these wanted changes into reality yet?
What do you think you need to do in order to make the changes you desire?
What is in your way of change? The answer to this question is very simple: nothing!
Change is possible for everyone, even you! You know that binge eating that you just wish you could ‘stop doing’, or that habit you do every morning of constantly snoozing your alarm? Or even the way you always retaliate towards your partner…?
You know what I’m talking about right…?! Of course, you do! So then why can’t you ‘stop’ doing these things?
That is a good question my friend (even though I asked the question, not you but anyhow…) and I’m going to reveal all…
It all starts with your beliefs
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start (Sound of Music pop into your head anyone…? You can stop singing now). With absolutely EVERYTHING in life, it all starts with your beliefs and your mindset.
If you think you can or if you think you can’t, then you’re right…!
We’ve all heard that saying before but how many of you actually take it in and fully understand what it means? If you doubt yourself then you’re already setting yourself up to fail. And let me tell you this:
You really can have, be and do anything you want. All you have to do is decide (which comes from the Latin word decidere which means to ‘cut off’ so you ultimately cut away the thing that you need to give up or stop doing) and then make a plan to get it. If the thing that you want seems too big or scary or impossible… good! This means that when you make it happen you will feel such a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction!
Maybe you’re currently uncomfortable in your body, unhappy with your eating habits and dream of being fit, confident and happy with who you are. Your current mindset and beliefs may be like, “I could never be that person…”
WHY NOT…??? Of course, you can! All you would have to do would be to:
- Make a plan of action
Sounds simple right? It is simple but it is not easy.
The hardest part comes in changing your beliefs and believing in yourself knowing that you can indeed achieve your goals, dreams, hopes and desires.
And then having the right mindset to go forward to achieve it. This is hard as hell because your old mindset and beliefs are so ingrained deep inside you that as soon as you start to make a change your old identity (the version of you that you are leaving behind) will start to kick off big time!
Let me discuss this in a bit more detail…
Change brings uncertainty
Whether it’s changing your eating habits, a career switch, moving to a new city or another country, starting with your entrepreneurship or starting the gym, change brings uncertainty with it.
This is because you can never really determine exactly how the change will go and where you will end up at the end. That is why I want to warn you about all the negative thoughts that will undoubtedly arise when you want to change.
Our brain likes to keep us ‘safe’ and the brain sees being ‘safe’ as knowing exactly what’s going on and how to control it. If the brain can’t know for sure what will happen, how can it control it..? It can’t, which is where the issue lies!
Once you enter unfamiliar territory,(outside of your comfort zone) your brain freaks out!
So there you are, a few weeks into your new fitness regime and about to choose to go to the gym instead of sitting alone at home eating your body weight in ice cream (like you use to do) and suddenly, your inner B pops up… “How nice would it be to have a night in and go to the shop and get that new Ben & Jerries flavour…? Oh, and at the same time get a huge bar of chocolate and those cookies you like… you know, like you use to…” And before you know it you end up having a conversation with yourself back and forth about whether to do exactly that or stick to the gym as you had planned.
Sound familiar? How often does your inner B win? And then a few weeks down the line, you find yourself in the exact same routines and habits that you previously had, just when you were ‘doing so well.’
This is because your old identity doesn’t want to die and so is trying everything it can to pull you back!
One of the biggest fears in our lives is the fear of change. That’s why 98% of the world’s population remains stuck in their own personal habit loops and never able to reach their goals.
So what can we do about all of this?
#1 Embrace your fear and transform negative thoughts into positive ones.
- If I make this career move, I will miss my current colleagues that I get on so well with. Maybe if I make the move I won’t be able to build relationships and I will end up hating it.
- When I start the gym I will have to get up early or go after work, that’s going to make me more tired, maybe it’s not such a good idea after all…?
- If I want to stop binge eating then I will have to get help, as I’ve tried so many times to stop before and haven’t been able to do it. This will cost time and money and then what it after all that I still can’t stop?
- I am so enthusiastic about my career move! I’m going to meet new people who I can learn and grow from in order for me to become the best version of me!
- When I start going to the gym I will have more energy, that’s what all the fit people say! Hey, maybe I will meet new friends who can help me with my workouts? And I will finally feel strong and capable again!
- Yes, I am so excited about getting help with my binge eating disorder! This is something I have put off for years and I am so ready to finally overcome this! I won’t have to keep eating in secret anymore and feel guilty after eating.
As you can see, it is up to you how you view your mindset to change. When I decided that I needed help to overcome binge eating disorder and to learn how to love myself I was excited and dreading it at the same time! This is normal! Just focus your thoughts towards the possible positive outcomes, not the negative ones. If you listen to your negative ones, al you will do is end up in the same old cycle.
# 2 Drown out others opinions
When you are ready to change, you will start to receive opinions from the people around you. For example, there will be family members and friends cheering you on and supporting you, but there will also be people who will try to keep you small.
There were people in my life who thought it was ridiculous that I would get up at 5:00 am to go to the gym. People who didn’t understand why I was investing so much on a coach and my study to help me stop binge eating when all I had to do was just ‘stop eating so much’! Some people act like this genuinely out of love and don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing BUT some people also like to keep you from changing because if you grow and start achieving your goals, then where would that leave them?
Who would binge with them on a weekend and then joke about how much you can both eat…?
Who would eat lunch with them if you switched careers?
Who would drink and go out with them every weekend when your at the gym and making healthier lifestyle choices instead?
Often people pull you back to their world because they don’t dare to change themselves. They see you change and try to pull you back, so that you don’t progress because that would make them jealous. It is either that or people who have a limited mindset don’t see how much more the world has to offer. And of course, you have the people who love you so much and don’t want anything bad to happen to you so they desperately try to keep you small and safe in an attempt to protect you.
Whatever the reason, be aware that there is a good chance that you will have to say goodbye to certain people in your life. Change in your life often means a change in the people you interact with. It is a “proven statement”: you are the average of the 5 people closest to you. That’s why I’m telling you straight: it may be time for new connections and to say goodbye to those people you don’t want to support you in your goals.
Find new like-minded people that you admire so that you can learn from each other and grow together. I have surrounded myself with amazing inspiring people from all around the world and we connect regularly to lift each other up and to bounce ideas.
Make choices and realize that the chance is 99.9% that people will try to make you change your mind. Don’t get mad at these people, but let them know that you are ready to become a better version of yourself whether or not they are supporting you.
# 3 Be prepared to leave your old identity behind (this hurts!)
Let’s be honest: any kind of change is difficult for everyone and creates struggles. If you do not experience any struggles, you’re still too close to your comfort zone. This means you are playing it safe. I know too well: comfortable = no growth.
If change does not entail struggle or scare the sh*t out of you, then nothing dramatic will happen. After all, change means going outside your comfort zone, entering onto new paths, taking steps into the unknown and developing a new identity.
Embrace the many struggles, it means that you are on the right track. Raise your inner thermostat so that you do not suffer from the thermostat effect.
What is the thermostat effect?
Let’s say you set the thermostat of your heating/air conditioning to 20 degrees. If it gets colder than 20 degrees, the thermostat fires up and ensures that your house is wonderfully heated back up to 20 degrees. When it gets warmer than 20 degrees the air conditioning will fire up and bring the temperature back down again.
This often happens with people who are trying to change. They are trying their best to change, but their identity does not grow with their efforts towards their goal. So they shoot over 20 degrees (they make huge improvements towards their goals) and then they self-sabotage until their temperature (success/life conditions) becomes 20 degrees or cooler, in other words: back to where they were.
Do you recognize that in yourself? If so then it is to do with your identity that does not grow with your efforts to change.
Learning a habit takes on average 66 days. You also have to work for least 66 days to develop your identity and that has everything to do with commitment, discipline to the process and self-compassion. You will get nowhere without these things
Therefore make sure that you:
- embrace your struggles;
- you are disciplined and committed to the process no matter what;
- and that nothing and no one influences you to stay small!
# 4 The highest version of yourself
Change requires a new mindset and a new identity. To help you with this you need to write out who you will be when you have reached all your goals and are living your best life. This future you is called your higher self.
What kind of person will you be?
What will you do every day?
What will you wear?
What will your habits be?
What will you enjoy doing?
How will you feel each day?
Etc… write it in present tense, go crazy on this part… I am, I do, I feel…
Read it every single day at least twice (morning when you wake and before you go to sleep at night ina good practice.)
Because when you focus on something, your subconscious mind actually gets to the task of making it happen for you…
Ever tried to get pregnant or family member becomes pregnant and then suddenly there are pregnant people everywhere…?!
Or you put your house up for sale and all of a sudden every other house you pass has a for sale sign…?!
They were all there before but you just didn’t notice them. If you read your goals in present tense daily, your subconscious mind will go about ways of making this a reality for you, amazing hey?
The next thing you can do which is so powerful, is every time you are being dragged back by your old identity and shit is getting hard, ask yourself:
- What would the highest version of myself do right now?
- What would she be thinking right now?
- How would she handle this?
Stop to ask these questions and then be prepared to make a switch from your “old mindset” to your new one and then take action with whatever your higher self would od. Before you know it, you will become your higher self.
# 5 Change without ‘approval’
I often hear from my 1-on-1 coaching clients that they are waiting for approval from other people (or even from me!). I am here to tell you that you do not need approval from other people. The only person’s approval you need is your own.
Simply say to yourself: I give myself permission to change from today!
Take personal leadership over your own life when you want to change. No finger-pointing at anyone else. Do not blame the situation or makeup excuses. You can change whenever you want. You decide. Always.
Take that first step now!