Stephanie has bee a guest speaker at both our Newton Abbot & Exeter groups. Here, and at our sessions, Stephanie talks about change.
People change all the time, in fact we are all changing all of the time. Learning, growing and adapting.
Even if you think you are someone that struggles with change, trust me, you have made changes in your life, whether conscious or unconscious.
I was recently invited to give a talk for a group of amazing ladies at More Positive Me. I asked each one to share something they had changed. Wow it was amazing there where so many things they had changed, some because they wanted to and some because well life demanded it, either way, some serious mistresses of change in the room.
I have had the privilege of working with 1000’s of people, as well as supporting and training a large number of practitioners, health workers and lots of different professionals. A large proportion of my work is around habit and addiction. What that has given me is a unique insight into how people change, what they do when they want their lives to be different.
The bottom line is anything is possible. It really is, I have seen it, again and again. It doesn’t matter what you have been through, your background, where you have come from, where you live or don’t live. I have seen people from all walks of life make changes and live happy healthy lives.
It boils down to one thing. If you have learnt it, you can unlearn it.
Think about all the things you have learnt: how to walk, talk, read, write, drive, parent, your jobs, the list is endless, we are constantly learning new things. You probably found some were easier than others and some you had to work at.
If you can learn these things, then you can unlearn other things like bad habits. Such as being too busy, smoking, drinking, drug use, anything that doesn’t support you or stops you living the life you want.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Start at the beginning. How do you want things to be?
Then when you have that, reverse engineer it.
• What are the steps you need to take to achieve what you want?
• Is it realistic?
• Is it achievable in the timeframe?
Ask yourself these questions. Is it in your gift? This one is important, can you change it, is it about you? Remember we can’t change others.
“A habit is a recurrent unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition.”
Did you get that? So, when creating a new habit, keep going, practice, persistence and patience are all important when making changes. For instance, giving up smoking or drinking may take some time and it may take a few attempts but it’s a journey. Keep learning, use what works and don’t give up giving up.
Here are some of the key things I have seen when people make changes. Now it doesn’t mean you have to have all of them or do all of them, but a good few helps:
• They take action and then they keep taking action. This one is at the top for a reason, it’s so important, nothing happens unless you do something.
• They learn to not get caught up in failure. In fact, remove the word failure from your vocabulary. There is no failure only feedback, learn when things don’t work out. No one is perfect. We learn by making mistakes, embrace this way of thinking. It’s going to really make a difference.
• Small steps. Remember the reverse engineer? Break it down into bitesize chunks, what do you need to do this month? This week? Today? Keep it small, simple and achievable.
• Whatever you do if you take a bad habit away, put something else in, it’s the balance of life, it really works. I see people have way more success when they put things in.
• If you can’t change it, leave it. If you can’t leave it, accept it. This is a biggy, if there is something difficult in your life that stops you, be honest. Can you change it? If you can’t change it can you accept it?
• Figure out what motivates you. So, you want to take a break from drinking, why? Figure that out and it will really help.
• Self-belief. Do you believe in change? Seriously, do you? Do you believe that you can change?
• Support. It’s ok to ask for help, there are so many great blogs out there, lots of self help books, on-line forums, loads of great information. Find what works for you, but if you really want to change something and its not happening, get some support with a good coach or therapist trust me, it will make all the difference.
• Have a mindset that is about learning, we are always learning, if we are open to it.
• Ask yourself what is stopping you?
There will always be parts of our life that we can’t change, that’s just life, that’s the bit about acceptance. But there are always bits we have a choice about, no matter how tough it gets. Find the choice and change the bits so life works for you. Its your life.
Stephanie Chivers is a Habit and addiction specialist, curator of the highly popular Women Who Dont Drink and author of There-is-no-magic-button-e-book . Check out her website https://www.ichange21.com/ for more blogs and information about her on line coaching programmes and 1-1 work.