5 things that keep you from changing

Are you stuck? Frustrated? Unable to make a change? Feeling chained?

Your head says “I can’t change”.

But your gut tells you “I can’t go on like this, something must change”.

Your heart knows you NEED to change.

How can you break free?

So what will make your heart sing again?

You make a start: listing all your dreams. “It’s good to start writing them down”, someone told you.

After writing “I have a dream” you notice that only empty lines are staring back at you.

Maybe you know your dream, or maybe “not yet”.

Deep inside you feel there must be a better way to live:

A life bursting with positive energy, giving you a deep sense of fulfilment, purpose and pride. This energy allows you to feel good, focus on tasks and find richer ways to connect with friends and family.

So, what’s keeping you chained?

There are 5 main reasons.

#1: Stress

My friend J says:

“I have this workshop soon. I haven’t done a presentation for ages. I know my stuff but I feel scared! What if I can’t talk, have a ‘blank’ brain? What if the audience finds me boring? I can’t sleep for worrying.”

You might think “Oh yes, that’s me!”. You probably remember at least one event when you felt stressed and overwhelmed.

Maybe it’s public speaking as described above. It could be a major life event (like starting a new job, or a wedding), relationship difficulties, financial problems or simply being too busy. Stress can also be caused by internal factors, worrying too much, being a pessimist, having unrealistic expectations or being a perfectionist.

You’re not alone.

It might give you comfort knowing you are not alone.

The World Health Organisation calls stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century”.

Why is it important to know more about stress?

Good stress vs bad stress

You might perceive ‘stress’ as negative.

However, stress is a normal and useful reaction to an event.

The good stress:

  • It keeps you alert in your workshop in front of managers, it sharpens your concentration and keeps you motivated.
  • It causes the body to prepare for a fight or flight reaction in a dangerous situation: increasing your blood pressure, sharpening your senses, and quickening your breathing.

But stress can stop being helpful and become damaging to your health.

The bad stress:

  • The body remains alert and struggles long after a stressful event . This impacts your focus, productivity and emotional state.
  • Long-term stress can lead to serious health problems like a suppressed immune system, risk of heart attack or stroke, anxiety and depression.

Get in touch and start to learn how to manage your stress.

#2: Lack of vision and life goals

My friend C says:

“I’ve worked in this company for years. It’s now my turn to get promoted. I’ve been overlooked so many times. I know I’m working hard and I can prove it. It seems as though my manager doesn’t care. I have no idea what to do next, should I leave or stay?”

This could be one of the many decisions you have to make in your life. By understanding your own vision and goals the decision will be easier because you know where you want to go.

Your goals might not be obvious to you right now. But it’s important to spend some time reflecting and asking yourself

what will make your heart sing?

  • What am I passionate about? What brought me pleasure in the past?
  • What are the topic/themes which interest me now or interested me in the past?
  • What events transformed my life?
  • What are the important themes in my life (Career, Family, Friends, Relationship, Finance, Health, Personal Growth)?
  • What priorities do they have right now? Where do you want them to be in the future?

The outcome of these reflections will indicate your deepest values and will help you to define your vision and future goals.

Handy key tools are available to guide you through this goal finding process.

You can use a

  • vision board (a collage of images and words representing your wishes or goals)
  • wheel of life (a wheel helping you visualizing the important areas of your life),
  • mind mapping (a graphical way to represent your goals),
  • excel, or just a piece of paper.

The target is to uncover what you really want in life at that point in time. This process can take several tries so be gentle on yourself.

It might help to include friends or family members who know you well in this process. You may uncover conflicting priorities.

Good! They are now visible and on the table. This gives you a chance to think, plan and prioritise, or to come up with some creative solutions.

Contact me and start to learn how to discover your vision and goals.

#3: Lack of an action plan

You have your vision and life goals in front of you. Your “I have a dream…” statement is complete. No empty lines are staring back at you.

Each goal should be ‘S.M.A.R.T.’ which is an acronym for:

  • Specific – The goal is clear and describes what you want to achieve.
  • Measurable – The goal is measurable.
  • Achievable – The goal is realistic and attainable.
  • Relevant – The goal makes sense for your life and purpose.
  • Timely – The goal has a target date.

Every manageable goal has a timeline attached to it which allows you to check its progress.

This is an important step and you can celebrate. Rewarding yourself for this accomplishment will keep you positive and motivated.

Now it’s time to start an action plan. This will help you achieve your goals.

You can start brainstorming the tasks you need to complete for your first goals.

Start simple: what could be the first step you can take so you can meet your goal?

  • Think about potential obstacles which can hinder you achieving this goal.
  • What action(s) could you plan to overcome these?
  • Throughout this whole process you have to stay flexible. Some planned actions might not make sense after making some progress.
  • Don’t be afraid to change the plan!
  • Manage your priorities on a daily basis.
  • Make sure you allocate time in your calendar for the high priority actions you intend to accomplish.

Get in touch and start to learn how to setup an action plan.

#4: Low self-esteem

You started your journey and you are excited. However there is still this voice in your head saying “you’re not good enough to achieve what you want”.

Your low self-esteem trap.

“Low self-esteem is having a generally negative overall opinion of oneself, judging or evaluating oneself negatively and placing a general negative value on oneself as a person.”

The impact of self-esteem can be:

  • self-doubt in achieving your goals,
  • being too self-critical, avoiding challenges,
  • becoming upset by criticism, worrying too much,
  • or predicting negative outcomes.

These limiting beliefs and unhealthy behaviour patterns can stop you achieving your goals.

So how can you overcome these negative thoughts about yourself and stay positive and motivated?

5 key tools to boost your self-esteem:

  • Manage your negative thoughts
  • Prioritise your self-care
  • Identify your strengths and values
  • Celebrate your achievements
  • Treat yourself with kindness and compassion

If you want to know more, take your first step and contact me.

#5: Lack of DOING

So now you begin your first task.

How can you make sure you get started and keep moving?

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”

– Confucius –

The 3 key habits which keep you moving:

  • Get emotional with your goals:

Don’t keep your goals in the drawer. Leave them visible somewhere where you can look at them every day.

Ask yourself how you can achieve them and how it will feel once achieved. This will keep you motivated and moving towards the goals.

  • Get an accountability partner:

An accountability partner is someone who keeps you on track to make you do what you need to do, in order to achieve your goals.

Making commitments to yourself and to someone else significantly increases the chances that you will follow through and fulfil them.

Your accountability partner is there to guide you and keep you accountable to the specific actions you must take to achieve your goals.

  • Forget motivation – build habits to achieve goals:

We often use a lack of motivation to not do anything. Achieving a life goal can be a longer project which can stretch over years.

The motivation will undoubtedly vary. The key point is to build habits which run automatically so you don’t think about the motivation and simply do it.

How can you find the way that is easiest for you when going through this journey?

You are the one who needs to work towards the goals. Everyone can change, so can you.

I can help with guidance to overcome the blocks you may encounter, and help with any, or all the steps mentioned above.

Get in touch and change your life for the better.