Three Steps To Conquer Change
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a
conscious endeavour ~Henry David Thoreau
I remember the day that I made the decision to make the change. It was just after supper on the 22nd of June, 1979. I was walking across the parking lot on the military base in Kingston, Ontario after being harassed and made fun of because of my heavy Newfoundland accent. I vowed that from that moment on, that I would not be the brunt of anyone’s jokes or ridicule because of where I came from any more. I was getting tired of the jokes and the stereotypes, and the assumptions that because I was from a certain place that I liked to drink and party and that I was generally not that bright. And because I had the accent, people assumed that I was “open season” for “Newfie” jokes. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am fiercely proud of my heritage and of my Province, I just didn’t want to be thought of and treated like someone who was supposed to be a certain way because of their background. I wanted to be seen as just myself, with all my weaknesses and strengths, and appreciated for that alone.
Actually, changing my way of speaking really wasn’t that hard of a change to make. I’ve always been pretty good at mimicking sounds and accents, and to create one for myself was not all that difficult.
I walked into my room, turned on the television and surfed the channels around until I heard an accent that wasn’t an accent (meaning it was really featureless) and listened to it for a while and then, like it was the most natural thing in the world, started speaking like the accent. I practiced that voice for days, both in private and in public, until I felt that I could do it perfectly. The more I did it, the more it became me. What still amazes me to this day is the fact that absolutely no-one there noticed my change of accent! If they did, they certainly didn’t say anything, but the harassment did stop. The only people who did notice were the other people from Newfoundland who basically said that I was selling them out. Even today, 30 + years later, I hear many people say, when they discover that I come from Newfoundland, that I don’t speak like a Newfoundlander.
I guess that the change stuck.
To make a change in life to do something differently is not really that hard to do. Usually, all it takes is a certain motivation.
The decision to change and take some kind of action that we follow through with will only happen if we are truly fed up with our current reality, and the pain that we have endured or that we are currently enduring. But for any change to really work, we have to align with and be excited for what it will bring us.
Knowing what to do is not enough!
In life, many people know what to do, but very few people actually continue to do what they know. We must take action, and continue to take action until we do it unconsciously for it to be permanent. For example, how many of us have said that we were going to quit smoking, or lose weight, or get physically fit? And with this in mind, we read the books and bought the tapes and joined the clubs, only to find that when the newness of the idea was gone, we were back to our old habits and gaining weight or smoking or lying on the couch binge watching Downton Abby again.
According to Tony Robbins, creating a lasting change takes a few disciplines. The first one is convincing ourselves that we deserve more for ourselves. In other words, raise our standards for what we want. This in itself seems simple enough. Of course we all want more money; we want more time with our families we even want to go more places in our careers. The question is though, are we willing to not just raise our standards, but are we willing to follow through and take continuous action towards our goal?
The next discipline for change is changing our beliefs. Changing our belief system is the pivotal point to creating change in our lives. Without changing our beliefs, we can raise our expectations and standards till the cows come home, but we will lack the conviction required to back them up.
The key action in this step is actually believing that you can change. This is a process that requires us to be, not only open to change, but willing to do whatever it takes to get it done. The old beliefs that we carry around with us like a badge of identity is usually the biggest thing that holds us back. You may have been through some difficult times and may oftentimes feel like a victim, and as long as you hold on to that image, you will always be one. In order to move forward, I truly believe that we have to be willing to let go of what we don't want before we can move forward. Nietzsche said, "To build one temple one must destroy another." We have to find a way to knock down the old temples with the false beliefs before we can create any kind of forward momentum.
The third discipline to creating change is creating a working strategy. This is usually the most important thing that is missing in most change efforts. If we have a clear plan that can direct our actions, then we can certainly create the change, if we have raised our level of thinking and if we have the belief that we can succeed. We’ve probably heard the definition of insanity? It’s this; doing what we’ve always done, and expecting a different result. We’re never going to achieve that goal if we continue to subconsciously sabotage ourselves by not having a plan of attack and by doing the comfortable things that we have always done.
So this week, if you are truly fed up with your current situation and you desire to change it, first convince yourself that you are worthy of the results of what you want to be, create a clear picture in your head of what it will look like with you being and achieving your desired goal, then make a plan to keep momentum going, and when you do, you will find that change is not something to be forced into, but something to savour and look forward to.
Make this your best week ever!
A Bit about me...
My vision is quite simple: to make an impact on the lives of the people who have been entrusted to me: You (for reading this article), my family and my clients.
I coach people. Direct, practical, innovative, meaningful.
I coach for excellence.
I love what I do... and so do my clients.
Over the years I've noticed that business coaching that was supposed to make us stronger actually took away our confidence and made us doubt ourselves. Confidence and people skills aren't developed just by measuring and planning everything, they grow through doing and learning from experience and by taking risks. People want to make a difference. Build teams. Be better understood. Live more confidently.
I founded IBC Impact Business Communication Inc. to create a world where business people communicate and act with confidence to create better worlds for themselves. Worlds where they feel powerful and free to express themselves. Worlds where something as simple as conversation creates energy, understanding and impact. Worlds so exquisite, I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
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