Do You Desire Change?
Ask yourself these questions when considering a change.
Posted July 30, 2019
It is not unusual to desire a change. However, we may be unsure where to begin. And stepping back to take a look at why things aren’t working can be a daunting task as it may mean confronting a personal or professional weakness. In addition, it can also involve being honest with yourself about how your actions or thoughts played a role in your present circumstance.
In my work as a speaker, licensed therapist and life coach, I’ve witnessed thousands of people who have made significant life changes, and they reported feeling better in other areas in their life as well. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen others who seek out guidance and verbalize a desire for things to be different, but make little to no progress or can’t make the change sustainable.
In thinking about how to help people create lasting change, I decided to speak with best-selling author (Best Self: Be You Only Better) and Life Coach Mike Bayer. He said in order for an individual to manifest a change, the person needs to “Get very specific, and ask ‘What is the goal?’”
This makes perfect sense because there are people who lack specificity when it comes to identifying the results they yearn for. Bayer gave the example of hope. He said if someone says they hope to feel better this is a challenging way to approach change because as he points out, “Hope is not a tangible goal.”
Instead, it is better to be as specific as possible when it comes to identifying a tangible outcome. And in doing so, one will be more likely to achieve their goal when they realize they have the inner control to achieve it. Equally important is to not blame others when things go wrong. In Bayer’s Best Self book, he writes, “Sure, bad things happen that are outside of our control. But here’s the key- we are 100 percent in control of our reactions to those things.”
And our reactions to setbacks can make all the difference when it comes to completing a goal. Best- selling author and Psychology Today contributor Amy Morin writes in her book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, “If you think failure is terrible, you’ll struggle to try a task over again if you’ve already failed at it once.”
Instead of telling yourself that “I’ve failed because I’m bad” or “People won’t like me if I fail,” Morin suggests working on replacing irrational thoughts with “more realistic thoughts. Failure isn’t likely as bad as you make it out to be in your mind. Focus on your efforts instead of the outcome.”
One is more likely to reach a desirable outcome writes Bayer if one examines all possible obstacles including their morning routine. Personally, I know that when I integrated a morning practice of meditation big changes happened. Weeks after I started to meditate, I was invited to speak with Dr. Deepak Chopra in his office. We became friends as a result of that meeting and he has become my mentor.
Keep in mind when you’re thinking about making a change that it will be more meaningful to you if you truly want it. Ask yourself:
- Why do I want this goal?
- What is the risk of not completing this goal?
- Will not pursuing this goal matter in five weeks, five months, five years?
- Am I trying to impress someone?
- What specifically will I get as a result of this change?
- Who or what is initiating the change?
- What is my intent in creating change?
- Who is best to help support this change?
Life changes may be replete with fear and angst, but quieting the inner-critic and self – doubt with self-compassion, and focusing on how you will feel once you’ve reached your goal can help you cross the finish line.
Bayer, Mike. (2019). Best Self: Be You, Only Better. New York, NY: Dey St.
Morin, Amy. (2014). 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do. New York, NY: Harper Collins.