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    In a related post "Change is inevitable, are you willing to ride the wave of change", I had taken you through the reasons we usually resist change and live in denial of the fact that change is simply inevitable. If we can stay open and learn how to explore what presents itself in the guise of change rather than shutting down, we can ride the waves of change rather than getting carried away by its undercurrents.

    You can also create changes that you want to see in your life- but only if you are very clear about the results that you want to see in your life by focusing on where you want to go and who you want to be. If you are not sure about the direction that you want your life to move towards, then you will most likely need to take some time to reflect upon this and figure this out as a first step. 

    You will first need to become clear on how your thoughts are influencing what you believe to be TRUE in your life. This becomes even more important if you are NOT seeing the results that you want in your life and you don’t really understand why. 

    And it all starts by focussing on your thoughts and becoming willing to change.

     

     

    A good place to start is by asking yourself 

    “What kind of thoughts am I having right now that is preventing me from making changes in my life?”

    When you start digging deeper, you will often find that underlying any problem is an inner belief that that may or may not be true but may be holding you back.

    Beliefs like 

    “No one loves me”

    “I am not worthy of love”

    “I find it difficult to learn new things”

    “It’s hard for me to change”

    “There is not enough food/clothes/money”

    What you need to think about is this, while these may have certainly been true earlier (especially in childhood), are these still true for you?

     If you don’t take out the time to explore your beliefs, how will you ever know whether they are holding you back?

     What I share with you is simple but not easy. We hold on to our belief systems because they have kept us safe at some earlier point in our lives. 

    What are you losing out on by choosing NOT to investigate and then letting go of what is not serving you?

     Stages of change

    Research shows that people go through the following stages of changes irrespective of their problems. Each of these changes is predictable and well defined and consists of a series of tasks to be completed before moving on to the next one. However, each stage does not inevitably lead to the next one, it is possible to become stuck at one stage or another.

    The stages are

     

    Precontemplation

    Contemplation

    Preparation

    Action

    Maintenance

     

    By becoming aware of where you are right now in terms of the changes that you want to see in your life, it can become easier for you to take effective action on your problem.

    The reason many people fail to be successful at making changes is often that they are not yet ready. At the same time, you can be at different stages of change for different problems and matching your challenges to the stage that you are in can help you in this regard.

    While going through each of these in details is beyond the scope of this post, I have shared with you some books on this topic below if you would like to delve deeper into this topic.

    Precontemplation

    people at this stage usually resist change and usually have no intention of changing their behaviour and deny having a problem. They are also often demoralised and feel that their situation is hopeless

    This stage is characterised by thinking “I WON’T DO IT”.

    Contemplation

    people at this stage are also far from making any changes but they acknowledge that they have a problem and begin to seriously think about solving it. However, chronic contemplators often substitute thinking for action and when they begin to transition to the next stage, they finally start focusing on the future than the past.

    This stage is characterised by thinking “I CAN’T DO IT”.

    Preparation

    people at this stage are planning to take action soon- either next week or next month. They are busy with the final adjustments before they begin to change their behaviour. This is a good place to start planning carefully and developing a detailed plan of action.

    This stage is characterised by thinking “I MAY DO IT”.

    Action

    at this stage people are ready to modify their behaviour and surroundings. However, the danger lies in confusing action for change and not putting in the effort to prepare for it and at the same time,  maintain the changes following action.

    This stage is characterised by thinking “I WILL DO IT”.

    Maintenance

    change never ends with action and just like in the earlier stages, work must be done to consolidate the gains from other stages and prevent relapses. This stage is a long and often ongoing process.

     This stage is characterised by thinking “I AM DOING DO IT”.

    As you become clear on where you are right now, you can become INTENTIONAL about CHOOSING to change what is not working for you in your life. 

    You can then even say to  yourself

    “I am willing to change”

    This is a topic the members of my brand new membership programme "Peaceful mind, Healthy body" explore in details. If you would like to know more about this and be added to the waitlist for when it next opens for subscription in 2021, click HERE

    Many ways to change

     

    Keep in mind that while you cannot change a moment of your past, you can certainly change your entire future starting today. Whether you are 16 or 60 years old, TODAY is where you start to make the change.

    At the same time, you can choose the modality that works best for YOU- it can be in the form of a spiritual journey, physical healing or even therapy. When you decide to clean your house, it does not really matter which room you start with. It matters that you start with one, any room that is easy for you.

    As Seth Godin had said, 

    “Change is not a threat, its an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.” 

     

    Resources

    Changing for good by James Prochaska

    Atomic Habits by James Clear

    Tiny Habits B J Fogg