When you learn to make reinventing yourself a habit, change doesn’t seem so scary or impossible after all
When we’re feeling stuck, most of us see change as a series of steps that we have to take to get from where we are to where we want to go.
And so we are surprised when the change doesn’t last as we hoped.
That’s when we tell ourselves that we weren’t motivated enough or something we did or didn’t do is what caused the “failure” to occur.
But what I’m going to share with you today is what goes into the heart of creating lasting change in any area of your life.
Today I’m going to dive in and talk about why you’re feeling stuck longer than necessary and the change you want doesn’t stick.
And I’m going shine a light on it from a different angle and this was inspired by Amy Johnson who is great at helping people break habits with a no-willpower approach.
I’ve found that most people that are feeling stuck, lonely and hopeless all tend to have a few things in common in terms of how they see themselves and situations.
So I’m going to share these common ties that we all have of how to stay stuck longer than you need to.
We’re going to look at what you need to do when you want to stay stuck in a situation longer than you need to.
And the hope of doing this is that it may give you more insights on what creates lasting change and what doesn’t.
So, let’s dive in.
The first thing you want to do is get clear on what the problem is and then make it all about YOU.
After all, you caused this mess, right?
And you are the one choosing to carry on in this way right?
So go ahead bash yourself and ask questions like:
Why am I such a failure?
What kind of person am I to keep going through this?
Why am I so weak?
Assume that this problem is intimately linked to your past.
Go back there and dig in as deep as you can to find that connection.
Why would you want to go back to your past?
Well, I guess it’s supposed to help you understand it and embrace it?!
Once you’re done with that, you can go ahead and figure out what is lacking in you as a person and your life.
And also what big gaping hole this habit or situation you’ve created is meant to fill for you.
If that doesn’t unearth anything, go ahead and look for patterns of weakness in yourself.
I bet you’ve uncovered a lot of those already in your past and your life so far.
Go ahead and revisit them and look for themes that link them all together to make the problem all about YOU.
The more you keep saying – “me” and “mine” when talking about a habit, addiction or any issue you face – the more you’ll feel stuck and hopeless.
And that’s what we want right?
This simple step helps in keeping you feeling stuck far longer than anything else would.
And the bonus is that it that doesn’t encourage deeper insight that can lasting change.
Once you’re done owning your problem, you want to move towards fixing it.
When it comes to reinventing yourself every situation has a cost attached to it right?
So at this point, after owning your problem, you’re going to want to get clear on the damage it’s creating.
You can’t ignore this step..
The more you permit yourself to see how painful, serious and destructive the situation is, the better it becomes.
You never want to have a shred of compassion or forgiveness for your self.
To stay stuck, you want to be cold, uncompromising and unforgiving to yourself.
If you’ve overeaten, hop on that scale and calculate the weight you’ve gained overnight.
Calculate how much money it’s costing you, the impact on your relationships and health.
Keep reminding yourself about it every day.
Whatever your situation, as long as you’ve had a set-back, use that to hone in on what a weak and terrible person you are.
That’s sure to help you stay stuck longer than necessary.
Now that you’re well and truly entrenched in misery, it’s time to take massive action to create the change.
This is an obvious step.
Everyone knows that to create change, you have to change your behaviour.
You have to make a plan and stick to it like glue.
This is where commitment statements and intentions like the ones below come in:
— Must never eat after 5 pm.
— Never have cola in my life …ever again. (well, unless my blood sugar goes low and I’m feeling dizzy from not eating enough food).
— Workout for an hour every single day.
— Stay away from people and situations that “trigger” you.
— Whenever I feel like bingeing, I’ll go for a walk or if it’s raining, I’ll chew gum instead.
By the way, in case you were wondering, these are MY commitment statements and action plan from my binge eating days.
And these massive behaviour changes with no – deeper insights attached to them were always good at keeping me stuck and miserable.
Change doesn’t stick if you don’t visualise it right?
So to stay stuck longer, go ahead and decide exactly how the change MUST happen.
Decide that you already know how things are going to play out.
Get it in your head that things are going to be slow and hard or easy and fast.
Pick any one of these options and stick to it.
This will guarantee the frustration that you crave.
Oh and by the way, you definitely MUST expect that the change you want will be linear.
It will happen in a straight line.
You want to do this because any setback that occurs is guaranteed to make you feel like you are a failure.
Make sure you hammer in the word: “failure” in every conversation you have about the linear change you predicted.
The reason for this is when people equate their setback with failure, the likelihood of feeling stuck stays longer.
Which is what we’re going for right?
Go for it.
Do whatever it takes.
You’ve got your vision in place and you’ve got your “massive” action steps.
Bring out the big guns and white knuckle your way through it.
This is not the time to pause, reflect and listen to any wisdom that comes through. That time is gone. It’s time to get to work.
You’ve got a plan and you MUST work that plan.
So gather as much willpower and motivation as you’ve got.
Make it happen.
And if you run out, dig deep and find more willpower.
Because if it doesn’t happen then it means you didn’t want it enough.
Perfection is also the name of the game.
It’s a great way to keep you stuck so you want to aim for this as well.
Being average and simply showing up to do the best you can is not acceptable.
So better get it right.
And there you have it.
The five-point plan to feeling stuck in life for as long as possible.
— Make it all about you.
— Be an asshole to yourself.
— Look for as many actions and strategies as possible.
— Predict how the change is going to happen.
— Push as hard as you can to make it come together. And wrap it up with a big bow of willpower and motivation.
Here’s the thing, there are lots of people out there that will do some or more of these things and create the change they want.
BUT, the mental energy and drama involved are unnecessary.
More often than not, a majority of us find that it takes work to go against our fundamental nature.
A fundamental nature that involves working with a path of least resistance and common sense.
Whilst we can create anything in the most adverse of circumstance, we are not built to function solely on willpower.
And that means that when we try to do just that, we set up situations that become problematic for us in the long run.
When that happens, you’re back to square one and starting all over again in trying to re-create the change that you created and lost.
So, here’s to looking in a different direction in creating change that sticks.
I’m Elizabeth Archibong. A Nigerian girl obsessed setting the rules on fire to create life and results from a place of ease and a path of least resistance. I teach people how to see themselves more simply and accurately. So that they can create and get more of the things that they want.