Positive Change is always possible!
There's always been a part of me that admires a strong character. I guess it comes from my family, my mother and grandmother were very strong characters. They weren't without their days of doubt and periods of insecurity but on the whole they were two of life's true warriors. No situation was ever going to be one that either broke or truly defeated them. This mindset rubbed off onto me, my brother and sister.
It's often easy to look from the outside at the situation of others and judge their actions based on our own unique experience, perspective and values. Through this we justify to ourselves how strong our personal position is. We secure ourselves, our personal values and beliefs, not because we want to prove ourselves better than others, but just merely to confirm that our position is right for us. The challenge is that all to often it is that very position, those values and beliefs that keep us from growing and truly appreciating the opportunity to be truly empathetic, more aware and more personally successful.
The very strength of character I learnt in my developing years can be both a benefit and limitation. Having the ability to adapt and cope with life circumstances can sometimes divert attention away from the factors that are the true causation of our issues. Fundamental here is the understanding that our current experience is largely due to the decisions and choices we made. Positive or negative the current situation we experience is due to the decisions we make, the reactions we have and the results we seek (based on our need to confirm our individual values and beliefs). Whilst sometimes this can be a powerful position which drives us to continue to achieve and succeed, it can sometimes also provide conditions in which we exist in a very confined and limiting manner. Here rather than seeking change, we accept our circumstances, adapting our beliefs and behaviours to live with the results. This prevents us from recognising or even considering that we retain the power to positively modify our behaviours and therefore the outcomes that we receive.
To contextualise this towards the achievement of personal goals, one of the tools available is to perform an 'individual audit' concerning our beliefs, thoughts and actions towards that particular behaviour/goal. This simple four point audit is a great catalyst to enable us to start to adopt a different approach and mindset to a specific problem or negative situation. It can involve a little personal honesty and soul searching which sometimes isn't the most comfortable process but can result in the opportunity to realise some simple steps to making lasting positive decisions and changes.
The process starts with identifying what it is you want to change. What is it that doesn't work or maybe serves to create that frustration you are currently feeling? Having identified this what is the desired situation you would prefer? Where is it that you want to be or want to feel? Try to be as detailed as you possibly can at this point, or will really help with the next steps.
Now having identified where you want to be grab a piece of paper and separate it into 4 boxes.
In the first box detail all the things you're currently doing which positively contribute to getting you to the desired situation. This is what is actually happening now, those positive steps you are currently engaged in that are moving you towards your goal. Don't worry if this box is kind of empty to begin, it's not found to stay that way.
In the second box detail the things that you need to start doing to make you desired situation your reality. What do you need to have or do that you currently don't? Try and focus exclusively on the NEW positively behaviours and resources you need to make your desire situation come to life.
In third box you detail the things you need to stop doing on order to achieve your goal. What behaviours are you CURRENTLY engaged in that need to stop or change in order for you to realise your desired situation? It's important to be as honest as you can here and focus thought to the choices and behaviour you are actually engaged in.
The final box is similar to the third but with a focus on the behaviours that you are actually doing which create the current situation you are in. This is the box for total honesty. What is it that you are doing which is limiting you and acting to stop you from changing. Many of these things will be similarto those in box three and that is great! The more items you have in box three vs box four the more open you are to positively changing these things.
Having completed your audit it can become clear as to what actions you need to focus on to change your situation. This process can provide a solid indication as to where you need to change, what behaviours are serving to create your current experience and what resources and decisions you need to effective real lasting change.
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