CHANGE is often daunting for people as it is associated with ones routine being changed and ensuing instability.
Remember, that when people describe being in a rut, they are frequently referring to situations which have stayed the same for a long time. They have lost INTEREST and MOTIVATION.
If you are HAPPY with how your life is, then you would not be considering CHANGE at the moment. – (Unless it is imposed upon you.) For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that this is not the case.
• Ask yourself whether your thinking has had anything to do with how your personal situation is and particularly with regard to any sense of dissatisfaction.
• Are you someone who tends to look at the downside of things?
• Does this push people away from you?
• Does it mean that you avoid taking risks instead of seeing opportunities in your path?
• What have the implications of this meant for you?
Have a think about the questions posed and try putting down some answers on paper. This is useful as you will be more likely to take on board statements you have written, see the enormity of this for you, and implications regarding your future HAPPINESS.
If you are unclear about how you think, MONITOR your THOUGHTS over a week by concentrating on what your thoughts are in particular situations and writing them down.
(Some people experience THOUGHTS in the form of IMAGES. They not only think about a bad thing happening but “see” it as a series of images.)
What are your thoughts about how your life might be like if you made CHANGES and thought in a more POSITIVE way?
The first step to make CHANGES to your way of thinking is to become more CONFIDENT.
The use of POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS is a powerful tool to enhance CONFIDENCE. (Please see article re POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS.)
ANCHORING. This is a way by which we are able to pre-programme our subconscious so that we associate a particular desired feeling with a behavioral response which we can trigger for ourselves whenever we require to. This can take the form of words or a gesture or both.
Examples Reciting a mantra
I AM RELAXED
I CAN DO IT
SNAPPING YOUR FINGERS
SHUTTING AND OPENING YOUR EYES
Try seeing yourself in a situation when you have felt CONFIDENT. Whilst you are with that feeling, use the technique you have decided upon to ANCHOR this feeling. You should repeat this exercise regularly over a week and you will eventually be able to elicit the desired response easily. (If this is difficult for you, read my article on RELAXATION) then go through the process again while you are in a relaxed state.
Practice making CHANGES.
Do something different that you have wanted to do for a long time but have perhaps been put off by others or been too afraid to take the risk. Don’t think about it too much or you will generate negative thoughts and talk yourself out of doing it.!
Reflect on the exercise.
• Write down what happened.
• Did you ENJOY it?
• Did it give you a sense of ACHIEVEMENT/
• If something undesirable happened, don’t allow this to put you off of doing things again. EXPLORE the series of events and look for the LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES it has created for you.
(Please see the article on TEFCAS. This is an acronym describing the process by which we make CHANGES and learn.)
CHANGES come in many forms.
If we decide upon a CHANGE for ourselves, or it is an anticipated CHANGE, it will cause less difficulty for us as we have the OPPORTUNITY to prepare for it. We feel as though it is under our control to at least some extent. The types of situations which fall into this category may be, a change of job, moving house, a new baby.
At other times, CHANGE may be enforced upon us. Here we feel as though we are not in CONTROL and that something is being done to us. This is often associated with a sense of LOSS. Examples here may be a family death, downsizing a house, an unwanted divorce.
We may hold onto feelings of negative emotion, resentment, bitterness, which only serves to make us feel even more out of control.
In all loss situations, there will be a grieving reaction as in bereavement.
(Anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) to a greater or lesser extent. We do however still have to cope with any CHANGE in the best way possible. The sure thing is that it will happen. If we take more CONTROL of the CHANGE it is more likely to happen in a way of our choosing.
It can be useful to find mechanisms to help us COPE with the CHANGE.
• Think about a previous situation you may have ruminated over and take any learning cues from this.
• Write down all of the POSITIVE things which may come out of a proposed CHANGE. (Be prepared to THINK about this. The possibilities may not be obvious. This may be especially so if you are resistant and adamant that things should not be different.)
• Reward yourself in some way if you are able to come up with more POSITIVE alternative outcomes. (A good MOTIVATOR!)
• Use of HUMOUR to diffuse situations. May also put you in a better mindset to try and think more POSITIVELY.
• Try confiding in someone else how you are feeling. It can be helpful just to know someone else is prepared to give you the time and LISTEN. They may also help to get things more into perspective. There could be the benefit of sharing of experience and helpful strategies given about how they have managed in previous situations.