You have a goal and are looking to achieve it. That may mean some changes are in order. For many, the biggest challenge isn’t actually making the initial change, it’s in the actions that follow to support the initial change.
Change management consultants often lead students through an illustration of the discomfort of change by having the students write their name with the hand they would usually write with. They then have the students write their name with the other hand. If you have never done this, try it. With your dominant hand, sign your name three times. Next, with your non-dominant hand, sign your name three times. How did it feel? Awkward, right?
Change can bring discomfort, but it is in discomfort where the real magic begins.
Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end. ~ Robin Sharma
How do we get through the messy part, the part where transformation takes place? It doesn’t matter what the change is, weight loss, new job, quitting drinking or smoking, or getting an education, it’s been thought that it’s the action that leads to results- this is not quite true.
Your thinking is the true driver.
When you are in the midst of the messy, it’s your thinking that either makes it messy, or helps you clear the path for your success.
Let’s look at losing weight. What’s needed? Choices. You will need to choose to make better food choices and get exercise. You go to the store and fill your basket with healthy food options. Your initial actions to surround yourself with healthy food seems like a winning recipe for success.
Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ~ Napoleon Hill
Why is it then that when you feel a hunger pain or get a craving for something that doesn’t fit into your plan that you eat more than you should or something that you should not?
You took action to not slip back; so how did this happen? You were focused on doing and on action.
Focusing on actions is not the answer.
Discomfort drives a feeling. You feel a certain way which is attached to a thought. That thought is going to drive your action. If you focus on the action, you’ve missed where the true magic happens – in your thinking!
We need to work on your thinking to drive true, sustainable change. Changing your thinking will change how you feel and drive your results.
If you don’t feel like working out, will you? The only way that you will is if you do it, despite your feeling. This is a choice.
When you understand that your power to do anything is driven by your thinking and how that makes you feel, we can get you to where you want to be.
Often, we wait for results to drive us. Again, we are putting the cart before the horse. If you want to feel motivated, feel like you can achieve what you want, it starts with your thinking.
Walt Disney said, “Think, believe, dream, dare.”
Believing in your thinking is what drives the feelings which will support you through the discomfort of transformation. You can choose to look at the discomfort as a negative thing or as a positive step toward being one step closer to your goal.
The feeling you assign through your thinking will drive the actions that follow.
Until you change your thinking, you will recycle your experiences. Changing your thinking will change your life. At the heart of any change is your thinking.
Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with new positive thoughts about what you are experiencing, your feelings will change and your corresponding actions.
This week decide on your goal and determine how achieving this goal will make you feel. Ask yourself why. Why you want to achieve is going to be the feeling that you need to have as a driving force to your successful thinking. When feeling discomfort, I’d like you to focus on why you want the change. Every time you feel discomfort, celebrate- you are smack dab in the middle of change! The next step – SUCCESS!
Is there a recipe for success? Are there steps to take, that if followed, would ensure our success? Yes. The answer is simple, learn to fail, and learn to fail epically well.
Throughout life, the journey is filled with peaks and valleys, times of challenge and times of triumph. Along life’s path, on our quest for success, our choices, not our circumstances, set forth into motion our trajectory toward our desires.
We aren’t victims of life’s circumstances, unless we choose to be.
So, what exactly is success? Is it measured by prestige? A car? The corner office? A feeling? The dictionary defines success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” I like this definition because it gets to the root of success- its basis- thinking.
Success is merely an accepted belief, a thought that we prescribe meaning, but how do we find it? How do we achieve it?
I grew up under the mantras of, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again,” and “Just do it.” Have I ever given up? Heck yes. I, like many, have gotten tired along the way. We don’t see the results that we expected, so we stop. Sometimes we decide that what were doing wasn’t working so we try something new, abandoning the former path.
Along life’s journey, through heartache, joy, and enlightenment, I have come to understand that when we give up, we miss out on the opportunities and blessings of failing. We fail to recognize the gift of the fail.
Thomas Edison so eloquently articulated the gift of failing when he said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work….Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
With this said, let’s look at the definition of failure:
Let’s look at it this way, if I define darkness as lack or void of light, it does not mean that light does not exist. Darkness only exits within its defined parameters. One teensy tiny glimmer of light nullifies darkness. The same holds true for failure. Failure is a belief. We must accept a thought that our expectation was not met. One teensy tiny glimmer of hope nullifies failure. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Hope is the catalyst for success and is yet another accepted belief.
When properly combined, the two definitions of failure provide us with a recipe for success.
We run from failure, fear failure. Instead we should be embracing epically mastering failure. How well we fail, and our thoughts that prescribe our individual meaning of failure, determine our outcomes.
Our expectation is a thought which when prescribed a meaning, determines how we feel about the thought. If I expected certain results and failed to achieve those expected results, then I simply had an omission of a required action.
Wayne Gretzky stated that, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
What if the results that you expected or desired took too long? Who is setting the bar? Who is assigning the meaning? And if the results take longer than expected to be achieved, is it truly failure if you simply haven’t succeeded yet? Aren’t failures, an omission of expected or required actions, a part of the learning process?
Learning to fail means that we are on the path of success, that success exists. Therefore, if success exists, failure cannot at the same time, unless you call it failure. Just because your results are taking longer than you expected, this doesn’t mean failure, it means omission. There is something missing from the actions that you have taken.
If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again, truly spells out the recipe. It doesn’t mean abandon the dream and what you desire, it means learn from what didn’t work. We need to strive to fail because it means we are trying, we are learning, and we are staying in the path of success.
Failing is just practicing succeeding. To get really good at something, you need to practice! Practice creates confidence. Confidence empowers you.
Many have bought into the myth that failure is a bad thing. I’m here to tell you it means that you are on the road to success.
If you were to have never tried to take another step after falling as a toddler, you’d have never walked, and never ran. Success is defined by you. Only you know what success means because you create that meaning. Nobody can define success for you. If you redefine failure as a step to mastering success and a gift, then you have given yourself hope. Hope paves the way to success.
Only in darkness can you see the stars. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Every day when you awake you have an opportunity to reserve your dreams for your sleeping hours or you can live them in your waking hours. What would you prefer? I, for one, choose to live my dreams, but that requires action.
You see, actions are a result of a decision, a thought to act. You can choose to sit idly by and let opportunity fly past or you can choose to make your dreams your reality. Let's think for a moment what is stopping you. Is it fear? Is it lack of knowledge? Is it a lack of confidence?
What I am going to say next may seem a bit harsh, but these are all excuses so that you can avoid the truth. If you used any of these excuses, at the root is a feeling. Let me walk you through this. I will start with a simple recipe.
A thought leads to a feeling which leads to an action and gives you your result.
We typically make up an excuse because of a circumstance. I'm afraid because... I don't know how... I'm not sure if I can... A circumstance makes us feel a certain way. This thought creates a feeling such as fear, self-consciousness, uncertainty, etc. We then invest in that thought because of how it makes us feel. If we feel uneasy because we don't know how we will accomplish what we want, we accept a thought that we can't. That is our choice.
Instead of using not knowing as an opportunity to figure things out, we use it as a crutch. Or we use fear of failure as an excuse to never move forward. Our thoughts create our reality. We have the ultimate choice every day to decide how we feel, which produces our results.
Our lives are a product of choices. Why choose to limit yourself?
In my individual and group coaching sessions, I love watching the light bulbs pop on when people realize just how much power they have had all along, regardless of their circumstances. Circumstances only have the power you prescribe to them - through the feeling you CHOOSE to assign.
Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice. ~ Wayne Dyer
This week focus on the concept that your thoughts are driven by a feeling and that there is a pinnacle juncture for you when you CHOOSE to feel a certain way because that choice will set forth into action your results.
If you want to live your dream, your choice will not be one based in fear, but one that better serves you.
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.