Have you ever considered the courage it takes to change?
I was having a conversation about this with my colleague - counsellor and TRTP practitioner/mentor, David Cluff. With his typical clarity and insight, he mentioned the two types of courage required for lasting change. They are, firstly, the courage to change and, secondly, the courage to sustain it despite resistance and pushback from our environment, including our relationships.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that most participants described how their sustained behaviour change toward better physical health had been prompted by a significant life crisis. The initial change was then sustained if certain conditions were met: 1. the reason for the unhealthy behaviour was disrupted, 2. The person perceived that they had little choice in sustaining the change! Do or die! The sustained change was also enabled by a shift in the identity of the participant towards, in this case, a new, healthier self.
When a choice is pressing and thrust upon us, we still need to courage to change. When the need is less pressing, in some ways, it requires greater courage and commitment. The change feels less urgent and so we can more easily talk ourselves out of it!
So, what personal changes do you want to make? Have you tried before, and failed? How can we fuel the courage to sustain the change we commit to? Here’s a technique that can help you make those changes more readily and sustain them.
Follow the low road.
In your mind, follow the trajectory of your life if you don’t make the desired changes. Imagine the ‘crisis’ before it happens! Imagine how you’ll feel in 5 years, 10 years… at the end of your life if you don’t make the changes. Imagine, perhaps, how your relationships, health, sense of dignity and self-respect may suffer as you continue further and further into that rut. Imagine what will happen to your family, your career… The regret. The low road hole. Make it dark. If you don’t stop, you may well end up there.
Now follow the high road.
Now do the opposite. Imagine making and sustaining the desired changes. Imagine how you’ll feel in 5, 10, 20 years’ time. Imagine the positive impact of your life – health, perhaps, relationships, success, happiness, sense of self and self-confidence, and self-respect. Imagine your vastly different, lighter, more empowered state of being, simply by making those changes.
Remind yourself of the low road when you’re tempted to sabotage your desired change. Then remind yourself of the magnificent benefits of your high road.
And ask yourself: is it worth it? Am I worth it? Is my family, my career, and my health worth it?
And if you need help stopping the self-sabotage, reach out. Sometimes our unhealthy, sabotaging behaviour is fueling a need we’re not even consciously aware of. Sometimes we need help.
If you need help, book a complimentary strategy consultation with Sally here.