While visiting family in Michigan I had the opportunity to coach my niece, Alina, through a life-changing event, one considered major in a toddler’s life. She was ready for toilet training. The little charmer took it very seriously. As we worked toward the goal, I accompanied her on bathroom trips that were sometimes a false alarm, occasionally an oops…too late, but much of the time successful. My role in the process, as requested by Alina, included reading to her from a children’s potty training book, which I did at least twenty-seven times. She listened intently, reviewed the pictures carefully and gave me that knowing smile proclaiming, “Don’t worry Auntie, I’ve got this.”
When I stop to think about it, giving up diapers and people who attend to your personal needs must be challenging. No one ever said change is easy. Not for a mere child, or a seasoned adult.
Many of us avoid change because it’s uncomfortable. What we really fear is the unknown. The perception of fear can immobilize us. Consequently, we create excuses and either continue our bad habits or lack new achievements.
Another common excuse for avoiding change is the difficulty factor. We imagine it’s going to be painful. In his book, “Excuses Begone!” Dr. Wayne Dyer advises “the belief it is going to be hard is only a belief.” Stop programming your mind with defeating convictions. Dyer recommends conquering our negative thoughts with positive affirmations. For example, perhaps you could increase your earning power if you moved to a different city where jobs are more plentiful. Don’t scare yourself silly with the thought that leaving your family and friends behind will cause immense loneliness. Instead, affirm you are a likeable person who makes new friends easily. Repeat the affirmation when fear tries to sabotage your new direction. Begin to embrace life changes.
Need some more pointers on gaining momentum when dealing with change? Start simple. Define one positive action you can take to can alter your life. Schedule it into your calendar for the next thirty days. Commit to it in writing and post it in a highly visible location. Then make a list of all the benefits of follow-through.
Want to run a marathon? Don your running shoes and start training today. Working your plan not only delivers results it builds your self-esteem.
After you run that marathon, celebrate! Reward yourself with something fun and meaningful. You DID it! Climbing that mountain proved you put on your big girl panties (or big boy boxers) and implemented positive change. Now, continue your journey onward.