How you can make permanent changes for the better.
I was at a coach development weekend with the athletics coaches that I mentor at the weekend. We have had many of these weekends over the years and a number of the coaches have seen and heard a lot of what was being presented before. Yet they are still coming to these sessions and are still faced with the same coaching problems and are not producing the high level performance athletes that they all want. I thought this is the same problem that many of my clients have. They want to get results, to be fitter, healthier, leaner and more confident and they generally know what to do. But like the coaches they are not getting the results that they really want.
Knowledge and understanding is one thing but putting it into action and making changes to what they do to move their coaching and athletes forward is the real challenge. It is moving from “knowing” to “doing.” I see the same thing day in and day out with people who are not happy with their general health, confidence and well-being. People tell me that they know that they should eat more healthily, exercise more, drink more water and less alcohol etc, etc. They know what to do but its just doing it that is the problem. When challenged the coaches & people that I talk to have their excuses at the ready to justify why they haven’t taken that next step. Why haven’t they made the changes necessary to be a success? The answer is in their mindset. It is all down to the thoughts in your head – YOU.
Life is what you make it and to make permanent change you need to change what you do permanently.
But how do you do this?
Move from knowing to doing
The secret isn’t in the knowing it is in the doing – so take action now (Michael Heppell -Flip it)
You may already know how to achieve your goals and dreams, you may have spent countless hours and hundreds of pounds investing in the knowledge of what to do. Whether it is attending a business or training course, a weight loss programme, buying and reading the latest book, searching online for workouts and diets or even asking someone. Absorbing and understanding information is only the first step. You then need to have a plan of acton to implement your knowledge and initiate change. You need a realistic action plan (see previous article Do you have a plan). Once again this is something that the coaches & most people know. But how many of you actually do write a plan. I don’t mean yes I know what my plan is I just haven’t written it down yet. I mean write it down or create a vision board of your plan. Believe me it really does work. It keeps you focused on what you need to do to create change & take you closer to your final goal.
Uncover the truth behind your excuses
Just like the coaches when you ask yourself why you haven’t made progress towards your goal you will have a range of reasons or excuses. Some of them will be genuine reasons but the root of most peoples excuses are deep down fears. These fears control your actions and they come from negative thoughts – a mindset where you worry about being judged, where you are paralysed by set backs so do not like to be challenged. You become a victim and blame external factors for your failings. (I don’t have time, I don’t eat eggs, I am too tired). Think about the excuses that you use when you don’t see something through to its conclusion. Now think a little deeper about what is behind these excuses. Is it fear, are you trying to protect your self confidence? Do you really want change or are you afraid of what it may bring?
To overcome the excuses you need to flip your mindset, and your thoughts to a positive ‘ growth’ way of thinking.
Replace fears with beliefs.
Take charge of your learning and motivation and do things to improve yourself for you rather than how you will be perceived.
(When flipped the above excuses become, I don’t have time – how can I make more time. I don’t eat eggs – what else can I eat. I am too tired – how can I get more energy).
Your mindset can be trained and changed just like your muscles. It is essential what ever your mindset (positive or negative) that confidence and self-esteem are protected. Positive self talk is a skill that can be learnt and will help you stay confident, composed and positive in any situation. (Your thoughts become your feelings) If negative thoughts start to creep in and dominate your thoughts you must use a ‘countering’ strategy to turn the negative self talk into positive self talk.
In order to do this you must first identify the negative thoughts, then stop these thoughts and reframe them into positive ones.
These positive thoughts should be instructional and motivational rather than judgemental.
E.g. I just need to give this workout 100% no matter what” rather than “It’s hopeless I’ll never be able to do full press ups”.
This skill of countering needs practice. Regularly analyse your thoughts. Identify any negatives then use a cue such as visualizing a stop sign or traffic lights , catching the thought & throwing it away, say stop to yourself or slap yourself to stop the negative thought.
Then you must counter the thought with a positive statement.
E.g I can’t do press ups, change to I will be able to do press ups if I keep working on them and push myself.
Tell your self that it is a huge step or a challenge but you can work towards achieving it. You can get a little better every day and over a period of time you will become a lot better. Don’ t run away from the problem, hide your insecurities, or blame others, accept responsibility for your actions & be true to yourself.
Ask for help and don’ t judge yourself, don’t carry forward judgments & bitterness but new understanding.
The only person stopping you from achieving is you.