How to get the Positive Motivation to Make a Change. Try this 4 Step Strategy
Sometimes it’s hard to find the positive motivation and self-confidence to make a change in your life. You know where you want to go but you feel paralysed.
You’re stuck in a rut.
Firstly, I want to reassure you that you’re not alone. I meet so many people who want to make a change, either at work or in their life generally. Some even know what the change should be but they just can’t take the first step to get the ball rolling.
The result? Goals they’ve looked forward to achieving turn into distant dreams.
This is dangerous territory. The longer you procrastinate the harder it will be to succeed and achieve what you want out of life. Your ‘to-do’ list just gets bigger, you start feeling overwhelmed and before you know it, each goal becomes lost in a massive pot of other goals you haven’t achieved.
I’m not going to pretend it’s easy to move forward and make change but just one step towards a goal will bring your dreams closer and create a desire to take more steps.
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Two people I’ve met through my work had very different dreams. Francis wanted to start his own scuba diving school at a resort on the East Coast of the Malaysian Peninsular. Sandra wanted to move into a different role working part time and in the time this freed up (two days a week), she wanted to set up her own HR Agency.
Francis and Sandra had different ideas but ultimately their dream was the same. They wanted to make a change to how they lived their life.
Francis was a quiet guy who kept himself to himself. He told me he lacked confidence in his own ability and described himself as rather pessimistic. Sandra was a bubbly, outgoing person. She told me she felt confident in her abilities but lacked any kind of positive motivation.
Previously their ideas were just pipedreams for both of them. Reconciling and switching turned them into reality. It made them possible.
These two people managed to find the self-confidence and positive motivation to do something about their predicament. In fact, they changed their lives completely. I want to tell you what happened to them, and more importantly, how they did it.
You can use their technique yourself. Change is possible, whatever your situation.
Here’s what they did in 4 simple steps
Step 1 – Reconcile
Just thinking about making a change isn’t enough (it’s an essential start though). Thinking is easy. Deciding is harder. Francis and Sandra had both been thinking about it for some time. They’d been treading water for quite a while too.
The reality is that nothing will actually happen until you make a conscious decision to make the change. So how do you do that?
First you need to reconcile with reality.
This ensures you move from pretending to doing.
Reconciling with reality literally means getting real with the situation. In other words, do you actually mean it? It involves considering all the external factors that could have implications for your decision (for example; family, financial security, personal commitments).
You MUST satisfy yourself that the idea is actually possible when all practical considerations are taken into account. Going through this mental reconciliation is the first step towards action.
Francis and Sandra achieved this reconciliation while they were on a self-confidence course with me. You don’t necessarily have to attend a course, but you must go through the reconciliation process.
Even though their ideas would be challenging to achieve, they both rationalised that in the cold light of day, the ideas were actually possible. This was their first step towards achieving them.
Essential rule; once you’ve reconciled the change with reality, do not look back.
Step 2 – Switch
Francis and Sandra had been pessimists. They freely admitted this, although they’d had no idea of the damage it was causing. Their negative mind-set was the main reason they were stuck in a rut.
Their negative thoughts about change had been the main cause for their self-doubt, indecision and procrastination. This made it easy to find excuses not to move forward. The process of reconciling the change helped massively with this. But that alone wasn’t enough to ensure they moved on.
They also had to make a conscious effort to switch their mind-set to a more positive mode. Certain thoughts had been creating barriers for them, sometimes even dragging them backwards. So they made the following rational decisions;
- – They stopped spending time with negative people. They both knew certain people who kept setting the seed of doubt in their minds. Their decisions were being influenced by these pessimistic, but very influential people.
- – They started to spend more time with positive, forward looking people.
- – They found the strength of mind to stop dwelling on the bad memories, mistakes or failures from the past. They did this by forcing themselves to accept they’d learnt all they could from these experiences – so thinking about them anymore made absolutely no sense; it only caused damage. The next step in the process (activate) really helped with this.
These simple actions helped Sandra and Francis to tackle their fear of the unknown. They gave their positive motivation a huge boost.
It meant they naturally started to focus on the positives; their self-belief started to build too. They found it easier to back themselves rather than question their abilities.
Step 3 – Activate
Francis had recently been to Malaysia on holiday. That’s when he’d seen the opportunity to start up his new scuba diving school.
Sandra had been thinking about changing her current job for a while. She knew she had the skills and experience to set up her own HR Agency.
The reconciling and switching process had now turned their aspirations into reality. Because their self-belief and self-confidence had strengthened, their ideas had become credible goals.
So Francis and Sandra started to plan; strategically initially and then shorter term to get things started.
Francis committed to another visit to Malaysia. After this he produced a business plan. Meetings with his bank followed and he successfully secured the funding he needed.
Sandra started applying for a part-time role. She’s since left her job and now works three days a week as an HR Manager for a marketing company in London.
Step 4 – Reap
We can sometimes be our own worst enemy when it comes to change. We’ll talk ourselves out of it given half a chance. This is completely natural; as human beings we’re programmed to prefer the status quo. We know where we stand. We have control. We understand the environment, the factors involved.
However, to move on and to feel fulfilled in life, change has to happen. The catalyst for Francis and Sandra was their success in tackling their self-doubt and their lack of self-belief.
Francis now lives in Malaysia. He’s been running his own scuba diving business for just over a year. Sandra has recently secured her first client with her own fledgling HR agency.
Two normal people who knew the problem; they didn’t have the confidence to believe in themselves and take a step into the unknown. Most of us are just like them. We’re human. Our natural reaction is to question ourselves when faced with a challenge.
These two people have proved that even when you’re vulnerable to self-doubt and negativity, if you have a method and disciplined approach, you can succeed.
They’re both now reaping the reward.
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