The first step is accepting the fact that you always have a choice, and that you are the only person in charge of your life. The truth is that once you are able to accept the fact that life is the way it is right now, and bad things may happen to you and IN SPITE of this fact, you can always make the choice to change, this will provide you with immense freedom, because now you are ready to realize that you are the only person in charge of your own life.
You now must pay attention to two aspects: how you think and what you do. Motivation is a function of these two components, and not the other way around. If you feel motivated, that’s great. If not, start thinking differently and start acting, and you’ll notice shifts in your motivation as well.
The way we think has a great impact on how we feel and act. We often tell ourselves unhelpful things that we believe to be true because they have an emotional value. Thoughts such as “things SHOULD be easier”, “I can’t STAND doing this, it’s HORRIBLE” or “I am WEAK” are easy to come to mind when trying to replace old habits. What these thoughts have in common is the fact that they are absolutistic, unrealistic and unhelpful. They can be dangerous as they only add more pressure and negative emotions to an already difficult situation. Do we really need to think this way?
Dealing with cognitive distortions
What we can do is to notice when they come around and analyze how truthful they really are. In reality, the only things we need in order to survive are those along the lines of our basic needs: food, water, shelter etc and we CAN stand a temporary unpleasant situation.
Furthermore, demanding that things ought to be different just because we want them to is unrealistic, and no law of the Universe says that things should be as we’d like them to be. Life is not always fair. Getting upset over this is like getting upset over weather.
Replacing absolute demands with preferences, telling yourself that “I would really like things to be easier, but even if they are really, really unpleasant right now I can still tolerate the situation” and “just because I’m having a hard time, it doesn’t’ mean I’m weak, it just means I’m human” is the best way to reduce your negative emotions, so that you can focus on your goals.
Speaking of goals
It’s important to identify where you stand in the stages of change model. If you are in the first two stages, (precontemplation and contemplation) it would be useful to know that ambivalence towards change is normal, and you could write down benefits and disadvantages of changing and benefits and disadvantages of not changing. This should help you clear your mind and make a decision regarding your own process of change.
If you are in the next stages, what is important is to set small daily achievable goals, and increase their difficulty over time. Remember that your goal is to produce change one day at a time. The famous comedian Jerry Seinfeld used “The Chain” method when writing the script for Seinfeld. It consisted of him writing daily and marking in the calendar each day in which he wrote. His goal was not to break the chain. Apparently this method was highly effective, with his show Seinfeld becoming one of the most famous cultural references of all times.
If you are reading this article now and preparing to change something in your life, remember that change is natural, we’ve been changing since birth. Sometimes change is difficult. In times like these you have to look inside, to see what thoughts are causing you negative emotions, how true these thoughts really are. Then, when you are ready to commit to change, remember to take things one day at a time, start acting in the direction of your desired change and set daily small, achievable goals. Above everything else, remember that you are only human. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Success, like change, is a process.
Keep in mind that success is right around the corner and it starts NOW, with every action that you take (however small) that is aligned with your goals and values.
A rewarding career awaits you, and we'd love to help you along the path.
Simply fill out the form below and receive our course brochure instantly.