Sounds like the title of a song right? And in a way, that’s exactly what it is. The question is, is it your song? Is it someone you know’s song? It has certainly been my song at times. So, what’s the deal?
Each and every day, each and every one of us gets up and we play out the current patterns of our lives. We may have been playing the same patterns for days, months, sometimes years. We love routine and we do the same old things PHYSICALLY or EXTERNALLY but we also run the same old routines MENTALLY or INTERNALLY. Our thought patterns which ultimately affect our behaviour are usually running to the same old beat every day. Sometimes we want different results yet we find ourselves hitting the repeat button over and over again.
So what do we do to change the song?
First off, its great to make external and physical changes to enable us to meet our goals or agendas. But if we want true success then we really have to adjust our internal, our mental mechanics to do the same, to be in synch. Otherwise it’s a bit like trying to paddle your way to the side of the lake with only one oar working, we keep going round and round in circles. If you have both oars working together then suddenly, it’s a whole lot easier to reach the bank.
So, armed with this information, that we need to look at both our physical and our mental mechanics to get things moving in the right direction, where do we start?
The first part is the relatively easy part. You have to figure out what you want. Sounds simple but it is surprising just how many people don't really give any serious thought about what they do want. In fact, most people can happily reel off a list of the ‘don’t wants’ but find the ‘do wants’ a bit tricky.
If this is you, then you may want to start looking at different areas of your life in turn. For example, what do you want in terms of finances? This can be a weekly, monthly, or yearly plan. The same goes for other areas such as relationships, health, career or emotional/spiritual well-being. What do you want in these areas? How do you want to feel? What do you want to achieve?
Once you have figured out what you want, you need a plan. The best way to set to work on a plan is to start big then break it down into smaller chunks. If you are new to planning set a goal that you want to achieve for example in 6 months then step back month by month setting smaller goals which will lead you there.
Then create your action steps – the pebbles that lead you to the big rocks if you like, the tiny actions that help get you started. So, if you are working on your finances and your budget, this could be as simple as cutting down the numbers of coffees you buy each a day. If you are working on your health, it could be going for a 5 minute walk every lunch time or meditating for 5 minutes on the train to work. The point is the small steps can get you where you want to go if you are consistent and keep adding to them.
Set yourself and your resources up to the task ahead – if you don’t want to drink for a month, excuse yourself from drinking activities. Put yourself in the right places to achieve your goal and surround yourself with the right people. If you are planning to change your eating habits to include more healthy options, then stock up your fridge with the foods you want to eat. If you want more time for you, schedule out time in your diary and don’t book things in. Start using your resources in your favour.
Then really, it’s a question of getting on with it right? Well, if this were truly the case then there would be a high percentage or truly happy people in the world leading their ideal lives. But the truth is, there is more to it than that. The big stumbling block that gets in the way of the most well thought out and well set intentions is – YOURSELF.
And part of YOURSELF are your thoughts and what is going on in your internal world. How you communicate to yourself. Are you nice to yourself or are you a little unpleasant? If you need clarifying on this point, try asking yourself whether you would you say the things you say to yourself to your best friend? Most people’s worst critics are themselves. And this really comes down to negative self-talk, the little voice that kicks in when you start doing something, the one that tells you that you’re not good enoug, that you are kidding yourself, that you aren’t cleverer enough, you don’t have time, you’re too fat, thin, tall, short, old….etc. You know the one. The one that says, don’t bother going to the gym tonight, its not doing you any good anyway, you’ll be happier staying home on the couch’ THAT VOICE. The one that doesn’t lead you to your higher self but leads you down the path of the REPEAT button and back to where you started.
Does that voice rule you or do you rule it? If you want to change things on the outside you have to start within. Your thoughts rule your behaviour. Start getting jiggy with the thoughts in your head and you can start to evolve some behaviour that serves you not floors you. Changing the thoughts in your head can be tricky at first and can take time, but with practise, it can be done. From then on, life gets better and better. Once we eliminate those sabotaging thoughts which tell us we suck and replace them with thoughts that tell us that we are capable of anything we want to achieve then the results in our external world miraculously start to change.
That doesn’t mean you get angry or upset by the voice, it just means you change the song it’s singing. You change it from “I can’t” to “I can”, you change it from “I’m not good enough, to I am more than enough”, you change it from “I don’t know how to do that”, to “I will give it a go”, you change it from “I’m rubbish at this”, to “I am learning new ways to get better at this”. Time and practise is needed but it does work and gradually those long held beliefs you have about yourself start to shift as you realise there is always a way out of whatever you are in. You can choose to be the victim of your thoughts or the creator of new ones which will get you where you want to go. With the internal mechanics working in your favour and your external resources set up in alignment, you have a much better chance of getting what you want.
So here's a little exercise to start challenging your internal view of the world, to think about the language you are using and what effect this has on your behaviour. The next time you say to yourself or someone else, I can’t. Ask yourself truthfully whether you can’t or you just don’t want to so you won’t!
Change the word CAN’T for WON’T.
I can’t get up any earlier OR I won’t get up any earlier
I can’t find the time OR I won’t find the time
I can’t go to the gym OR I won’t go to the gym
When we use the word CAN’T we take on the role of the VICTIM. The circumstances are beyond our control and we are unable to do anything about it but when we use the word WON’T we take back our power. We make the choice. It is in our hands. This subtle change of wording can have a profound effect on how we view things and then how we do things. Challenge yourself.
Once we begin to see how we sabotage ourselves and our actions by language, we become more AWARE. Awareness is the first element of any change. Being aware of something gives us the power to change it.
So, if you truly want to change your song and stop hitting the repeat button, start viewing your goals in terms of aligning your external and your internal patterns towards them rather than rowing that one oared boat around in circles. Get both oars set up and get the beat of your internal rhythm going in time with the beat of your external rhythm and the result will be a sweet symphony.