No change without some pain

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Pleasure and pain

I’ve been watching videos and reflecting on some early feedback from two of my program’s that launched last week. One was a new business owner breakthrough program and the other is a Leadership Development program for junior directors and managers in SME’s

After the kick off sessions some participants have reported that they have felt feel a surge of optimism and confidence. Others have found the days following the first program tough, almost painful. I am delighted with both of these outcomes.

My bold boast in these programs is that I am improving your business performance in a way that is effortless. But effortless doesn’t always mean painless. In fact there can be no change without pain. Simply because we don’t like change.

Why try?

Us humans work to a very simple evolutionary principle; what kept us alive yesterday will keep us alive today. This is a valuable way of operating as it stops us from trying out anything new that may threaten our survival. It is not so useful when you are working to improve your performance and the results that you get. The good news is this is simple to deal with once you understand what is actually happening. Let’s use me as the Guinea Pig here.

Whenever I am going on holiday a strange thing happens. A day before I am due to go I have an internal argument in my head where I try to convince myself not to go. This is not just a fleeting idea. It is a compelling relentless thought that I used to have to do battle with.  It’s a mental debate that rages until the moment I leave the house. As best as I can tell this has happened for my whole adult life. If I trusted and acted upon this thinking I would have never had a holiday.

 

This is a perfect example of a principle that was talked about last week. The problem in any moment is not what we are thinking. The problem is simply that we are thinking.

True metamorphosis

I could have spent last week putting delegates into a positive mind state.  I could have motivated them, inspired them and then wowed them with solutions to today’s business and leadership problems by way of tips and tactics. Perhaps the latest marketing strategy, anew sales script, a tip for dealing with difficult people or a time management hack. These might excite and motivate people in the moment but, in most cases, they will never get implemented (or get tried once and then dumped). This is because they are not specific to the individuals in front of me.

My guiding principle in all the work I do is that you already have everything that you need in order to lead yourself, others and your companies towards the results that you really want. The challenge is not that we lack the necessary confidence, connection, creativity and curiosity. The challenge is that we get in your own way and prevent ourselves from accessing these innately present tools.

We get in our own way as a result of the myth we have built up about ourselves. It is the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, what we want and how the world works. These stories set us up to operate in the world and will either push us forward or hold us back in any situation or moment. When your story is an empowering one you are able to think, decide and act effortlessly. When your story disempowers you things feel beyond your reach or impossible to do.

Freedom some day

To rewrite the parts of your story that disempower you is to free you to become the very best and most successful version of you possible. Imagine what it feels like to be able to deal with anything that shows up in your company and to keep moving forward, regardless.

This is the prize on offer. In order to claim it you must be willing to understand that you have to overcome your own internal resistance to change. This will mean that sometimes your whole being may be trying to pull you back into the safety of your comfort zone as you start to chip away at some of the things that have held you back. What kept you alive yesterday…….

You have believed in and operated from some aspects of your story for your whole life. Some of it is attached to you like thick cement so you won’t be surprised to know that a part of you wants to cling onto it. When you see how your story controls you it opens up the possibility to operate in spite of it or even to write yourself a new story. You see the truth is in spite of my thinking I never missed a holiday.

 

If you would like a conversation about how you can begin to show up in a way that will deliver the results you seek then drop an email telling me about your biggest challenge to me at dave@sleepingtiger.co.uk

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