What do you want to accomplish in your life? Is it better fitness, weight loss, an improved relationship, a promotion at work, or some other goal? Have you ever thought about behavior change?
Regardless of what goal(s), you choose, a common mistake is to immediately dive into the tactics. To start doing those daily tasks you think will get you closer to your goals.
This could be going to the gym, starting a diet, doing more chores around the house, or working longer hours to impress your boss.
While some short-term benefits may arise from these actions, these well-meaning actions tend to miss the point and often lead to frustration or sliding back into old habits.
Successful change ALWAYS starts with a mindset and behavior change.
Specifically, we must:
- Envision a new reality that we believe we can achieve.
- Decide that we want behavior change
- Reach a point where the “pain” of the status quo is greater than the “pain” required to change
Going through these stages has little to do with specific actions and everything to do with flipping the script in our brain.
It’s common to think of our current reality as an inalienable truth.
Yet, it’s simply a constructed story based on our past interactions with the world around us. It’s also susceptible to change, regardless of how entrenched that reality may seem.
Change requires exposing ourselves to information and situations that disrupt our carefully curated reality and show us a new perspective or different future outcome than we imagined.
Going through this process has the potential to be tough, but it doesn’t have to be.
Do you believe that behavior change is hard? To change your beliefs, habits, and situation in life?
This is very common, but we do it all the time, often without knowing or realizing it.
Think of the changes you’ve had in your life up to this point.
Do you think and act the same as you did in high school, university, or even 5 years ago?
- What areas of your thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, and actions have changed?
- Have they changed for better and for worse?
- Looking back, can you see the reasons for those behavior changes?
- Was there a perspective shift involved?
There is definitely effort involved with change, but not much more effort than is required to maintain the status quo.
For example, it’s hard work coming up with and justifying those excuses for why you haven’t accomplished what you want, and dealing with the anxiety and frustration of lack of progress towards wishes and dreams you’ve had for years.
On the fitness side, people think it’s hard work to exercise regularly. Sure, you have to put out effort, but think of how much effort it takes for an obese person with a laundry list of serious health problems to go through a typical day.
How hard is it to carry around 30, 50, 100 extra pounds throughout the day? What about walking up a flight of stairs, or even putting on a pair of shoes/socks? For many people in this situation, those simple tasks are gargantuan efforts that involve significant pain, struggle, and discomfort.
THIS is where starting with a perspective shift makes all the difference.
The great news is we have opportunities to practice shifting our perspectives and mindset surrounding us every day.
This includes the mundane daily conversations and interactions we have with coworkers, friends, and family. It also includes the sources of news, information, and stimulus we expose ourselves to each day.
All of these inputs shape our perceptions and lead us down a path of experience. If we want to change our situation, we selectively change our inputs and experiences.
This concept applies to simple outcomes like losing a few pounds of body fat, to societal challenges such as the global schism that’s evolved over the past couple of decades and continues to widen.
While we will stay away from politics and ideology, these stem from the information and stimuli we expose ourselves to.
A perspective shift requires that we burst our “filter bubble” and seek knowledge and environments outside of our norm and comfort zone. The more we do this, the more we are able to learn, grow, develop, and change.
Here are a couple of simple examples.
You may have even seen them before, but hopefully, you will be able to view them from different perspectives, both practical, and philosophical.
Look at the image below. What do you see?
Faces, a vase, or both?
Can you switch your perspective back and forth at will?
Can you see them both at the same time?
Here’s another classic image.
Do you see a beautiful young woman or an old hag?
While these are basic examples, in any situation we experience, a simple perspective shift can often help us see a solution that’s been in front of us the entire time.
If you have goals you’ve been struggling to accomplish, try shifting your focus and perspective. Open yourself up to new opportunities and information.
When you are ready to have an expert and experienced coach guide you through this process of change, I would love to help. Just reach out by phone, email, or the usual social channels.
Or you can enroll in our on-demand Mindset Mastery Course, your ticket to a successful mindset change. Here’s to your new perspective on life!