6 Ways to Make Change and Action Easier
Before you start making plans, give yourself the advantage of knowing 5 reasons why change can be so difficult. Particularly if you have tried before or are blaming and shaming yourself at all for having not enough skills, motivation or willpower.
Now you are ready and want to know how to make it easier?
Okay, so let's ensure knowledge really is power and work with those perfectly human and understandable tendencies.
Coaching through change is a huge topic and we all go through some change throughout our lives, but here are some tips to get started tackling the 5 barriers.
1. The key first step to change is to decide 100%. Are you going to start a the change now? And that is the only decision - "change now". "change" without the now is deciding that you aren't going to.
If you're not sure about this one. Ask yourself if the particular career change is really important to you? If it's someone else's goal or something you describe as a change or move you 'should' make, then you are off to a bad start.
Then if you're still not sure if it's worth it, really think about the gain and what you will miss out on if you don't do this? Because our brain's default is for no change we have to believe that staying as we are is absolutely guaranteed to be a bigger risk or less desirable than changing. If you need to seek guidance or a sounding board at this point, get it.
Once you decide to make a change, success is actually the easiest path, because 'all in' is easier. Holding back, doubt, hesitations, delay, procrastination, those are when it's really hard.
Next, remember the super hero trap?
2. Be patient with yourself. It is easy to think something is a permanent change and then we slip back. Remember you are often building new habits and beliefs, which you may have formed over years! The old pathway will always remain and it will take time for new beliefs to become the stronger default. But you can keep starting and it gets easier.
3. Think big but then act small to start with. Key is to remember that habit is more important than intensity. So set a low bar you can meet everyday, e.g. looking at one job ad. You may exceed that most days but if you still reach that low bar even on an unmotivated day, then your brain will conclude success not failure. Do all you can to stay in success, no matter how tiny the action. Don't be tempted to think that if you completed one application on Monday, or tackled one difficult work issue, then you can complete two on Tuesday, three on Wednesday. Your aim is to trick your brain into thinking this is not a big change, no big deal, no risk.
4. Reduce the fear further. What is this about fear and risk all the time? This sounds silly, you may logically think "I'm not scared of completing applications" but at some level you probably are - fear of not doing a good application, fear of rejection, fear of getting to interview. Again this is a big topic with lots of strategies, but my best tip is to decide on an action when you are as relaxed as possible, pick a time to do it, again broken down to quite small, then just start at that time, on auto pilot. Like the habit of going to the gym - it's easier if decide the night before that you will go, decide on the time and put your gym clothes ready. Rather than thinking about whether to go or not (and talking yourself out of it), whilst you're lying in bed the next morning considering the time, the weather, how you feel. Of course the gym or an application shouldn't be scary, but remember to your brain it is if you've survived where you are so far.
5. Use your environment to help you. Putting the gym clothes ready is changing your environment. So is putting the laptop and your CV on the desk ready to work on in the morning. Also observe where you go, who with, what anchors you have around you. If you spend most of your time talking with people who don't want to move on from the job you did see as temporary, it will become harder to break away from the same mindset and limitations. Your environment can also be yourself - do you notice any self-limiting beliefs and justifications for not making the move you intended to?
6. Accountability. Mainly this is to yourself. Set little actions and follow through will increase your confidence that you can count on yourself. Other ways to make your ideas into real achievable goals, rather than fantasies to fade in a puff of smoke are:
- Write it down. Research shows this makes achieving any goal more likely. Even better - read it everyday, along with the actions to getting there.
- Visualising yourself in your new job and lifestyle - through meditation and vision boards can help.
- Share your career goal with someone you trust and who will support you.
- Even better make it someone you don't know too well, who can really hold you accountable. Unfortunately, often our friends and families are not the best people. Even though they may want to see you succeed, you changing can be difficult for them - whether they consciously realise or not. You might find an 'accountability partner' or a coach, so that you truly have someone right there alongside you wanting you to achieve your goal as much as you do.with no agenda of their own.
If you do employ a Career Coach, ensure that they don't tell you what actions to take, but work to help you:
- Clarify what you want.
- Come up with the plan of 'how' to get it.
- Take action, review and measure, keep perspective, take action again.
- Stay motivated, resilient and creative.
- Stay accountable? This is critical as the only way to guaranteed that you keep moving forward.
If you are ready to make that career change happen and would like my help.
Let me tell you a little more about coaching, so you are clear what it is and isn't.
Then go ahead and book me.