Why action plans don't work
For a long time, I believed change was all about actions. It was all about figuring out the right things to do. If I DID all the right things, I would reach my goal.
What that looked like is:
pick a goal
write a plan, set up accountability
take actions with gusto for a while
sometimes fall off track when motivation wanes
sometimes meet my goal
then at some point often go back to the original behavior
end up in a place where I'm disappointed in myself, confused, and beating myself up
What I know now is that the most powerful and long lasting change comes from a practice of DEEP AWARENESS.
Because our results come from our beliefs and patterned thinking. If we don't work with those first, positive change often doesn't stick.
Seeing myself, my thoughts, and my habits clearly (with a healthy dose of acceptance and compassion) is the first step to any sort of real change.
Have you taken any time recently to turn off your devices, to be alone, to do nothing and pay attention to what comes up in your head and heart? I know, it's hard to remember this or do this in today's world...
What comes from "do nothing time" is an opportunity to BE WITH your mind and yourself in a real way. To observe (without judgment) the thoughts and beliefs that run on default and ultimately create your results and your experience of your life.
Each time I do this, I find interesting nuggets of insight about myself. For example, I noticed myself recently believing that I needed someone in my life to do something in order for me to feel safe. When I took time to be with this this state of discomfort and desire to control (rather than accepting it as truth), I realized 85-90% of the emotion and thoughts were being run by a really old "program" created by painful experiences about 15 years ago.
When I can be AWARE and let insight come through, it allows me to
step back into my power
see myself and the circumstances of my life more clearly and neutrally
consciously CHOOSE how to best navigate the circumstance
understand the learning that is available to me in any given circumstance
In this case, I chose to be with the discomfort and the knowledge that the strong emotions and fear coming up were rooted in the past, not the present. It was an opportunity to work with my mind and my heart to heal something old and create a new pathway of response.
Working with your thoughts and beliefs is a powerful practice and one of the most reliable paths to long lasting change.
Want some support getting started? I got you. I offer a free call to new clients to begin the process of seeing yourself, your life, and your mind more clearly and compassionately.