Podcast: Why Change is So Hard & 5 Tips for Making Changes Stick
This podcast was a little off the cuff, but in this episode, I discuss CHANGE. I felt inspired to talk about this because since starting my business full time, I’ve been attending a lot of local networking events for entrepreneurs. However, I’ve been meeting a lot of people who want to start businesses or who have all these cool ideas, but when it comes to executing and doing something about it, they’re not doing much at all. I know I used to be like this myself, so I’m definitely not judging. It was just an observation. So I started thinking about why this was a theme across several different events I’ve gone to over the last several weeks.
I started to think about my journey and how hard change was for me. I love learning about the mind and what keeps us stuck and what helps us make progress and I started identifying the limiting mindsets that we hold sometimes that can stop us from making the changes we want to make.
When you’re thinking about making a change, start with asking yourself WHY do you even want the change to see if it’s what you really want. What I think happens oftentimes, especially with social media, is that people get caught up in looking at other people’s lives thinking that they’re so glamorous or so much better than their own lives. And they think they want what someone else has from that perception on social media, when in reality, it may be something that they don’t even want. And guess what? That’s totally fine! If you’re happy with where you are and all you need to do is to start being more grateful, you may realize that you don’t even want the changes you thought you wanted. But if you find that you do really want the changes that you’re thinking about, ask yourself why and make sure it’s something that you feel strongly about. That’s what will help give you the momentum to keep going and to actually use the tips I share.
This past summer, I was frustrated with creating the same situations in my life year after year. I didn’t even realize how repetitive it was until this year. With my career, it’s been a cycle of unstable sales jobs with things going wrong everywhere I go. So I’ve been looking for new jobs for almost every year for 7 years. So this year, I started to think about how crazy that was for something to go wrong everywhere I go for that long. I started studying the subconscious mind and how it causes you to create the same results in your life. I realized it wasn’t the external circumstances that kept going wrong. It was my mindset attracting that stuff into my life again and again. And I also knew wasn’t in alignment with what felt good for me and with what was my truth for how I wanted to live my life. I was in corporate sales and that was never in alignment with my truth or what I enjoyed. It was just a means to an end. So when I was forcing myself into those roles and a way of living that didn’t fit with me, so it clashed and didn’t mesh. It created environments that I didn’t like because, ultimately, it just wasn’t for me.
I started thinking about why we even put ourselves into situations like that anyway. From what I’ve learned about the subconscious mind, a lot of the knowledge I picked up was from Dr. Joe Dispenza, a speaker/neurosciencist. He has these facts backed up by science. He talks about how 90 or 95% of what we do in our lives after a certain age is unconsciously happening. And our brains are running our lives like a computer program. Like something could happen in your life and instead of you consciously making a decision on what to do next, the computer program takes over and you start operating on auto-pilot and acting out of fear and worry, trying to avoid the outcome you don’t want. The subconscious behaviors that you operate out of are usually rooted in what you don’t want, or beliefs you picked up along the way in life that you didn’t even come up with in the first place. These could be beliefs like, “It’s hard to make money,” or “I won’t be able to make money doing something I like,” or “Doing something creative won’t make money.” It could even be behaviors that you’re doing unconsciously to sabotage things. It could also be your reactions to certain situations. It could even be your habits…like maybe you’re telling yourself you want to change your life but you’re in the habit of just coming home and watching television for hours until you fall asleep after work. All of those things are that computer program that’s just running the show in your life. This is why it’s so hard to change.
This is why people can leave a cool networking event all inspired and fired up, but then once they get home, they don’t implement what they learn. They just keep taking in information and they implement a little, bit but then the subconscious beliefs take over. You may start telling yourself it’s too hard again or you don’t have time or you’re going to take a break one day and that break turns into a months-long hiatus.
This happened to me with my business. I got so busy with my day job and made all these excuses for why not to pursue web design, even though I enjoyed it. I’d tell myself it’s hard to find new clients or it’s just hard to find good clients. And I’d tell myself I was too busy and too tired to do it. I was letting the subconscious beliefs run my life.
I was thinking I’d maybe try to run my business full time by 35, and I’m 30 right now. I don’t know why I picked 35. It was random. It just seemed like an ideal age. But in reality nothing was holding me back to where I needed to wait until 35. I’m single, no kids, no mortgage. But this summer when I noticed I was creating the same situations for 7 years that I didn’t want, and I needed to look for a new job almost every year, I started to think that the path I was on really wasn’t meant for me. And I started to examine what beliefs I held that were keeping me back from what I really did want. I noticed that I’d tell myself “It’s too hard to make money doing something I like” or “It’s going to take a long time so I need to wait.” And in the meantime, I was continuing to put myself in miserable situations. I started being honest about what I really wanted and why, so I could start creating new beliefs.
I love Jen Sincero’s book, “You Are a Badass,” and especially “You Are a Badass at Making Money.” She discusses limiting beliefs and how to reframe them. I also started doing meditation. And I started to change how I viewed myself and what I’m capable of and I boosted my confidence. Because oftentimes, when you do these things and you push past the fears or limiting beliefs, you look back on it and you can’t believe that’s what was keeping you stuck.
I just say all that to give an example of the subconscious mind and how it can affect your life and how it can keep you stuck in the same unwanted scenario. Since we’re going into 2019 in about 30 days, these are great tips for helping you to make changes in your life and to overcome the subconscious mind to create new good patterns to support you in making changes, instead of being hyped up at the beginning of the year and letting the subconscious mind take over again in the next few weeks after the new year starts.
Tip #1: Get honest with yourself about what you want and why.
An exercise I love doing is identifying my values as a person. I’m someone who values flexibility, freedom, making an impact, creativity, autonomy, etc. All of those things are why I wanted to make the switch to starting my business. When you’re trying to identify your career values, a good exercise to do is to make a list of what you did and didn’t like about all your jobs. Or even if it’s a fitness or dating goal, you could make a list of what you did like about the people you’ve dated and what didn’t you like and how do you want to feel. Get really clear on the values and feelings you want because that will help give you more drive and it’ll take away from the surface-level (social media-worthy) reasons why you may want something. This is your foundation for change.
Tip #2: Feel worthy of what you want.
For some reason, we have this human mindset problem of not feeling worthy of what we want, like we have to struggle or be in pain to be living a real normal life, but that makes no sense and it’s not even true. We’ve made up all these stories of how hard life should be, but you’re worthy of living a happy, fun and fulfilling life. So make sure you hype yourself up about how worthy you are. Tell yourself every day that you’re worthy of the life of your dreams and you’re worthy of being happy and you’re worthy of living in your full potential.
Affirmations can help with this and you can also write out some “I am ____” statements, filling in the blank with what you know you deserve. But the only way affirmations worked for me is by looking at them every day. By looking at them daily, it helped me to create new patterns and beliefs about myself, especially by looking at it first thing in the morning. Don’t touch your cell phone when you first wake up. In the mornings is when you’re brain is more prone to absorbing new beliefs. Dr. Joe Dispenza talks about that in his work, too. Remember, if you don’t feel worthy of what you really want, you can talk yourself out of it really quick and you can backtrack into the subconscious beliefs.
Tip #3: Boost your confidence by letting go of your limitations and the limitations of others.
This goes back to the subconscious beliefs again. We have all these beliefs ingrained in us and they could be from childhood, your environment, society, whatever. Whatever the beliefs are, those are things that you are CHOOSING to believe and they’re not true unless you make them true.
I had to change the way I thought about things and I had to stop taking on limiting beliefs, so I could start taking on more powerful ones instead. Make a list of any limiting belief that are holding you back from anything you want to do on your list of changes and reframe them to new, empowering beliefs. You can add these to your morning affirmations. Jen Sincero has a good exercise on this in “You Are a Badass at Making Money.”
You’ll notice when you start making these changes in your beliefs, that you’ll feel different when you interact with people who still are holding on to limiting beliefs about the world or about what they can do in their own lives or even how they can make money. Sometimes it can be discouraging when you interact with them because they may look at what you’re doing as unstable, like me with doing entrepreneurship and interacting with people with traditional jobs. But usually, these are people who have been though layoffs and had jobs they hated so much that they quit without another job lined up. But that’s not stable either, really, but it’s just the perception they choose to put on what they’re doing versus having a business of your own. When they share limiting beliefs that make me question myself about what I’m doing, I have to remind myself that it’s their perception based on the life they’re living and what they’ve been exposed to. You have to realize that everyone is speaking from what they’ve been exposed to and what they’ve seen. Not everyone is as open-minded and curious as you are when it comes to growth or learning new things. Most people talk themselves out of what they really want before they even try.
I have a mindset of thinking anything is possible, but not many people think like that. They think in limitations, telling themselves how hard everything is. Instead of doing that, tell yourself it’s easy, you deserve it, you’re worthy, and you’ll get everything you need along the way. Remember that what you tell yourself is what’s true for you. Don’t let someone’s limiting beliefs affect you…that’s their business and has NOTHING to do with you. You’ll have to learn to disconnect from that.
Tip #4: Take your focus off others and don’t consume too much advice.
I feel like a lot of people put others on pedestals and they look at them like they’ll have this silver bullet of success with this magical phrase or tip to get them to the next level. I’ve consumed a LOT of self help stuff myself and I’ve noticed that everyone is basically saying the same thing in their own style. Nobody has this magic formula.
You have to learn how to listen to yourself and what to do next from inside of you. I noticed that I was looking outside of myself for the answers in the past, but the whole time I had the guidance I needed inside of myself. When you meditate and get in touch with yourself, you’ll start to get the impulses to check out the info you need at the perfect time. Like maybe you feel suddenly inspired to look up a certain book or topic. I’m a strong believer in “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” so when you’re ready for a certain type of knowledge, it will show up.
With me it showed, up with this book called, “Expectation Hangover,” when I was feeling discouraged about the job I left and the job interviews I was going on were not working out. I was listening to some podcast and the interviewer was interviewing an author, who happened to be the author of that book, so I decided to check it out. And next, I ended up checking out “Millionaire Success Habits” to start getting my mindset right. And then, I decided to take a break from frantically job hunting and I ended up being led to the Abraham Hicks material on YouTube during that point, which was at the perfect time. You get everything you need when you’re supposed to. Trust me!
And last but not least, take your focus off of what others are doing on social media. There’s sooo much noise on it. And I feel more peaceful and clear minded when I use it less. Being on it too much can cloud your judgement or make you feel like everything isn’t happening fast enough, when in reality everything is happening at the perfect time.
Tip #5: Enjoy the unfolding of the new changes coming into you life!
You’re going to see the new things coming and it all will start working out for you. I felt like I was riding a bike where the training wheels had just been taken off and I was moving along slowly and was a bit wobbly when I first quit my job, and now I have 5 projects booked and I feel like I’m riding the bike without the training wheels, thinking to myself, “I can do this! I’m really riding!”
Stay in that grateful place as you work to make changes. Keep up the momentum and know that everything is working out for you, even when it seems like it isn’t. When people don’t sign up for a project after a consult, I don’t think too much into it, I just know they weren’t the client meant for me and the perfect clients will come. When things happen that you don’t like, know they're happening to show you more of what you do like and when things don’t work out, something better is working out for you. Enjoy the journey! You won’t see all the changes right now. The changes will be like little surprises, so enjoy it and learn to have fun with it. Don’t take it so seriously and stress yourself out about it. And when making change, if you do have a regression and go back to an old habit, that’s ok. Give yourself some grace. You can always start again!