Post #17. Overcoming the Obstacles to Change.

Good morning.

Hope you’re doing well.

If you’re struggling right now. Hang in there… Change is possible.

But, for change to be made possible, we must have a better understanding of what might stand in the way… so we can overcome these obstacles…

Here’s what I believe is standing in the way of real, deep, lasting change, for many people nowadays.

1. We think great people are cut from a different cloth

“Awareness precedes choice and choice precedes results.”
– Robin Sharma

We all have our heroes that we look up to and think: “If only I could be a little more like this person… My life would be great.” 

See, there is a universal longing for greatness – but the problem is that we see “the greats” as different from us… that they are somehow cut from a different cloth, with God-given abilities and a sprinkle of ferry dust over their entire lives.

This view of human nature, in terms of: Either you have it, or you don’t.

Either you have great potential or you don’t…

Either you’re smart or your not…

If we think of human nature in terms of “the have’s and the have-not’s”, we will be forever doomed to judge ourselves on the basis of where we are in this very moment, not where we could be, who we could become…

See, like the seed does not judge itself as worthless or of any different nature as a tree, we cannot judge ourselves on the basis of our current reality…

We all carry the seeds of greatness, ready to be cultivated into creations of great strength and stability.

So, what can we do to reshape the way we view ourselves and our potential so we can truly flourish?

Here are some strategies that Im using to build a more useful self image: 
– Study human nature by reading biographies of great men and women. And as you read, remind yourself often of the fact that: “What one man can do, another man can do.”

– Listen to interviews with high achievers, men and women who are conquering their fears and overcoming themselves. Listen to their encouraging stories & know that they were once amateurs, beginners & “nobodies”, as you might call yourself.

– Reshape your beliefs about yourself by proving the opposite. For example if a fear is limiting you to do something… Prove to yourself that you can overcome this fear… Start small.

– Reshape your self image by studying psychology as a hobby: especially positive psychology, development psychology, performance psychology & human potential psychology.

These strategies will truly be a game changer for you. Trust the process.

You will not be able to live a better life, until you believe that you can create a better life.

You will not be able to change until you actually believe that it’s possible to change.

“It always seems impossible, until it’s done.”
– Nelson Mandela

2. We follow what we’re told to do

Many people spend their entire lives climbing a ladder, just to realise it’s leaned towards the wrong wall… This was not where they wanted to end up… But where did they want to “end up” anyway?

So… this begs us to ask some essential questions…

Where do you want to go? 

Who are you? 

What are your character strengths? 

What do you love to do?

What energises you?

What drains you? 

What’s your priorities in life? 

What are your values? 

What do you care about so much that you would be willing to devote your life to it? 

Your answers to these questions is the basis of your self knowledge. Its the stuff you want to be and the things you want to do. Its the very basis of who you are and these answers determines your day-to-day decisions.

If you find it difficult to make decisions, you might want to really consider diving deeper into this thing we call self-knowledge.

If you lack it… you’re drifting…

If you have cultivated it… you’re living a life with direction, being able to take your next step with confidence.

But how do we acquire this thing we call self knowledge?

Here are a few different strategies I’ve found highly useful to cultivate greater clarity of what you’re all about:

– Asking yourself  big questions (Im going to create a resource for you to work on this key element. More on that later) and really taking time to answer them. F.ex: 

a) How do I want people to remember me as Im no longer here?
b) Who am I here to serve?
c) What do I do when I feel most alive?

+ One extra note on this is that its really important that you don’t get stuck in this “contemplative state”, but actually get out there and try things out.

– Acting upon on the self knowledge you already have, even if its limited & you’re not 100% sure… This action will enable you to get real feedback from life in form of your feelings. Does the action produce a deep sense of joy and pure aliveness? Note it. Does it drain your soul? Note it… Now you know yourself better & will be able to take more informed action. 

3. We are addicted to distractions

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
– Dan Millman, The Way of The Peaceful Warrior

So, lets say you know you’re made out of pure potential, you know what you want in life, but you always seem to fall back into old patterns.

I believe this happens when we loose sight of where we are going…

I believe we fall off our chosen path when we loose sight of our destination…

I’ve learned this the hard way…

Here are some strategies you can use to help you stay focused on what you want, to the point that everything that doesn’t serve the advancement towards your boldest dreams, will be regarded as pure distractions.

– Commit to Journaling everyday. It’s sort of like becoming your own coach. What can you journal about? Write down your top 3 life goals every morning & how you will advance towards them in a 1% fashion, (so you don’t burn out). Also, write about your vision, where you can see yourself, write about how you’d wish to be remembered if this were to be your last day… Write down quotes that inspire you… Get focused…

– Create a vision board, where you stick images to people you look up to, quotes that are important to you, people you love, stuff you want to cultivate in your life, things you wish to be, stuff you wish to experience, goals you wish to achieve. Your dream life…
(these images are great to stick in your journal so you can revisit them often)
This primes your sub-consious mind to look for opportunities & possibilities to go in this direction.

– Do a review every week in your journal. What worked? What didn’t? Learn the lessons and continue with greater insights and more wisdom & focus for the next week.
THIS ALONE, WILL ELEVATE YOUR LIFE. (just saying)

The fruits of these strategies is simply becoming aware of when you’re drifting and being able to change direction, to your chosen path.

“The problem is not information overload, it’s filter failure.”
– Clay Shirky

4. We’re basing our decisions on how we feel in the moment 

“It is your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.”
– Anthony Robbins

So, let’s say you’ve got all the awareness of your potential, your vision clear in your mind and your focus, lazer sharp…  it’s a great starting point…

But then what? Where’s the action?

Ok, so, let’s say:

a) You know that every human being can grow stronger as a result of training and that
b) You have a goal to run a marathon by the end of this year and that you
c) Wake up every morning fired up about this goal and what it will mean for you… but…
d) When the time comes for your workout… you simply don’t really feel like it… You had a rough day and it feels better to just relax and chill out, you deserve it… don’t you?

As one of my mentors (never met him, just mailed), Derek Sivers use to say: 
“If information were the answer, we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

In other words: information about what’s good, healthy, right… is a good starting point, but it’s not the whole equation of achieving what you set out do achieve… there must be discipline for there to be consistency.

Acting with discipline means… doing what you truly believe is right…

– Even if its hard…

– Even if its makes you a bit uncomfortable…

– Even if it’s a bit inconvenient…

– Even if it makes you feel afraid…

And it doesn’t have to be an enormous act, but start small… With these 1% incremental improvements… with these small daily choices, you will reach your chosen mountain top…

Just make sure you enjoy the process… enjoy the journey… because ultimately that’s where life is to be found…

***

Do you have any questions? Disagreements? Please ask me about it! I love to have a conversation about these things.

Stay good, 

Daniel

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