Last year, a poll indicated that only one in three Americans is reportedly “very happy.” Maybe this surprises you or maybe it doesn’t, but what it likely tells us is that the majority of the population is looking for a change. Whether it’s their job, their relationship, their city or themselves, most people have something on their minds that’s leaving them less than fulfilled. And as the saying goes, real change begins with us.
My industry has grown exponentially in just the last 5 years. Millions of people are attempting to make significant changes every day. What most of these people may not know is that there is actual science that reveals how lasting change is possible. All signs are now definitively pointing towards what I knew all along……Neuroplasticity and my program of Neural Re-Wiring as the true differentiator!
So how do you start this process? For one thing, you have to know exactly where you’re at in relation to your goals. There are five possible stages you may be in, in regard to making changes: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. I draw on scientific findings to show what works and what doesn’t in each of these stages. If you don’t know which of these phases you’re in, you may be more likely to slip up or fail.
Many people find they can reach a certain point in their goals before backtracking. They’re on a path to success, then suddenly do something to self-sabotage. The process of procrastinating or indulging, then punishing ourselves can be a vicious cycle. We all have a critical inner voice that coaches us toward self-destructive behaviors that counter what we really want. “Go ahead and have another cookie. You deserve it,” the voice will whisper when we are trying to lose weight. That same voice that lures us to steer off course, berates us when we fail. “There you go again, eating like a pig. You’ll always be a fat loser!”
To help stop this self-sabotaging cycle, I implement a method to identify which of the 5 STAGES a client is in.
- If someone is in pre-contemplation, for example, they may feel pressured by others to change but are mostly not aware of or resistant to altering their behaviors. People in this state probably shouldn’t attempt to take action. They’re not really ready to change by themselves; they need a professional to help galvanize the change they desire.
- If someone is in the contemplation stage, they may be starting to think about changes they could make but still feel ambivalent or lack confidence. I believe this is the time to review the pros and cons of changing. A person can start to prepare or “get tools in order” for future actions he or she would take in the next stage, preparation.
- Just like it sounds, preparation means you intend to start making a change soon. Individuals can set the scene for action by making sure they have the time, energy, and professional support they’ll need to move forward. They can begin to set dates and goals, and even alert others of their intentions.
- Finally, the time for action comes, and this is when the person starts to make changes. During this transition, people should anticipate that their critical inner voice will initially get louder. It will yell and scream like the Wicked Witch after she was doused with water in “The Wizard of Oz.” However, they must remember that, like that witch, the voice will slowly melt away, as I support them and guide them, they persevere in their goals. During this process, I provide a healthy outlet and support system to help them deal with the fear and anxiety that accompanies the excitement of evolving into who they want to be.
- Once someone has made a change, together we will need a plan to prevent relapse. A person’s critical inner voices will be present at every stage of change, including the maintenance phase. By learning tools to combat this inner critic, knowing its tricks, and ignoring its directives, my client is in a much stronger position to create and sustain real change.
The important thing to remember is that change is a process, not just a single action. Change is rarely linear; there are twists and turns. It’s frightening to change, especially when you’re going out on a limb to go after your own unique goals.
Throughout my program, you realize who you really are, separate from society, family or any other outside influences and learn deeply about yourself. I help you differentiate from old influences or identities and become your true self. On this journey, you will have to face the scary reality that your own mind can be your own worst enemy. Yet, by practicing self-compassion and following my organized, scientific strategy that yields the absolute best results, you can feel empowered to make authentic, satisfying and lasting change.