Imagine this: You wake up one morning as a different person. This means you have a different rule book in your head.
For instance as per your old book, you’d look at your to-do list and you go, ‘Another long day of fruitless labour with no clear goal in sight.’ Now, with the new rule book, you look at your job list and you say, ‘My work matters and I’m good at it. This here is an interesting project. How do I leave my mark on it?’
Or say your mom calls you and before you answer, you think to yourself, ‘Here comes the old nag again trying to make my life miserable.’ This time around, with your new mental rule book, you say ‘It’s my mom. Let me listen to what she has to say.’
By afternoon you realize some new neural pathway has opened up in your brain because you are forcibly blazing a ‘can do’ trail out there. It doesn’t feel so bad actually. Savour that.
Now you tell yourself, ‘OK I have less than 100 days to the New Year. If I keep up this ‘can do’ trail, I can rewrite my tired old responses into new ones and hit the ground running in 2016.’
So then, here are 5 easy steps to becoming a new person in 2016:
1. First, it’s always good to quantify what it is you are going to do. In order to do that you first need to examine where you are right now. Take a piece of paper and write down ‘My potential’, ‘My opportunities’, ‘My relationships’, ‘My finances’, and ‘My future’ on it.
2. Now against each one of those items, think where you are stuck and write down the first belief that you have about yourself, due to which you are stuck. If you’re a pessimist your beliefs will read something like this:
–My potential is quite limited and even if it isn’t, it doesn’t look like I am ever going to fulfil it in this lifetime.
–My opportunities are jinxed. People with less talent than me go further, thanks to their charm and their networking abilities.
–My relationships are twisted and unfulfilling. Everything is so complicated. I am never going to get my parents to see my point of view.
–My finances – ha ha! The astrologer was right. I am never going to make pots of money.
–My future is uncertain.
3. Now with your new ‘can do’ trail, question the assumptions underlying all these beliefs and rewrite your beliefs (in non-erasable ink) to something like this:
–Ok so my potential is huge. I have many gifts. I don’t need to compare myself with others. I already have everything I need. I just need to love myself.
–Now, my opportunities are what I make of them. That project I’m working on? Well, who is stopping me from calling up the client and telling him, ‘I want to push the envelope on this one. Are you with me?’
–My relationships? For starters, I am surrounded by people who understand and appreciate me. The ones who have a problem with me suffer from their own issues. I am going to ignore them and invest in the bonds that matter.
–And as for my parents, I don’t need their approval anymore. In fact, I don’t need anyone else’s approval anymore.
–My finances? OK, so maybe I am not where I want to be. First of all, is where I want to be necessary? Why is it necessary? If its social pressure, then can I let it go? If it’s a real need, then what can I do to make this happen? There is no inherited bad destiny. Abe Lincoln did his homework by the light of a streetlamp. With a piece of coal.
–My future? It’s healthy. Very healthy. I have potential, opportunities and a new found love of process over outcomes. So the results are going to come. That’s the truth.
4. You now have a new rule book and new belief system. Now go over all your new beliefs and tell yourself this: ‘The old beliefs don’t enable me to change. They are useful crutches to reduce, even pre-empt change. It’s a kind of suicide of the soul.’ The new beliefs are painful because as you repeat them in your head, your old beliefs will be jostling for space as they try to get back into the spotlight of your mind.
5. But there’s good news! You will slowly get used to the new rule book. Just like running or quitting smoking, your body-mind complex will get used to the new routine and after a while it will feel as though the old routine never existed. In fact, a few days later, you may even consider the possibility that your old beliefs were baseless and untrue.
If you don’t have the clarity to do this by yourself, rope in a life coach to break it down for you and steer you out of the wilderness of your old beliefs and into the wide open fields of your new ones.
All change starts with revisiting a belief. Of course, you need to believe this first. Believe it blindly. Take it from someone who’s had over 500 hours of coaching.
So tell me, which belief about yourself will you revisit, challenge and change today? Write it down right now. And question the hell out of it. Question it until it melts like snow in the sun. Then write your new belief. Go. Go. Go.
About the Author:
Sandhya Reddy is a leadership & transformation coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that enables everyone from CEOs to work-from-home parents to achieve their goals by replacing self-imposed limitations with enabling stories.
Many of us in our thirties experience a disquieting realization: what brought us to middle-management may not take us to senior-management. This is true. To chart a new career path, one needs to think and do things differently. This is where Sandhya can help. She is a coach. Life coaching, executive coaching, business coaching, personality development, leadership coaching… they are all part of her forte. Her Executive coaching programs helps tomorrow’s leaders set new goals, make new plans to achieve those goals, get that elusive promotion through a blend of knowledge, action and image-building, enhance influence among the leadership team, be more productive, get more out of one’s team, and be known in the company as an indispensable performer and future leader.
Follow Sandhya Reddy on Twitter @sandhyareddy