2021: not just a new year, but a chance to leave 2020 behind! 🎆🎆🎆
If your appetite for a new beginning has just hit you right in the face, you, dear reader, are not alone: history teaches us that the month of January was named after the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings and endings, so the idea of a fresh start at the beginning of the year is, well… old.
Now, if you’re ready to make some #Changes and neither Tupac nor Bowie have managed to inspire you into some positive shifts, we have just the right tips for you.
Like Tupac and Bowie, we have two types of different but equally awesome Changes to consider for your most kickass 2020:
Remedial Change – fix something that’s wrong or that is no longer serving your purpose
Generative Change – implement something new, or improve on something that is already happening.
In this article we’ll focus on Remedial Changes with three easy steps to consider.
1) Choice is better than no choice, and you ALWAYS have a choice
Let’s start with a fundamental point: your life is yours, only yours and forever yours. From the moment you wake up till the moment you go to bed (and sometimes in your sleep too!) you are faced with negotiations and questions that are solely yours to tackle.
And because choices can only be made when we have multiple options in front of us, it’s fundamental that we put ourselves into situations that can expand and broaden our horizons, so we get to make those choices in the first place. Nobody wants to feel like they are trapped into a choice-less one way street.
And when we don’t have a choice? When we lose our job, live in a place we hate, or life is just overall a bit shit? Well, we still get to make a choice then – harder and more tiring than picking pizza toppings- that has to do with how we experience loss, discomfort or boredom. Can we see it with curiosity or wonder? Could the loss of a job become the chance to explore a different passion? Could a negative moment be a challenge to see how strong we are?
Takeaway point: Freedom is the space between trigger and reaction. Find a way to be in charge of what you are presented with.
2) It’s not WHY… it’s HOW.
One of our favourite NLP teachings is that you don’t have to know why something happened to be able to fix it. Yep, read that again.
Needing to know why is one of the falsest and laziest approaches to self-improvement available, because it relies on your ability to find answers to often unanswerable questions, in order for your to improve on your current situation, as opposed to putting the power in your hands no matter what.
‘If only I knew why my partner left me, I’d be able to get over him’
‘Why do I always get so unlucky with jobs and bad bosses?’
However, focusing on the how allows you to start making changes now, today, by taking complete control of the situation.
Here’s an example: You are hosting a party and there are fifty people mingling and chatting away, when you notice one of the party platters has been knocked on the floor, and there’s food everywhere. Do you need to know who did it, why they did it, whether it was intentional or accidental to start cleaning up? NO. You can just start cleaning up.
Takeaway point: Instead of asking yourself ‘WHY did this thing happen’ shift your focus on ‘HOW are you going to fix it’
3) Cause & Effect
Let’s explore what ‘at cause’ and ‘at effect’ mean:
At Cause – Taking responsibility for something; Working from reason
At Effect – Placing blame for something; Working from excuse
Every crossroads we find ourselves at will have reason for it, and how we approach it will determine whether we feel empowered or subjugated by it.
Let’s make an example. It’s 9:01 and you are late for work.
You could approach it at effect by saying: ‘Sorry, the alarm didn’t ring and that’s why I’m late’ or at cause, by saying ‘Sorry, I completely forgot to set my alarm’.
It might seem like a tiny difference, but it’s a world of difference in approaches: taking ownership of this oversight puts you in the driver seat, with the acceptance of a mistake but also the power to change it. Making excuses tricks you into thinking things happen to you, which in turn tricks you into believing in your own lies and justifications.
This is true for bigger concepts in a multitude of fields:
‘If only I had more money, my business could have worked’ is clearly a way to see this setback at effect, because lack of money is only the symptom of the problem, and your own bad strategy, or poor appetite, or ability to change with a changing market the cause of the failure.
Ask yourself: are there other people in the world who succeeded in making a business with no money? How did they go about that?
Takeaway point: Where you place the blame you place the power, so always take ownership of your successes and failures.
Let us know how you are going to tackle your 2020 and what changes you are looking to implement!