A side line I enjoy is helping people get organized. Friends and family sometimes call when they are doing a makeover of attic or office and we spend the day throwing out, moving, consolidating and reorganizing. It’s fun for a day and usually people say: “You should do this professionally.” But I know its not my calling. Really good organizers know a secret and they work with it. If you change the enviornment without changing the person 6 months later you’ll be back in the same situation.
I’ve noticed this as a coach as well. We can change the job, the relationship, the living space, but if the person doesn’t change its a new environment with the same old patterns. The new boss can be a different sex but has the same relentless demaningness. The new partner has a prettier face but the same habit of not being there in a crunch. And the same gossipy neighbors seem to live next door in the new neighborhood.
Why is it that most people who win the lottery lose most of it quickly? Why do people loose weight and then put all of it plus more on? Why do people get out of debt only to fall back in?
Change starts within. We can change the outer to support the inner changes, but just changing the outer will never work. This can be depressing because as we go through the change we’ve convinced ourselves its them, it s the circumstances, if only they would change everything would be all right.
Here’s the bad news: what’s got to change is you.
Here’s the good news: what’s got to change is you.
It’s the bad news because its so much easier to blame it on others and then we don’t have to do anything. It’s the good news because we don’t have control over anyone else but we do have control over ourselves.
Most of us don’t want to take the responsibility. It would be so much easier, tidier, more workable if it was them. After all we can see their problems so clearly . So clearly, that we blind ourselves to our own.
How do you change?
Begin by asking yourself:
What is it about this situation that doesn’t work?
Where has this happened before or where is it happening in other areas of my life?
What do I want to change?
How do I contribute to this problem?
What do I need to change first?
Begin taking action.
Its not always easy to see or work on alone. I’ve worked with my coach and mentor on these issues for years and still find myself caught sometimes in thinking its outside of me (it would be so much easier!). Sometimes a friend can see it more easily if you’re willing for them to be really honest and they’re not stuck in the same story you are, sometimes a professional, and sometimes if you sit quietly with the question over a period of time you’ll begin to become aware.
Change begins with the awareness, and then the acceptance – I must be the change I want to see.
Are you ready?