You eagerly seek change in some area of your life, but struggle to ACTUALLY make that change happen. Whatever it is: losing weight, changing your career, being more confident, sorting out your head; it has been on your mind for a while. Wait, let’s rephrase that: A REALLY LONG TIME!!
You might have kick-started your attempt full of enthusiasm, but after a while your motivation goes out of the window and your energy levels wear off. So far you’ve GIVEN IN and consequently GIVEN UP. Looking back on these experiences, you might feel quite annoyed, guilty, down, or maybe even pretty frustrated about that. You still might feel like this at this very moment. That’s OK.
YOU’RE NOT SUPERMAN, YOU KNOW.
I STRUGGLED WITH MAKING CHANGES AS WELL
I’m not sure how long it’s taking you to make a change, but it took me almost two years to build up the confidence to follow through on what I wanted; another career. Freshly graduated from uni, I started as an energy policy consultant in Rotterdam. To any outsider it seemed like I made it, it seemed like a move that made sense. And looking back on it, yes, it did make sense. It was a move that meant a secure income, an opportunity to work yourself up the ladder. But after a while I realised it wasn’t for me.
Working behind a desk from 9 till 5, week in week out. Working on policy documents I sincerely believed nobody really read, and if someone did, it surely wasn’t followed up. I was writing about topics that at that time matter to me, topics like climate change and the energy transition. But the truth was, I wasn’t making any difference and it all felt so abstract, hollow and meaningless. Unfortunately, that feeling only grew as time passed…
I decided something needed to change
So almost two years into the job I decided to pay for an expensive 9-day NLP Practitioner training. That’s where – well let’s say – I had my epiphany and found the courage to chase that was on my mind for so long. One of the exercises we did really helped with that: a wooden inspiration board. No more than 15 by 15 inches. On one side, the idea was to write all the good stuff you wanted to have in your life. The other side was specifically reserved for those things that needed to go out of your life. Sounds quite simple, doesn’t it? I spend a few moments at it over the next couple days and eventually I had my own visual inspiration board. A board that I could hold, almost like a compass telling me where to go. My trigger words were sun, sea, beach, adventure, action, focus, love, swim, cliffs, follow your guts, trust yourself, action, start a business, the outdoors, and more exciting stuff.
Looking back on it, most of those words stemmed from a tremendous holiday experience in Wales only six months earlier. That inspiration board, however, set in motion my action to submit an application letter to a local coasteering business in Pembrokeshire and potentially leave behind my career as a consultant. After a few funny email conversations with the business owner Cleo “I’m wondering accommodation and transport, etc. Netherlands to Pembrokeshire is a mammoth daily commute….”, I got a chance to fly over for the job interview.
I decided to take on the gamble, booked a flight and traveled over for to West Wales for two days. Long story short, I got lucky and got the job and two weeks later my life was totally different. Instead of sitting behind a desk I was out in flip-flops on the beach in Abereiddi. Sure, the pay was a lot less but the main thing was that I was happy again about what I did on a day-to-day basis. Every day I felt more confident that I was doing the right thing.
The morale of the story?
Actions of confidence come first, feelings of confidence come later. Everybody’s story is different, but most of us have something going on in our head that we aren’t really willing to share yet. A thought that continues to linger in your mind. Maybe a picture of where you want to go, a person you aspire to become, or something exciting you just would like to try. Deep down, just like me, you know the change that’s on your mind might be worth pursuing as well. I didn’t know at the start that my move was a particular good one. It looked quite stupid at the start to be frank. After being an outdoor pursuit instructor I became a behavioural therapist. After worked for 18 months as a therapist I was ready to progress into a role as training advisor for adolescents. Now I’m a life coach, trained ACT therapist and NLP practitioner.
As Steve Jobs said, you can’t connect to dots going forward. You can only connect them going backwards.
All I’m trying to say here is you need to stop complaining, start believing, follow your gut instinct and give it a go. Take an action, no matter how minuscule it is. Try and set a few new dots, move forward towards it and see where it takes you. Its better than doing nothing, isn’t it?
SO, WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?
Although you’re the expert of your life sometimes you just need that little bit of help to deal with the challenges life throws at you. A gentle nudge in the right direction so that you can clearly see and figure out the exciting path that lies ahead of you.
A coach can be that person for you and is someone who:
- makes you feel able and confident enough to step outside your comfort zone such that you’re able to overcome your fears and start to enjoy life; not be afraid to do things on your own.
- is a sounding board that will try to unravel your story and help make your thoughts and mind a bit clearer
- helps you begin to see and become more self-aware of your amazing potential and resources within you (yes, it’s really there!)
- encourages, holds you accountable and regularly follows-up on your goals. If you want to do something tomorrow you’re going to do it tomorrow.
- questions whether your motivation, your desire to do something,is true to yourself and therefore never runs out
- doesn’t fall for the lame excuses or stories you keep telling yourself which are currently holding you back
- leaves you with an action plan after every session; something practical to take away and use to actively make a difference in your life
I have plenty of academic baggage to show you how to make behaviour change happen and last, but purposely try to remain down to earth and practical. You don’t want some academic talk full of jargon, you want simple tools and techniques you can apply and take home immediately.
That said, professional development and understanding the theory behind behaviour change is very important to me. Therefore, I have obtained the following qualifications: