So how are your new year’s resolutions going? We are 3 months in and by now 56% would have given up on those goals you set yourself. Sad statistics indeed! So what separates the ones who achieve their goals from those who get resigned an quit?
This year has started completely differently for me to other years. I have started this year akin to a Tasmanian Devil on Acid. I have hoovered, filed, cleaned, de-cluttered, organised, re-organised, planned, strategised, written frameworks, re-engineered my finances, my assets, my equity, consolidated pensions, started a post graduate diploma, found new tenants for my property, commenced vigorous training for London to Paris cycle trip, had a flurry of clients I am supporting through their divorce and probably done 2 months of action in about 8 days. I am nervous to sleep in case someone finds the ‘off button’ in my commitment to being over productive and mental. I make myself tired even by reading this stuff. So what the hell happened? Why all this ‘energy’?
As usual, I overindulged at Xmas – too much mulled wine, mince pies, variety of meats and large meals at all hours which has initiated the usual new year detox and exercise regime. As usual, I have reviewed my successes from the previous year and set goals for the new year. Vision board is done.
So what on earth is it? Why do I feel so different? Let’s do a mini checklist:
- Mars is not adversely aligned with Jupiter or any other house or planet to my knowledge so astrologically we are good – CHECK
- London is still dark at 16:30 and there is no suspect yellow thing in the sky as it lives up to its reputation as the city which depicts the most variances of the colour grey – CHECK
- People seem adequately gloomy for January – CHECK
- Everyone and their mother is calling to file for divorce as the overdose of family time over the Xmas season drove couples bonkers – CHECK
- January sales are still progressing – CHECK
Then it dawned on me. I am tired of feeling passive…
I am tired of passivity, of excuses, of lame duck arguments for why things are not happening or stuff isn’t working. I am tired of people accepting their lot and having a stiff upper lip about it. I am tired of people not complaining because they just couldn’t be bothered. I am tired of my own resistance to tackle things because it just seems – well – insurmountable and hard.
For me this year is about ACTION. I am ferociously interested in and consumed by ACTION. I do not know what was in the mulled wine I consumed over Xmas but it’s like some Action Monster has taken over my body and said:
“ACTION ACTION ACTION!”
I am consumed by time being precious and to make every second count.
SO, what makes people just let go of their resolutions? What makes people try something new for 3 weeks, see nothing happening and then just give up?
I think it’s all about RESIGNATION. The feeling of being a bit dead.
SO, how easy is it to become resigned in life and how on earth we can break out of it to take NEW action?
It is remarkably easy.
What I observed in more than a decade in change management is that most people only take on new ways of being and habits when they have hit some kind of ‘rock bottom’ OR it becomes urgent. It’s almost as if some kind of ‘rock bottom’ has to be reached where they finally become aware of the impact of not taking action. Waiting till you hit rock bottom before taking action is often damaging because the negative impact of being at rock bottom is often worse than the steps to go through to tackle the change itself.
Let’s take the example of prioritizing healing from a divorce or bad breakup – most people do the best they can and ‘drift’ through the trauma like it’s happening to someone else. They rely on time to heal the wound.
There is a paradigm that if you just sit back, in time you’ll no longer have the sadness, anguish, yearning, guilt, anger, and fear you’re feeling now. Those emotions will fade away, and you’ll be fine. The problem with believing that time heals the wound is that people wind up doing nothing and passively waiting for healing to ‘happen to them’. They start believing that being happy is about finding the right person and rationalize to themselves that the only reason their marriage or relationship failed, was because they were with the wrong person. Healing then becomes about finding the right person because if you find this person, you have filled the void and forgotten those bad times. What is not ever discussed is how the cycle of failure perpetuates when there is no discovery of the true source of the relationship breakdown, so moving forward in a way that is most beneficial for the long-term is not always achievable.
Example of how we become CORPSICALS
HEALING – like most changes in life, doesn’t simply happen over time. Healing is an active process, and processing all the feelings and emotions associated with a bad breakup is essential to getting over it. All rock bottom events act like a cut and if you don’t dress the wound and work on healing it you will end up with a lot of scar tissue, which will leave a lasting imprint on your life.
So what happens if you find yourself in this position? Pretending that the thing you are putting up with or ignoring is ‘not really a big deal’ and that you are ‘fine’ when actually you are not?
Face the truth that you are a CORPSICAL. You have joined the reams of walking dead among you. You have accepted your lot, given up on living a magical life and now you are not really living but going through the motions disconnected.
There are no short cuts. The journey out of resignation is about breaking through the dead-ness and yanking yourself back from the abyss of IN-ACTION and shifting your thought patterns and emotional state by taking swift ACTION. Gazing at your navel wondering why you are not taking action and rooting around in your childhood for the source of this issue will not help you take action. ACTION helps ACTION.
The journey out of resignation in not healing from a breakup or in not taking action
STEP 1: Confront that you may be holding onto your suffering in some way.
STEP 2: BECOME AWARE PART I: Become aware of the real impact of not healing from your break up or the impact of not taking action in the area you KNOW you should be taking action in.
STEP 3: BECOME AWARE PART II: If you are shirking away from healing from a bad trauma, educate yourself on the Healing Formula and what it takes to heal (if interested on what on earth this is, you need to talk to one of our ANGELS)
STEP 4: CONCENTRATE: Take focused action and concentrate on this new life for at least 28 days. Do not be one of the quitters. Most people quit too soon…
STEP 5: MOMENTUM: Take decisions on a daily basis to heal until you reach a momentum which leads to breakthroughs and the new habit being fully formed.
Are you choosing to hold onto your inaction or suffering for a reason?
If you find yourself navel gazing or taking your time in simply taking action, then confront that you may be choosing to hold onto your suffering OR you may be choosing the payoff in not taking action…
So, sometimes when we hold onto things, there is a certain payoff – some advantage or benefit that reinforces the cycle of behavior – to not letting go. But this payoff has high costs, whether to our vitality, affinity, self-expression, or sense of fulfillment. So if you are suffering but can see no way out of the suffering, consider that simply the benefit you are receiving for suffering is so juicy that giving up the suffering is simply inconceivable.
If I take my example with my ex-husband; he cheated and if I am truly honest, I enjoyed being the victim for a little while. It was utterly delicious.
“Poor sad and lonely Adèle who was wronged by this bad man. I feel so sorry for you.” I got loads of attention and lots of hugs and sympathy. I felt righteous and justified and had a gang of followers. We had ‘Team Adèle’ VS ‘Team my ex’
The problem was that inside I was still suffering. I was more interested in my agenda of getting attention, being the victim and feeling righteous instead of moving on, healing and living a happy successful life. So here is a little secret I will let you in on: Your TRUE agenda always shines through.
The problem for most of us is we have no idea what our true agenda is. We lie to ourselves and tell ourselves and others that we have good intentions, but if you are feeling dis-empowered in any way, shape or form, consider that your true agenda is revealed.
Your true agenda is in place so you can receive some hidden benefit in return.
If at this point you’re not entirely convinced that TAKING ACTION is the name of the game for breakthroughs in 2013, here is a mini exercise…
- Identify what the TRUE agenda has been delaying taking action in a particular area in your life. What do you think it might be? In this process you might notice things about yourself that you haven’t seen before. Examples include:
- I need to feel right because that person wronged me
- I get attention from people
- I want to stay in my comfort zone
- Avoid responsibility
- Enjoy getting time off eating ice cream
- Enjoy people feeling sorry for me
- I say I care about taking action in that area but actually I don’t and my story about why I don’t take action is a nice drama
- I like being dramatic and dominating people with my dramas
- You might not like what you see. But I can assure you that facing up to these negative points could precipitate a significant turning point in taking action. If you are struggling, just ask your family and friends (who are not afraid to tell you the truth) what they can see you get out of continuing your suffering. You may want to interview them.
- Think of twenty points for each of these instances:
- What are you holding onto being right about?
- Why are you so angry or impassive and lazy?
- What are the reasons or justifications you are clinging to?
- What attention are you getting by holding onto this issue?
- Who are you dominating by holding onto this issue?
- Why are you refusing to let go?
- Think of the negative impact this issue is having on your life. How much longer are you willing to sacrifice your life to hold onto your true agenda?
- What is the impact on your life of having this agenda?
Hmm. Makes you think doesn’t it?
If you find yourself slightly irritated by this article – excellent. My job is done.
Till next time
THE ACTION MONSTER