Gentle Change - Lasting Success

Part One


By Karin Leonard

What does it take to cultivate lasting results? Whether it is breaking outdated habits, balancing business and personal life, or achieving important goals, like so many other people, you may feel frustrated with making change work. This article series explores important ingredients for enduring triumph.

Make it Sustainable

When moving in a new direction or attempting to alter behavior, do you get impatient with yourself? Do you take on a whole new plan, go full force and then sooner or later let go of the whole thing?

In these “fast food” times of instant gratification and dizzying speed of life, is it no wonder that we expect ourselves to transform just as quickly. All you have to do is turn on the TV or open a magazine, and you are bombarded with promises of immediate and miraculous results, be it changing your body, getting rich or the fulfillment of all desires. However, the charm of quick fix schemes wears off quickly. Letting go of the illusion of instantaneous change is a significant step in the quest for real results. What does work is the gentle approach: become supportive of yourself, and make a sustainable plan for success. Take into account the complexity of your life, the different roles you play and what you can realistically commit to.

Critic into Coach

When embarking on the road to change, inner conflicts often surface. Dissimilar aspects of yourself may want differing things. If internal disagreement goes unchecked, it can waste a lot of energy and leave you feeling drained.

You are probably familiar with the voice of the inner critic, for example, constantly nagging you about what you did or did not do. Reminding you of how you “should have …” or “could have …”. Transforming that voice into an ally can bring tremendous vitality, alignment and inner peace. Becoming your own best friend, and shifting self-talk to encouragement rather than putdowns makes lasting results possible. Just like the gardener steadily nurtures the seedlings and pulls the weeds, voices of victory create a climate of possibility and excitement rather than anxiety and despair.

Next time you notice negative self-talk, experiment with replacing the negative thoughts with encouraging words. You may even wish to keep count how often you successfully make that switch during the day. Don’t worry if you come up with a high number– all it means is that you are becoming more aware of what goes through your mind! That awareness is crucial for shifting towards a supportive mindset, and makes it possible to turn the inner critic into a coach.


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