"How to get Unstuck!"
Dear Success Seeker,
Is there some change you want to make or action you need to take in your business or personal life that you just can't seem to follow through with?
If so, you're stuck and this is for you. It's more of a 'how to' exercise than my usual newsletter. I hope you find it useful...
Here's the overview.
Research shows that when doctors tell their heart patients they will die if they don't change their habits in the area of diet, smoking or exercise, only one in seven is able to make the necessary changes. In other words, 86% of them are so stuck in their habits and patterns that they choose to die rather than change.
And you are stuck in a similar, although hopefully not so life-threatening way.
As a coach, helping my clients create breakthroughs in areas where they are stuck is one of the most satisfying things I ever do because it unleashes them to get what they really want.
Let's look at what's going on. If you want something but are not taking the actions to get it, obviously something is holding you back. What's frustrating is that you can't identify this unseen force that is stopping you. It's like you are fighting an unseen enemy....
And you are! What's blocking you is a hidden conflict in your subconscious. In order to deal with it, you need to know what it is.
Here's a remarkable five step process that will get you unstuck. Full disclosure: It's my version of an exercise originally developed by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.
Step 1: Identify your behaviour goal
Choose a behavior you've been trying to change unsuccessfully; something that is really holding you back. For example, your goal may be to get more referrals. The behaviour you need to improve is to proactively ask for them. Or perhaps you are spending your time on low priority activities. Your behaviour goal might be to identify specific high payoff tasks each day and work on them.
Write your goal at the top of a page and divide the sheet below it into 4 columns.
Step 2: What are you doing instead?
The reason you are not currently achieving your goal is because you are not taking the actions necessary to achieve it. In fact you are actively doing things that run contrary to your goal and not doing things that will achieve your goal.
In Column 1 make a list of things you are doing that are inconsistent with achieving your goal, and things you are not doing that, if done, would contribute to the achievement of your goal. The longer and more specific your list, the better.
Step 3: What are you avoiding?
In Column 2 make a list of the worries and fears that arise when you imagine doing the opposite of the behaviours you listed in Column 1. Experience doing this and notice the emotions. Ask yourself, "What's the deeper fear underneath beneath my resistance? What am I truly afraid of?"
Use Column 2 to list the worries, concerns and fears you would experience if you did the exact opposite behaviours of what you are doing now (items listed in Column 1).
Step 4: Identify your subconscious commitments
Your fear arises because you are committed to something that will be threatened if you do the opposite of your Column 1 behaviours. What is it that you are committed to have or avoid? Write these in Column 3. For example, if you are worried about looking stupid, you may be subconsciously committed to looking good. If you are afraid to make cold calls, perhaps you are committed to avoiding conflict.
This step identifies the real issue holding you back. Notice that some of your subconscious or 'hidden commitments' in Column 3 are in direct conflict with your Column 1 goals. This reveals what is preventing you from taking action on what you say you want in Column 1.
Review the fears listed in Column 2 and convert them into commitments; things you are committed to have or not to have.
Step 5: Identifying Assumptions
Now it's time for a solution. If you review your subconscious commitments, you will notice that most are based on broad generalizations or assumptions some of which are true and some of which are not. For example, you may avoid making cold calls because you are afraid of conflict. But is cold calling actually dangerous? This assumption, upon which your resistance to cold calling is based, is weak to say the least.
Review your entries in Columns 2 & 3 to identify some of the 'assumptions' upon which the resistance and fears keeping you stuck are based.
This exercise reveals how you are trapped between two conflicting commitments. More importantly, it gives you an opportunity to assess the assumptions upon which your fears are based and find ways to implement behaviours that do not conflict with your subconscious commitments.
If you are not able to make the changes you want in a high value area, it may make sense to invest in the services of a coach who has the skills to help you dive more deeply into this process.
To your success!
Andrew Barber-Starkey, Master Certified Coach
Founder and President, ProCoach Success System
Would you like to receive private Business Coaching from Andrew?
Email Pam@ProCoachSystem.com or call 604-983-8041 for details
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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