Stop self sabotaging Yourself – Let the Change begin

let the change begin

Ten destructive thinking Patterns you should change (if you want to change)

You probably know the feeling. The job is no longer what it used to be, the long-term relationship lacks a little fire and the bank account is already empty in the middle of the month. There’s only one possible solution: You are planning to make a change. However, while some people are tackling their plans and turning their dreams into reality, others are quickly falling back into old behavior patterns. Whatever they are trying, they simply can’t change their lives. But what is the reason for this? It is not due to lack of will, skills or knowledge. Instead, it´s because of ten specific thinking patterns, that are the reason that we continually self sabotage ourselves when trying to implement change. But that doesn´t have to be true for you. Anyone can become a changemaker and achieve the desired results with a few simple tips. You can, too. If you let go off the following ten thinking patterns as fast as possible.

1. Fear of Change

Whether in your job or in your personal life, every change in itself is neutral. It´s your eveluation, that transforms the actual experience into something positive or negative. So let me ask you something straightforward: How do you deal with new ideas, behaviors and situations? Do you see change as something threatening or as a wonderful opportunity to grow and get better? Whatever your specific dreams and goals look like, if you are afraid of the necessary changes, it will be difficult – if not impossible –  to achieve them. Instead, I´d like to encourage you to see new ways as a fabulous gift, and to realize that it´s perfectly normal to have doubts, fell uncertain or even be afraid. If you do not feel these emotions, then you can be sure that your intentions are not big enough. And remember, being brave does not mean that you are not afraid. To be courageous means to being afraid to death, but saddling up anyway. So are you willing to saddle up?

2. Not taking Responsibility

Successful change is always based on simple and tangible steps. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, quite the opposite. Every change is always accompanied by risk, uncertainty and fear of the unknown. But as hard as the external circumstances sometimes seem, you always have the opportunity to make something positive out of it. And for this it is absolutely necessary to take full responsibility. For your decisions, your actions and your results. For the good, but also for the bad.

It is one of the hardest moments to look in the mirror and honestly admit: “No matter where I am today and no matter how satisfied or dissatisfied I am with my results, it is all up to me. Nobody else. And only I can change it.” Especially if the wind blows directly from the front into your face, you should always keep a fact in mind. You cannot influence the external circumstances. But you can always choose how you react to it. Taking personal responsibility is key. It is a major focal point for all the necessary factors that you need for sustainable changes.

3. Focusing on Problems

There are different types of change. Some we look forward to, others we have a queasy feeling about. And then there are those who really scare us. But whether light or heavy, there are always things we can control. And there are things that we cannot control. What do you focus on? Where you direct your focus is where your attention, your energy, your time and your money flow to. You get more of what you focus on. If you expect problems everywhere, then you will draw them into your life. If, on the other hand, you focus on opportunities and possibilities, they will suddenly be abundant.

According to the motto: “The question is not whether life is beautiful, but whether you can see it”. In every situation, you have the choice what you focus on. Whether you want to be one of these negative people who constantly whine, complain and look for dark clouds on  beautiful sky, or whether you concentrate on possible solutions. The more often you train the orientation of your focus, the more you will take advantage of the many opportunities that life offers you. And then all you have to do is take it.

4. Blaming Others

Life does not always go as we would like it to.  And the culprits are usually found quickly. The boss is an unjust slave driver, the employees a lazy troop, the life partner selfish, the children ungrateful and the tax office greedy. And because that’s the case, you know exactly who and what has to change around you, just so that you can stay the way you are. Does that sound familiar to you? If you also tend to blame others for unwanted results, then I suggest that you rethink your approach. Why? Because it just doesn´t work. You can never change other people if they don’t want to. Your boss, your employees, your partner and also your children change exclusively for reasons that are important to them and unfortunately never for those that we would like them to act upon.

The result is a simple realization that you should never forget: The only person whose thoughts, decisions and actions you can change looks at you every morning in the mirror. And as soon as you begin to change yourself, exciting things start to happen. If you are enthusiastic, you inspire others. If you are motivated, you motivate others. If you change yourself and your communication, suddenly the people around you also change. Pretty cool, huh?

5. Victim Mentality

How you deal with setbacks, failures and problems is crucial for the sustainability of change. But how do you react when life confronts you with a hard test? Do you accept the challenge and decide to make the most of the situation? Or do you flee into the victim role and moan how hard it is for you? This choice determines whether you grow with your tasks, or instead drift quietly toward mediocrity. Because you can be either a victim or a changemaker. But never both at the same time. I would therefore like to remind you once again: you are responsible for your results and your life and nobody will serve you the chances on the silver platter.

You must create these possibilities yourself and then put them into practice. If you don’t do it, nobody else will. But because many are simply not ready for it, they use the escape into the victim role as a perfect reason why they did not achieve what they had planned a long time ago. Instead, they prefer to live in a kind of mental no-man’s-land and make themselves comfortable in their comfort zone. The growth is zero. And that makes you dissatisfied in the long run. Very dissatisfied.

6. Entitlement Mentality

Change works in a very simple way: If you take responsibility and grab life directly by the horns. But there´s one thing that stands in the way of this attitude like nothing else. The victim mentality has a smart twin brother who has made it his business to be in no way inferior to his sibling. The phenomenon which I mean is spreading rapidly at the moment, and it is really not easy to protect yourself from it. But if you want to use the power of change to its full intensity, there is no way around recognizing this quality as soon as possible. And then to put it down quickly. I’m talking about the ever more widespread entitlement mentality and the firm conviction that one has a right to the most diverse material things and immaterial achievements in life.

Of course – and this is the decisive point – without having to pay anything in return. To put it in a nutshell: You only have a right to what someone assures you by handshake or signature on the basis of a voluntary agreement. All other claims are based on fictitious rights that others are trying to persuade you because they happen to be exactly those who profit from these supposed rights. Please remember one thing: There is no “something” for “nothing”. To be able to take something, it must first be created. Have the courage to take responsibility. For yourself and for your results. Daily. Always. Especially if it is difficult for you.

7. Looking for Excuses

“I’m too old. I am too young. I have no money. It is too early. It is too late. We’ve never done that before.” These are just a few examples of excuses people like to use when it comes to change. Ever heard of them? Even said it before? A long time ago one of my mentors once said a sentence to me that still accompanies me today: “Ilja, remember one thing: People who don´t want to do something, will find excuses. Those who do want something, will find a solution.” Let’s take a closer look at this statement. Every change always consists of three components.

1) You must be able to implement the change.

2) You must have the ability to make the change happen, and

3) You must be willing to do anything to make the change happen.

Okay, let’s go over that. Would you agree, that everyone is really able to change? Sure, anyone of us can change. And what about the abilities? Also a clear yes. And if something should be missing, then nowadays really every information is available on the Internet (enter the search term “How can you…” into Google and you will get more than 1.7 billion hits). Every kind of knowledge or skill is often just a mouse click away. When changes fail, it is not because of lack of knowledge, education or skills. It always and exclusively fails because of the willingness to do everything for it. And now the excuses come into play. Because, apparently people would never admit that they are not willing to change. Instead, they flee into excuses to talk about their own failure and calm their own consciences.

How do I know that? Quite simply. I have used most of these excuses myself. And in my daily work as a speaker, management trainer and executive coach, I hear them again and again in the most diverse variations and forms. Even if nothing seems to work anymore. In the end, it’s still enough for a cultivated excuse. Of course, the authors of the excuses would never admit that it was one. Instead you talk about “being realistic”, that “it´s just the way things are”, or that “they just don’t have as much luck as other people“. But at the end of the day these verbal smoke candles are still nothing else than excuses why one has not implemented a desired change. So, put the end to the excuses, take responsibility and foucs on possible solutions.

8. Hesitating passively

Are you actively changing, or do you only take action when you are forced to do so by the external circumstances? It is crucial to set the course for your future in time, and not only when it is already too late. I mean, we all experience times, when we simply feel that our lifes are undergoing a significant change. Times in which everything changes from one moment to the next.

Your doctor says to you: “Your examination results are there. You better sit down”. Your boss calls you for a talk and tells you “that the company is planning it´s future without you”. The phone rings in the middle of the night and you already know before taking off that nothing good awaits you. You come home in the evening and discover nothing but a note on the kitchen table: “I couldn’t stand it anymore. I move in with my mother.” In moments like these we feel that we have lost something important and thoughts like: “Oh, I wish I had rather…”, “If I could only turn back time”, or “Why have I waited so long”? But that doesn’t have to happen at all. If from now on you decide to change actively and not to postpone important decisions. In this way you will always be one step ahead of fate.

9. Trying to please Everyone

How well can you say no? The answer to this question is a reliable indicator of how well you can deal with change, because wanting to please everyone at all times leads you directly into dissatisfaction. Because you move away from your own values and beliefs and do things that you don’t stand behind one hundred percent. The more you do something exclusively to please your parents, your partner or your boss, the less you live your own life, but pursue the goals and dreams of other people. And of course this does not mean that you should let go off helpfulness, nice gestures and collegiality.

But when it comes to your own plans and your future, you should definitely align your actions with your dreams, goals and values. Trying to please everyone ensures that you leave the planning of your happiness and your future to other people. A self-determined life ensures that you go through everyday life with fun, joy and a deep fulfilment. So learn to say no and enjoy the freedom of decisions based on your innermost values and desires.

10. Giving up too soon

We´ve reached the most important point. Because there are people who implement all previous tips and do not achieve the desired change in the end. And there is a simple, but very decisive reason for this: They give up too quickly and throw the shotgun into the grain as soon as the first obstacles appear on the way. But change without setbacks, problems and challenges simply doesn’t exist. The bigger your goal is, the more stones your life will throw at your feet. It will check whether you are really serious about making a change.

What’s more, the bigger the obstacles are, the closer you are to your goal. In such cases, be sure to hold your own. Changes simply take time to become a sustainable habit. But most people try a big jerk action and then give up if it doesn’t work out immediately. Better change small, but often. This also means being persistent and biting your way through when things don’t go as planned. To get up once more often than to fall down. To take small steps and repeat them until you are satisfied with the result. When you divide big changes into small chunks, something impossible suddenly becomes doable.

What do you think about this article? Do you know any other destructive thought patterns? I am looking forward to your comment 🙂

Let the Change begin!

Best wishes