How often have you made a New Year’s resolution to start your life anew? To start exercising or learn to make lots of money, to lose weight or to tone up your muscles, to learn a foreign language, to find a good husband, to spend more time with the children, to write a book, to get a new job, to start your own business, or to take your arrogant relatives or colleagues down a peg or two? How often have these dreams stayed just that – dreams? That happened to me every January until I learned to really reach my goals.
We all know that learning 2,000 new words a year means only six words a day. Yet, somehow, on the third day we go out and there isn’t enough time for them; then we forget; then it’s, “I’ll learn 12 tomorrow.” Then we go abroad and it’s the usual, “Uno coffee and dos donuts.” You may think it funny, but I had to volunteer as an interpreter yesterday, when I heard “This da, that ne nado!”
In the meantime my friends are losing weight: first they prove that they can have coffee with no sugar and that they don’t have to order pastries and then backslide and gain 10 extra pounds. Sports? It’s too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer, and too wet the rest of the year… That’s all to benefit the gyms that sell you a yearly membership banking on the fact that your enthusiasm will only last through 5-6 visits in 12 months.
Alternatively, a girl may want to get married – we all know how simple that is. To find a husband, you have to go out to places where there are lots of men, be cheerful when you get there and smile often. She has already read all the books on dating, asked her married friends for advice but somehow the men she meets are not in a hurry to give her a ring.
Yet again, your former classmate dreams of starting his own business. He asks for the opinion of his successful entrepreneur friend on every idea he has and reads all the books and forums on business, yet somehow instead of getting rich and popular he’s turned into a wiseguy couch-expert, rusting away at a boring low-paying job for the last 20 years.
What’s wrong with all these people? After all, they know exactly what they should do. They have all the information on doing it right. It’s so simple – just start it! Or is it not so simple? Or is it simple enough to start, but really difficult not to quit at the first setback? What do you think is the reason?
WHAT IS IT THAT DOES NOT LET US CHANGE?
If we go by the fact that we are, first and foremost, biological creatures, our physical bodies manage a lot of our decisions. This is where the wish not to change anything comes from – right now you are safe and comfortable. From the point of view of your subconscious – you’re alright, you’re not dying of cold and hunger and that means you can stay on the couch, eat cookies, and veg out on social media. You can relax and enjoy.
It seems dangerous to your subconscious to change anything, who knows where that will lead you and what trouble the changes will get you into. So your body will sabotage any attempts to reduce its present level of comfort.
The good news is that not only can you use will power to make your subconscious and your body do something they don’t like, but you can also make arrangements with them; you can promise them an instant reward for each little action in the right direction. Alternatively, you can entice them with the glowing prospects of a brilliant and alluringly happy future.
The second level of resistance to change is your environment. Many people are in a “crab bucket” – any attempt to crawl out is doomed to failure; those around them will drag them back. It is better for those who don’t want to change that you stay with them. Is their level OK with you?
The third level of resistance is your brain. It is more pleasant to do nothing, endlessly criticizing everyone and everything, than trying to overcome yourself, risking mistakes and “looking bad” in the eyes of the useless “couch-experts.” It is always much easier to be a wiseguy than to learn from you mistakes, when you become overwhelmed and feel like a loser. It is pleasant to read books on business, but it is really unpleasant to fire an employee who screwed up. Thinking of the future of your really cool business is very pleasant, but in real life – 96% of companies go bankrupt and the risk is scary.
Because of resistance on all three levels, attempts to change your life on your own usually fail. Your motivation ends quickly and there is no more energy to act the new way, you go back to your usual way of life.
If you continue to force yourself, your body becomes sick and you feel ill. Those around you are insulted by your new way of life and say nasty things to you, while your brain keeps telling you that you should really think about it and find out more, but right now is not a good time to act.
HOW CAN TRAINING HELP?
Until you get into the habit of seeing changes every month, you should use the comprehensive approach to resolve self-sabotage problem. The easiest way to do it is by using outside help of the right choice of training or classes.
The good thing about even the least informative training is that, while you may not learn anything new, you will start doing tasks that you’ve known about forever in a large group of colleagues.
Your subconscious will see you busy with something interesting and in good company, so instead of apathy it will offer you joy of the game. Your body will stop resisting if the new actions look like fun or like an exciting quest. Studying will be a pleasure; you will enjoy learning. A good coach knows how to solve this problem if they’re not a bore.
The “bucket” problem is solved by your new environment in training – all participants approve and support each other. For a while you are influenced by a different environment: those important to you include your coach whom you admire and your colleagues excited by the course. You get a bonus of endorphins from the “social petting”. You feel that you are finally approved, that you have finally found your own place.
What is your restless brain busy with? It believes the coach’s promises and actively dreams of the happy future prescribed at the landing. So it too, stops getting in your way of trying out new things. So that, if you felt like a dead battery before the training, then thanks to all three components of happiness (an interesting process in the present, approval of those around you, and dreams of a happy future) you are full of energy directed towards change. It does not matter what assignments the coach gives you – your active state in the course of the training is much more important than whatever new information you might acquire. You know too much as it is, it is time to act. Assignments are important too, of course. If the entire training consists of affirmations and visualizations, in a few weeks you will find that you have not acquired any new skills. The process of teaching comprehensive knowledge is similar to teaching skills.
Imagine that you have decided to learn to ride a bike or to swim. Will you listen to lectures on swimming? Are you going to read articles on keeping your balance or books on how a bike is made? Will you attend a theoretical seminar to find out how you can ride around the block or feel confident in the water?
When it comes to physical skills you realize that the naked theory is powerless. You actually have to get in the water or mount a bike and work on the right moves. If you are learning a foreign language, memorizing lists of irregular verbs or various tenses will stay a useless knowledge until you actually start speaking.
This is true of studying any other type of information. In order to really learn something and be able to use the knowledge you must get the actual new experience and assimilate it. You don’t have to study all the ideas in depth to do it. It is more important to work with the information you have, evaluate it on your own, put it through your own perception and get the experience.
Reading books or listening to lectures is no more than entertainment for an adult. If you are planning to learn you need to experiment with the new knowledge. If you have listened to a webinar, but have not used the knowledge or got actual experience, you have wasted your time. Yes, you have had fun and enjoyed yourself, but if you watch a movie instead of a webinar – the result is the same.
The problem is not with the teachers. The class may be fun and full of useful information, the speaker faultless, charismatic, and talented. However, if you don’t make a decision to be involved in the learning process, to realize to the full the information given and use it immediately, getting the understanding of your personal experience and making, realizing and correcting your own mistakes, the most fabulous teachers in the world will be powerless.
Studying will only be effective when you really work it into your real life and put your new knowledge to practice. Then you can take your mistakes to the teacher to be analyzed and go back to using what you get.
That is precisely why a psychologically adult person can fish out the 1% of useful things they need to achieve results even from the least informative training. While a psychologically infantile person will not be able to assimilate the chewed up and implanted information from the best of classes. They will devalue and spit out the information because they are not capable of adapting and using something new.
The value of trainings, classes, marathons and seminars is not in the knowledge, but in the motivation and energy; in your unfamiliar actions that lead to different results. I often read in the reviews that apparently, an attendee did not learn anything new in my training on achieving goals. She had read about all these techniques before and even tried to apply them. However, unsystematic and chaotic attempts to use book theory on your own are usually doomed to failure. There is simply not enough energy to overcome the resistance of your subconscious and frustration of those around you.
It is as if you started exercising on a mat by your bed and expected to become an Olympics champion. Many beginning runners have seriously damaged their knees learning how to run on their own, without a coach; just because no one has taught them the right moves.
The effect is radically different if you get a system of exercises from an experienced coach and train under one. A good coach helps you understand what it is that you are doing wrong and why there are no changes for such a long time. Unfortunately, often enough popular literature presents even scientific research superficially or with errors, the authors make up things and do not warn of the consequences of mistakes. The authors do not care how you perceive a book, they don’t even know you.
There is another important point – we only value what we have invested in. We are sorry to break a long-standing relationship; it is hard to stop doing something unsuccessful, to throw away something you don’t like or to stop trying to win back your losses. That is why it is best to pay a substantial amount of money for training. Then your subconscious will make a lot of effort to make it pay off. You know that free stuff is not worth much and the more expensive a thing is, the higher your motivation.
I often watch this amusing effect in my Money Training – assignments from the free 5 Lessons of Money Thinking Training are still not done, but the same assignments in the expensive Big Money Training are done with great enthusiasm by the participants who are thrilled with the results.
Of course there are people who can manage to change their lives on their own. Yet, even they cannot do without mentors and experts and pay the best rates for an individual approach. If you wish, just like I do, to start a new life with the New Year, the fastest way to do it is to pay for your changes. Invest in them and get results.