Often when we announce this, we are not literally saying that we have tried everything available.
Instead we mean that we have tried emotionally - We have wanted the change so much, and even followed steps that have been laid out for us by trusted individuals that we don't KNOW the correct route to fixing the problem...
This builds up over time - we try what we have offered to us, the routes that we trust 'help everyone else', however - no matter how much effort we put in at first - we don't see the results...
First we try
Then we hit failure (Maybe time and time again)
Then we lose faith in what we are told "Works"
We tell ourselves "If it works, and it's not working... then it must be me... I must be broken"
This emotional turmoil creates a concrete belief system, you are 'Broken' and 'Nothing Works'
You lose hope. You have no Faith in 'What works', and worst of all - You Blame yourself.
"Did you know that the NHS mental support, only works on 50% of applicants?"
50% May seem high, until you ask yourself "Would I get in a car, if the brakes only worked 50% of the time, and if that was the case... and the car crashed - would I blame myself...?"
The first step:
It's time to be real with ourselves - Remove the blame, and look at the situation objectively
"I can't - I don't want to be the reason that it's not right! It's not that Simple! It's not my fault!"
Again, emotions, blame, shame, and self conviction - fear of accepting the resposiblity to change things - This will only cause problems to get worse.
You do have the power to change things - but we have to treat things like a game, unemotional, judgement free - Logically...
First write down, what is it that you want to achieve (or to move away from!), in many cases, I would ask you to note both.
Okay- step one - Listen... What have you actually done...
"I tried a diet - it didn't work" "I tried talking to them" "I tried to be positive" "I tried to get a new job" "I tried to be less anxious"
Remember that trying without an effective strategy is futile.
You could be trying to lose weight, but if you starve yourself - your body will hold onto anything you eat, as a means of survival, it will store fat in preparation for starvation.
When you mix the right intention, with an expected outcome, with the wrong strategy, you get failure and suffering...
The second step
Now you know what strategies you have used so far! Your list of things that you have really tried - you should research the success rate of each one. If these things have a menial success rate (Or may take too much suffering in order for you to accomplish at your current mental state) then you know you can look for alternatives.
Always search based on what you want your true outcome to be, and always look for results driven approaches - Not what people 'Say' works, but what actually works.
The third step
Expect discomfort. "what"
I know this is going to be hard to head but look... often times in life, our suffering is brought on by our brains innate ability to seek pleasure and reduce pain - this means that you will know the right thing to do logically - but it's scary, or it could lead to an argument, or it requires... you know... effort! And all of that is daunting and horrible and unwanted.
Yep - Tough.
I'm not going to tell you that the whole experience is going to be suffering and pain - not at all, in fact often it's facing the uncomfortable things that we run from, that makes us feel stronger and alive! Proud and purposeful!
As we continue, you'll notice that I never expect you to do anything that would hurt you so significantly that it would hurt your growth. A personal trainer wants you to use a heavier weight - but one you can still manage! ... so please, bare with me...
I said to expect discomfort - Not succumb to it.
To start something new, or even to face a long existing problem head on, we must know that there will be levels of uncertainty, of discomfort... that's okay - in fact, it's part of it! We must develop the habit of creating habits, and to do so, we must know what regular states we will face.
The fourth step
Okay, you have a new strategy right? (Or one you're actually going to stick too!), You know it works! You know that it's going to cause some discomfort! Now what!
Don't expect results instantly!
In recent years, people have become servents of dopaminergic conditioning - consistent dopamine rewards INSTANTLY. From swiping an attractive person on an app, to a notification, to even food (Often takeaway filled with sugar and fats). This conditioning makes people more impulsive (And with it moody - you moody maud!)
But the real crime here, is that is genuinely makes us impatient, we feel things more intensely, the way a drug addict would by going cold turkey.
We are more intense... and want results NOW!
- I'm sorry to say, that's not going to happen.
What you need to do, is spend time appreciating, opposed to expecting results.
Appreciating that you have finally started making the changes, even if it's just one day - that feels good. In opposition - trying something, expecting the outcome straight away, and not getting it! That's what makes people say "This doesn't work for me"
You see, habits are not built instantly - unlike the chemical reactions in our brain. We can WANT in a moment, but only grow to habitualise over the course of three months. Patience is required... but patience is suffering - It's unknown... It's faith...
What works better is Identifying the progress you've already made, and appreciating it!
And if it seems "Too small to celebrate" Then you must provide for yourself a reward that outweighs the suffering!
The Fifth step
Appreciate - as above, set rewards everytime you do something that you don't like!
Go for a four mile run? Take a long bath!
Had to tell that person you love, that they do something that you don't like? Watch a childhood film that reminds you of being carefree.
These little rewards will be more appreciated when you know that you have earned them, and if the rewards are strong enough - you'll not only work on the thing that you wish to change... You'll want too...
The sixth step
This is simple -
So far we have removed blame, acted upon what we know works over a period of time, we are appreciating what works and trying not to expect our goal too quickly, while still allowing the promise that it will come to pass motivate us...
we will be doing so well untill.. we don't
We stop, we stagnate...
We give excuses as to why we can't continue, or as to why we miss a few days.
This is the ljfeblood of habits - Do not get emotional, do not beat yourself up, do not begin to label yourself as a failure or otherwise, do not suffer just because you've stopped for a short time.
Instead look back "I've gone this far... I can do it again"
Get back on that figurative bucking horse and grab the reigns tight... You're stronger now, you're not starting from scratch, you've already progressed... you're already better.
Once again! Breathe deep! Know the strategy, accept the discomfort, don't expect the outcome too quickly, appreciate the progress and most of all, don't beat yourself up.
Just as habits can change, so can circumstances, but these things do not limit us, unless we allow them too - we can decide to be better.
"I don't know where to start"
That's good - we have an article on that too - or better yet, book your free call... we're here to help :)!