Is there something in your life that you’d really like to achieve but has so far eluded you … Your One Elusive Thing? You may have your life pretty well sorted, but are one or two things where you just can’t seem to get the traction you really want?
When there is one big elusive thing you are serious about achieving, let the not so big things go. They can get in your way because when the going gets hard, and the going will get hard, it is tempting to shift your focus from Your One Elusive Thing to a not so big thing, simply because it’s easier. Learn to conquer your One Elusive Thing and you can reload and repeat in any other areas of your life because you have mastered the art of real, sustainable change. You may find however, that your not so big things will no longer even be an issue.
When most people want to address something that has eluded them for some time, they seek support in the area of that change. People who want to lose weight go to weight loss programs; people who want to stop drinking join AA, read books on it, or join a Facebook group; people who want to start a business get their ducks in a row.
There is nothing wrong with any of those kinds of supports and they may be helpful. But what if there is something you need to know that is even more important than learning the nuts and bolts of the thing you want to change. What if learning HOW to make and sustain change is more important than the actual things you do when you are changing?
Neuroplasticity is the ability your brain has to create new neural pathways. Each time you repeat a thought or an action you strengthen the neural networks that represent that behaviour. Old thoughts and behaviours are like well-worn paths that are habitual. Imagine your brain is like a National Park made up of paths and wilderness. The paths are your habitual behaviours and the wilderness is where you can create new paths in order to arrive at a different place.
Creating new neural pathways is challenging because it is like pushing out through the wilderness. The reason change is so hard to sustain is because it can be mentally exhausting and the more tired you get the stronger the lure of a well-worn path is.
The Compound Effect
There is a compound effect to path pushing. When you push through the wilderness it will still feel like wilderness for longer than you think and each time you do it you are tiring. Maintaining your commitment to change is difficult until you start experiencing the benefits. When the benefits do start to flow and growth is rapid, it is not because you have achieved sudden success, but because of the compound effect of all the work you put in, even when you didn’t see any results.
Mind power, or thought power, is one of most important powers you possess in making and sustaining change. Your thoughts impact your actions, your feelings and your physiology so it is vital that: –
- you are aware of your thoughts and your mindset
- you realise that your thoughts are subjective and are created out of your perceptions
- you take responsibility for your thoughts
- you accept that you have the ability to change your thoughts
- you consistently create thoughts that serve the accomplishment of Your One Elusive Thing
Analyse your Needs
Everything you do everyday is an attempt to meet one or more of your needs. In fact your days are a carefully orchestrated and finely balanced symphony of meeting your needs. Any changes will impact that. Before you set out once again, to achieve your One Elusive Thing, do an analysis of your specific needs profile. You can do that by popping your email address into the form in the sidebar. There could be a number of reasons why the thing you have wanted for a very long time might has eluded you. The particular reason we are looking at here, is the effect of pushing those paths of change through the wilderness of your brain. During the period of set-up and change, as you move towards your One Elusive Thing, the ways in which you have been meeting your needs will be impacted.
Here’s an example of what this might look like in practice:
You have a successful business but you want to branch out into something that you are very passionate about. You have wanted this for a very long time and had several goes at it but have never managed to sustain the new business branch. The reason why this is the case continues to baffle you.
What will the new business branch give you ? (what needs will it meet?) :
- Power: You have a quality world picture of yourself being successful in this area
- Survival: It will provide you with a better bottom line to your business
- Fun: You are passionate about this aspect of your business and like the process of learning something new
- Freedom: This business branch will eventually allow you to have the freedom to do and be who you want
- Love and Belonging: You will eventually have more time available to spend with your friends and family
Now look at what needs it is impacting while you are making the changes necessary to create this new business branch.
- Power: While you are implementing the new things and learning the new skills your power needs may be impacted because the quality of the work in your new business is not as high as the work that you have experience in. You are nervous about what people will think and the time you are investing in the new branch may impact the success of your existing business.
- Survival: In the building phase you are investing money and energy as you have to keep your existing business going while launching the new branch. You are not seeing any profits from the new branch.
- Fun: While you are having fun building the new branch, the time you are investing is diminishing the time you have available for other recreational things you enjoy.
- Freedom: While eventually you may have more freedom, in the creation phase you have a lot less freedom to do other things.
- Love and Belonging: You probably have less time to spend with friends and family.
Go Easy on Yourself
Does this explanation help you to see why making sustained change is so difficult? Pushing through the wilderness areas of your brain is hard enough, but continuing to meet all your needs while you do it is like juggling balls at the same time. Do not be discouraged!! People do manage to make changes in their lives, so you know it is possible to create the life you really want. Awareness of the things that have caused your One Elusive Thing to elude you is the first step and what we have discussed in this post is just one possibility. There are more.
Next week we will look at whether the thing that has eluded you all this time is what you really, really, want and how to make a good decision about it. If you haven’t done it already, don’t forget to sign up for your Needs Profile in the sidebar, it means that you will also receive a notification when the next post goes live.
As always please leave a comment below, sharing any of your experiences with changes that have eluded you. Your input will help others. I am also thinking about starting a Face Book Group to address this issue of : Your One Elusive Thing. If this is something that you might be interested in joining, please contact me via the contact page.
Thanks for reading 🙂