Why we go hot and cold on our businesses?

Waking up in the morning, do you feel inspired by what you do, eager to get creating and make the most of the day, brimming with optimism and abundance?

Or, maybe you feel completely the opposite, tired, lacking in energy and wishing that your to-do-list was shorter and you had some more time to kick back?

And sometimes, even in one week, you can feel at both extremes.

Keeping our energy and motivation high can be challenging, even if we totally love what we do. When we’re stretching ourselves to grow our business, we can swing from loving it one minute to shrinking back in our shell the next.

Why is this? Why do we on the one hand push change upon ourselves, to grow our business, and then in the next instant shy away from it?

There is an ebb and flow to the journey of change as people wake up and go after what they really want.  I created this model after 10 years of coaching, working with hundreds of clients, and I saw the same pattern repeating itself.  I typically work with clients between 4 and 6 months, and the phases outlined below repeat consistently with all of my coaching clients as they reach out to achieve their goals.

Ebb and Flow of Change – The 8 Phases

1. Hesitant – The change will start with trepidation, as you will be uncertain of the impact but with a knowing something has to change

2. Excited – here you start to plan and create what your business could be and this fuels the motivation for change.

3. Doubt – As the planning and creating novelty wears off, you dip into wondering if the work is worth it. Your fears start to overwhelm and you realize you have to let go of old beliefs and habits if you are to succeed.

4. It’s Happening! – You achieve early wins, and new habits are forming strongly. You start to really believe you can do it

5. Deep Resistance  – As you believe the change could actually happen, deep resistance from the subconscious kicks in and you slide into a deep dip. You experience resistance from all sources and people, as you start to reshape your identity

6. Recommitment – You reconnect with the benefits of the change and waking up. The new patterns of thinking override the old ones

7. Protection – the one final act of resistance as you get close to achieving your new life

8. Push Through! – You get there, more awake, conscious and engaged. Enjoying your work, seeing business success and knowing why you are there

When we are going through change (based on the experience of my clients, and myself) I know that we will be in one of these eight stages.

Stages 3, 5 and 7 are the most dangerous. This is when our brain trash can kidnap our thinking and we become consumed with worry, doubt and apathy. Those familiar thoughts of ‘am I worth it’ creep in and if we don’t address them, they can stall the amazing progress we have made to date. Then we become stuck. Stuck in the slump of our old beliefs and the feeling that our business is not moving anywhere.

When I wake up lack lustre in the morning (and yes, it does happen!) and I start to set my intentions for the day, and I’m just not feeling it – you know what I mean? Then I stop. I stop and consider what am I going through personally and with my business. Chances are, I am in the midst of great change. I’m doing new things that are stretching me, and I am reaching out to new people and trying new things.

I then give myself a break, and stop beating myself up for feeling low and then understand that it’s just my strong subconscious mind protecting me and not wanting me to change. When I feel this, I then feel inspired to override my subconscious, remind myself of my vision and get moving!!!

If you ever feel like this as you start your day, try these simple and effective steps to get back in the flow of change and on the way to achieving your goals:

Check In

How are you feeling? Honestly? What might be driving these feelings? Tired, fearful, fed up? Understand what may be underneath your feelings.

Reflect on your goals

What are you trying to achieve? What changes are you making? Are these getting you out of your comfort zone? Maybe you are feeling a little overwhelmed by how incredible it will be when success happens? Take a moment to reflect and acknowledge.

Reconcile

Could how you are feeling now, be related to the stage you are at in the change journey above? Could you be so tantalizingly close to attaining your goal, that it seems easy to drop out now, and not go through with the one final push?

Or can you see that your old ways of doing things are holding you back, requiring you to get into better habits of behaving now!

Inspire

Get the energy moving again and reconnect with the reason why you are making the change. Reflect on your vision board, imagine your goals being achieved, tap into that great emotion of having done what you set out to do. Luxuriate in this feeling of achievement!

Start Small

Now consider what is the one small thing I can do right now, to get myself moving in the right direction again? And start. Start now, and the rest will naturally flow.

Wendy Kerr

Director for The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Auckland University.The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the hub for the development and promotion of innovation, commercialisation and entrepreneurial activities within the University.We create experiential programmes, workshops and events to unleash the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, to transform the mindsets of our students and staff to support the growth of New Zealand as a prosperous and creative nation.

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.

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