So…Who’s in your corner?

Speaking of facing your biggest challenge, as we were last week…if your answer to the above question is “no one,” or “only people who don’t want me to change,” this may mean it’s time for you to become more open to new opportunities. Success is waiting to be discovered in new friendships, setting stronger boundaries, and seeking out activities that more clearly reflect your new and evolving perceptions about yourself.

All changes require periods of adjustment. Even when they feel right and positive in that first moment when you make the decision to change, there is a part of all of us that is just plain scared of the unknown. We can be intellectually clear about the benefit. We can be excited about having our desired outcome. We can use all the positive thinking we want, but if we don’t acknowledge this little gremlin inside us whispering, “I want to find an excuse NOT to go through with this change!” – well, we could be going in circles for years not seeing any results from our very sincere efforts.

I’ve seen it happen too many times, and I don’t want you to fall into this trap! So I want to be really clear about what makes the difference between steadily achieving success and likely fumbling around feeling frustrated and demoralized at your apparent “failure.”

In all of my experience, the number one predictor of success in making life changes is having a dedicated group of people in your corner who are guiding you wisely, excited for you, pulling for you, and absolutely committed to helping you get to the goal line. They are the people you learn from, and the ones you can consult when you hit a roadblock. It’s these incredibly valuable allies to whom you can vent when you’ve just had it, and need to let off some frustration for ten minutes – before returning to your focused, sensible, grounded self.

(And don’t kid yourself – it would be unrealistic to think you’re never going to have any of those moments! You’re always going to be human, after all…but those moments will become fewer and more fleeting as your change muscles get stronger.)

Some of these amazing and wonderful people are the close friends or family you can call late at night when you really just want an empathetic, encouraging ear with no strings (or unsolicited advice!) attached. They’re your team mates, and when you’re not so sure you’re man enough or woman enough to pull off this grand vision you have, THEY remain certain, and shore you up with their confidence until you get your own mojo back.

When you have the support to get through the tough moments, there’s nothing that can really stop you. Because the rest of the moments you can learn to handle on your own just fine.

For the more minor confrontations with life and yourself, when you can STOP! BREATHE! FOCUS!… when you can sit with your discomfort, and not slide back into old habits, you will notice yourself feeling stronger and more self-assured with each “pop quiz” that comes along.

So if you happen to find yourself in the position of not currently having what seems to be a top-notch cheering section, take a look at your situation. Do you have a team leader, who knows way more than you do about what it takes to be where you want to be? If not, find that person first! Then fill in the roles of confidante, self-care connoisseurs, play time buddies and whatever other type of team members you require to round out your all-stars.

If there are people in your life who seem to not want you to change, for what you see as the better, try to have compassion for them. Decide to give them time to eventually see for themselves that this change was what you really wanted, and was good for you.

In the meantime, if need be, get creative about discovering a new batch of supporters. As you meet people who seem like they’d be great on your team, audition them. Explore what’s important to them and their vision, before expecting any particular behavior or meaningful contributions from them (otherwise you’ll just be adding disappointment in them to your gremlin’s list of “why nots!”).

It’s January 2014 and the big match is about to begin…the new you vs. the old. Are you ready for the starting bell?

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