Discover The Secret To Change Without Pain
I was doing a youtube weight training video today and I heard the fitness instructor say,
“Pain = Change”
It was not the first time I had heard this. In fact, I have heard it repeatedly when it comes to change, not only about our bodies, but in any area of our lives.
I thought about how this message has become so ingrained in our psyche and how unfair we are being to ourselves by keeping this thinking going.
I spent much of my life changing the painful way.
Making meaning and lessons out of my pain or contrast; those experiences that I did not like, want or prefer so that I could move towards success. I am thankful for those lessons and how I have used them to change and grow.
However, now that I am 50 years old, I am ready to change, grow and succeed in joy!
Every client I have worked with has grown from and through their pain as well.
Punishment Does not Work
One of the ways we choose pain for change is self-judgment. In other words, punishing ourselves. Most of us learned how to do this from our environment. Our parents used punishment as a way to get us to act the way they wanted us to. Punishment certainly does not feel good.
The thing about punishment/self-judgment is that it is the furthest truth from who you truly are. It does not feel good because it does no resonate with the truth of your higher self. And, research has proven that it simply does not work as a long-term behaviour change tool.
We are so conditioned by punishment versus praise that many of us are unable to accept praise. We often minimize and dismiss when others reward us for our talents, skills, or attributes.
Learning theory and the research from operant conditioning has demonstrated that the most effective behavioural change tool is positive reinforcement or reward. With positive reinforcement you increase the frequency of a behaviour by providing a rewarding consequence. This method leads to long-term change.
Punishment does the trick in the short-term but, does not stick. That is why so many people fail when they go on diets (punishment) and during that time berate themselves (judgment and punishment) if they do not stick to it perfectly.
That is why so many people fail to make changes in their business. I have a client, Julie who came to me because she was not reaching her financial goals in her business and was not in consistent action for her business to make it a real business. She used judgment and an impossible bar of success as motivation to change.
Setting the Bar Too High
Julie set action steps and goals for herself that were just too vibrationally out of her reach. In other words, her thoughts and feelings did not match what she was aiming for. The bar was set so high that the vibrational leap was a chasm that she just fell into. Then, she would judge herself for not meeting the goal and the cycle continued. To boot, she would compare herself to others and feel even worse. This is counter to the Universal Law of Sufficiency and Abundance that states we are enough and that no one is less than or better than we are.
Smaller Leaps to Success
When I work on shaping a behaviour with clients, I reinforce any behaviour that gets them closer to their goal. This may be through praise, a congratulations card or even validation; acknowledging their internal and external experience as making complete sense. Through my role modelling and direct teaching, (role modelling is really a form of teaching), my clients learn how to do this for themselves.
Julie and I have worked steadily on using the skill of non-judgment and working with self-compassion for change. Each session we dedicate time to celebrating her wins. The Law of Attraction states that what we focus on grows, focusing on success attracts more success. And, I encourage her to celebrate her wins in between sessions by treating herself to a dinner out with her husband, lunch with a friend or a long soak in the tub.
The result is that she has been in more consistent action in her business than ever and her income is steadily increasing. Her business is no longer just a hobby.
Imagine how much more successful you could be if you let go of the pain for change mentality. As a Deliberate Creator who deliberately designs your life, you are always at choice about how you think and feel. Imagine the joy of the ride in getting there!
Francesca is a Public Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur and is certified by the Quantum Success Coaching Academy as a Law of Attraction Coach. For the last 25 years, Francesca’s commitment to her clients’ well-being, personal growth and success have been demonstrated by her many years working in the field of mental health and her current life and business coaching practice. Francesca has a Masters’ Degree in Social work. As a psychotherapist, she developed an expertise in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy; a comprehensive evidenced based model used to teach people Emotional Mastery and Intelligence. Throughout, she offered both individual and group therapy. Francesca also provided supervision and consultation to other mental health professionals and facilitated Emotional Mastery and Intelligence workshops to various mental health and social service organizations in Ottawa.