Whether you are creating something new, changing something existing, whether it’s career or business, relationships or health, your finances or lifestyle objectives – these 7 pillars for effective change hold true. Often the absence of even one of these pillars is enough to put you on shaky ground.
To ensure you set yourself up for success, write down the particular things you want to change or create in your life, and then check off each one against the 7 pillars below, identifying where you are on track and what gaps exist. Then you can plug the gaps to ensure you have the optimal outcome you desire.
Pillar 1 – WHAT
What exactly are you creating? You have to clearly define it. You need to be able to see it in your mind. You need to be able to sense what it would feel like. You need to be able to name it. If I ask you exactly what you want, you need to tell me with conviction and clarity the end result you are targeting.
You can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is! Your energy is like a missile that you lock and load onto your desired outcome. If you don’t have a clear outcome in mind, your energy will be scattered and diluted, you will end up giving your time and attention to things that aren’t relevant and you’ll wonder why your life isn’t the way you want it to be.
KEY – It is not difficult to clearly define WHAT you want. It just takes a space of dedicated time, conscious awareness, a question and answer process and the willingness to open your mind and heart to what truly lights your fire!
Pillar 2 – WHY
You need to be crystal clear on your real motivator for whatever you are seeking to create. The process of defining your underlying motivator is incredibly enlightening and liberating. Many people don’t understand the true reason they want what they want. Many people also don’t have a motivator that is compelling enough, and so there is nothing grunty to drive them forward when challenges arise and times are tough – those obstacles are bigger than their motivator and so they don’t follow through what they needs to be done to make their goals happen, and in some cases they give up entirely. Your motivator lies at the root of all you stand for, at the root of what really moves you, and it will be emotive.
KEY – One thing is most important in order to identify and solidify your underlying motivator. You simply need to be willing to be completely, brutally honest with yourself about why you do what you do, why you want what you want, and what is actually most important and meaningful to you in life.
Pillar 3 – MINDSET
Your mindset is EVERYTHING.
Your beliefs drive your entire life experience. They are how you interpret everything in your experience of life, and they are how you create your life outcomes because they give rise to your thoughts, which generate feeling reactions, which dictate how you behave and the types of actions you take.
Your attitude, positivity, sense of possibility, courage, confidence – all of it is critical to whatever you are creating or changing. When this tips the balance on your fears, anxiety, doubts (all stemming from stale old limiting beliefs – a total misperception of who you really are and what you are capable of) then you will see serious results in your life.
KEY – Your mindset can be shifted, radically, at any time. It starts with your conscious awareness of what your existing mindset is, identification of the key beliefs and thought processes that keep you stuck, and seeing fully how those play out in your life currently.
Pillar 4 – PLAN
Your life is not going to just happen to you. Well, perhaps it is, but not in the way you want most likely! If you want to create specific change, to realise a goal for yourself, you have to have a specific plan.
The type of plan will be unique to the type of change you are creating – be it a business plan, a career plan, a lifestyle plan, a relationship plan, a health plan, a financial plan, or an education plan.
The plan is going to be a written, guiding document which clearly outlines your “what and why” (Pillar 1 and Pillar 2), detailing the type of resources, support (Pillar 5 below) and/or information you need to gather to be able to achieve your goal, and outlining a clear set of actions (Pillar 6 below) that will take you there (or at a minimum the starting steps to get the ball rolling).
Your plan might be phased, focused on what is initially most important to execute, which will often then allow the next phase to become clearer… to unfold naturally as a consequence of your forward momentum. Your plan can evolve and shift to factor in new insights and new circumstances as you move ahead. It’s not about having a concrete path you must follow. It’s about having a guiding document that is clear and realistic, and one that will stretch and drive you beyond your comfort zone.
Whenever you waver on your path, facing difficulties and easily losing sight of your original goal and the reason you wanted it, you can simple come back to your plan. It will never fail to remind you exactly what, why and where to next.
KEY – Your plan doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple outline is sufficient. You don’t have to have a specific structure or template. Do not let yourself be scared off by the word “plan”, thinking there is a special way to create it, or that some expertise is needed to write one. Write what is in your heart and your head that you know is important and that needs to be done. If you want a template to fill in, get online and search “free ____ plan template” (eg “free financial plan template” or “free savings plan template” or “free health/diet plan template” or “free business plan template”) Get proactive!
Pillar 5 – SUPPORT
You are not alone. You do not live in this world alone. You do not grow alone. You do not sit silently without interaction with other people. You cannot achieve what you want alone. You were not designed to. You are an interactive, collaborative, creative being. What you do will help yourself and thus help people around you when you thrive. What you do will also require the support of other people, perhaps people in your life already, perhaps new people you will meet, perhaps people online, perhaps just information/resources/tools that other people make available to you.
Your support team will include those who motivate and love you, those who inspire you, it will include problem solvers and technical experts, it will include butt kickers and hand holders… whatever you know you most need to rocket you forward. You are not meant to be an expert in everything or “perfect” at anything. Everyone needs other people. You are meant to leverage people who are good at what they know and do, and use that to propel you forward.
KEY – At times people will just show up in your path who are ideal to help you. This often happens in divine order and divine time as synchronicities to leverage you on your journey. This particularly happens when you are really, truly doing what makes your heart sing, you are giving your all, and you are in your “flow”. While seemingly random and coincidental, the showing up of people/things/resources to help you on your path is very much the natural order. However, you also have to proactively define who you need support from, to actively ask for that help and if you don’t know where to find it… start asking questions, researching and reaching out.
Pillar 6 – ACTION
You can be positive, visualise, believe and affirm all you like. If you lock yourself in a cupboard and consistently do these things for the rest of your life, guess what happens? NOTHING! You’ll probably die in that cupboard.
KEY – Don’t fool yourself into thinking that anything else can take the place of action to create the change you are seeking. At some point you just have to suck it up and get out there and start to make things happen in your life. There may be fear, that is normal. There may be uncertainty, that is normal. There may be doubt, that is okay. None of that stops you, unless you succumb to your mind. Your underlying motivator is bigger, gruntier, more compelling and emotionally important to you than any of these blocks combined. Take one step.
Pillar 7 – NO FALL BACK
Surprisingly, having a Plan B or a “Fall Back” position does not serve you. You know that there are any number of possibilities available to you at any time. You know if something doesn’t work out you can do an endless array of other things. That will never change. But you don’t need to think, feel and act like that is what you intend to do. Forget it.
Your Plan B or fall back position is your safety net. As long as you have a safety net, you will be totally comfortable and willing to fall. If you do not have a safety net, you will put every ounce of your effort, energy, dedication, focus, blood, sweat and tears into making your change/goal/dream a reality. In essence, your fall back position keeps you playing a slightly smaller game than you are really capable of. It keeps you with one foot on either side of the fence, and that leaves you standing there a little awkward, a little unstable, and totally as committed to going backward as you are committed to going forward.
KEY – I’m not suggesting Plan B doesn’t exist for you. You actually have more than a Plan B, you have an infinite number of Plans C, D, E, F… that you can tap into at any time if you heart desires to change direction. But that is not currently what your heart desires, so quit it and get focused on there being ONLY ONE PLAN! Your energy is creating your life, and you must put it fully, clearly and wholeheartedly on what you truly need and want in order to creatively bring it to fruition.