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Reach your potential- my tips for enabling change

Really connecting to the potential we have for change is a powerful and important reminder of what we, as humans, are capable of.

I, like many, was captivated by the story of the trapped Chilean miners in January 2011 and the way they kept their optimism and strength to deal with their situation and the uncertainty of their fate. This was I am sure in part due to their familiarity with being down in a mine and to the implementation of a structured routine which gave them a sense of being in control. Yet under these extraordinary circumstances they probably were also connecting to, and drawing on, their individual inner strengths and abilities and really focusing on how they could enable themselves to manage better on an emotional level.

All of this would have allowed them to feel like they were more in control of their circumstances with the ability to cope better. I imagine they were also more focused on living each day at a time, rather than projecting any worry or fear into the unknown future. These are all themes that form an important part of the work I do which includes the Human Givens approach.

Inspired by the miners and their situation here are my tips on how to effect change in our day to day lives:

  1. Be very clear about what you want to achieve when making a change. What are the benefits you will gain? There needs to be at least one highly compelling benefit that will have a big impact on that situation. Once that is established allow yourself to really imagine what your life will be like when you are getting those benefits. How will your life be different? I am sure the miners would have had a clear idea in their mind of what they were looking forward to when getting out, which can be a powerful motivator.
  2. If you are struggling to make a change think about what benefit you might be getting by staying in your current situation? Is it in conflict with the part of you that wants to make a change?
  3. Make a list of 2-4 attributes or inner resources that you know will give you the strength to cope better when going through a difficult time. Write this out when you are calmer and have the space to think. Examples could be; confidence, calmness, concentration, optimism, etc. When you have listed them think about either a time in the past when that feeling has been really strong, or pick an example of someone you know or even a film character who exhibits that trait and act as if you have it. Really allow yourself to re experience that past experience or what it would be like being that person, engaging all your senses to make it really vivid. When in the experience pick the strongest powerful element that will act as a reminder of the whole feeling so that you can recall it when going through the difficult time.
  4. It is also vitally important to feel like you have some degree of control when in a difficult situation, allowing you to cope better. With the miners this meant having a structured routine with clear roles given to everyone. Plus of course certain rules they had to uphold. For you this might mean implementing more structure into your life through work or some other area or gaining support from friends or family.

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By Lawrence Michaels

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