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Your Word(s) Create Your Reality

I have worked with many clients over the last few decades who want to take more action and get more things done in their lives. In my experience, taking action is not as simple as just doing something and experiencing a permanent shift or lasting change.

Antoinette Barnardo
Antoinette Barnardo
7 min read
Your Word(s) Create Your Reality
Photo by Artur Voznenko / Unsplash

We expect a result when we do something differently. Although that may initially result in a shift, it seldom results in permanent changes or personal traits that we can rinse-and-repeat for successful outcomes. If it was as simple our new years resolutions wouldn't run out by February when we typically revert back to our old ways of being and doing, except now carrying a bag of guilt.

So how do we make change last? And why is taking action always accompanied by hard work that requires massive effort and discipline?

I would like to explore this a little further, so grab a cuppa and let's dive a little deeper in this post.

What Change Do You Seek?

Choose any example where you seek genuine and long term change. You may want to:

Lose weight, move more, run a race, drink less, read more, scroll less, stop arguing, be less reactive when you are challenged, find a partner, stress less, obess less, etc..

No matter what you do, you cannot shake the habits or behaviours that led to you seeking a change in the first place. You exercise willpower and extreme discipline, yet the wheels come off. The changes you make are short lived before you revert back to the old you, the one who indulges in repetitive behaviour that does not move you forward or help you grow and transform.

What Motivates Change?

In my experience, change is motivated by pain - physical or emotional. When a situation becomes unbearable or is impacting your life in very destructive ways, you will seek change. It's when you feel fed up with how things have turned out and feel that it's never your fault.

It all happened to you and you blame others.

Your intentions to change are always genuine but before you know it, you find yourself back where you do not want to be. And you don't know how this happened nor saw it coming.

I Call The Process Of Change "Exercising Your Options"

To use an analogy: when you seek a change, you do so by "moving a few things around" in the room. You move the chair to the back of the room, you hang the painting on the adjacent wall and you shift the table to one side. That's change right?

Problem is that you are still stuck inside the room and you really want to step outside of the room or change this problem for good. Moving things around the room results only in a change of scenery and it's often a distraction. Hence you are exercising your options.

Problem is that no significant shifts occur when you shuffle things around and the exercise is filled with content but void of any context. And it is hard work, short term and no lasting returns.

So How Do You Create Lasting Change? (Step Outside Of The Room)

There are few critical steps to making change stick.

1. Awareness

Becoming aware of your behaviours and attitudes, which could be sabotaging you is a great start. When we pay attention to how we think or feel and what we do reactively, it reveals our patterns and can show us why things always turn out a certain way. Greater awareness allows us to evaluate what's going on and in that moment, we can choose to do something different.

We begin to wake up to our sub- or unconscious behaviours that sabotage our progress like always shopping when we are hungry and loading our shopping trolley with junk. We begin to observe when we always do things the same or a certain way, the outcomes always dissatisfy us.

But this is all just awareness or waking up, unless we turn this into a different way of being, behaving or relating. That's when the real work begins. I encourage you to work with a coach that can help you with your awareness process because it's the first stepping stone to waking up.

A good coach can help you access some of those unconscious behaviours driven by certain feelings or thoughts that bubble under the surface and sabotage your progress. When we connect with these feelings, thoughts or behaviours, we see them for what they are and we get a jump start on them controlling us.

It's also useful to be aware that any thoughts or feelings you have about your situation is like a radio station playing in the background. There is sound but you do not need to tune in, especially when it does not serve you. You can take action or do something about your situation and still have these thoughts and feelings - you do not have to give them any airtime.

2. Language

Now that you have a newfound awareness of a few thoughts, feelings or behaviours, let's move on to how we speak or what we say.

We often dismiss the power of our language as a key component in creating lasting change.

Language can be defined as not just a whole thing and not just a part of other big things but simultaneously "wholes" and parts of a greater chain.

Think of it this way. Letters make up whole words, which can then construct sentences that become paragraphs and so on. Each of these are "wholes and parts" of what becomes our speech and language to communicate and connect with others.

What if language can help us create lasting change? Ever notice when you verbalise something out loud, or in writing or when you declare it to another person and act in accordance with what you said, how a little bit of magic starts happening?

Suddenly you added accountability and responsibility to your spoken words. If you do not follow through or break your word regularly, you will be held accountable and you may be seen as unreliable by some or feel guilty.

Do this at work and it may result in greater repercussions for you.

Do this enough times in your daily life and you will experience how your dreams, ideal jobs and goals may slide away from you.

Using Language To Commit Or Make Promises

Examples of using language to support you are: I can __ I will __ I commit to __ I shall __ I am __ I promise to __

I invite you to use speech to make a commitment (out loud or with someone) and then take action to see what is possible or can result (commitment + doing = desired outcome).

This is what I mean by the Power Of Your Word(s). Handling your word(s) with impeccability means that you always do what you said you would by when you said or risk being an unreliable fake. It means you are showing up and having integrity.

Getting Behind What You Said

Creating a new context that supports your creation (your language), requires a total shift in your attitude and behaviour. Once you declare or commit/make a promise, you need to get fully behind it - give it power so it can manifest. You stop being the obstacle (by making excuses) or negotiating your way out of it. This is alignment and integration because your internal and external environments align, shift and support your spoken commitments and actions. You have closed all the exit doors.

You begin to embody this new way of being and it's easier than you think. You begin experiencing success and flow. No hard work, discipline or alarm clocks needed. 

3. Action

It is now time to move towards the taking action phase. Action moves us forward. It stops us from regressing or regretting what we didn't do or say and it keeps us moving towards where we want to be. We focus on what lies ahead and we leave the past where it belongs and accept that we cannot change it.

Action rewires our brain because it results in change and the more action we take, the better we get at it.

Action can also feel like hard work and often is, because we tend to event-build what needs to be done. We take a project and turn it into a mammoth task that requires a great deal of effort to pull it off. We don't keep it simple and are surprised when we fail or give up from sheer exhaustion. We have a tendency to approach change with unreasonable expectation of instant change and subconsciously set ourselves up for failure because something that is unrealistic in time or size, is most likely unachievable - at least in the short term.

The lure of distraction is also greater when we are exhausted or have lost interest, so don't tune in!

It also leaves no space for silence or softening into it instead of fighting it all the way. Stillness supports the brain to slow down and make sense of what is going on, so it can change a few patterns and rewire some new neural pathways that will stick. We typically change a million things at once when so much else is already going on. It's because we are desperate and nothing thus far has worked.

Unfortunately, the result is stress and overwhelm with little capacity for creation and flow.

The Turning Point

You can either stay where you are or DO something that is radical enough to create a shift. You can stop exercising options that keep you stuck in the same room.

You can choose to get very clear on what you really want and how you are going to make it happen.

How? Here are some questions for you to consider before you begin:

  • What do you value most or what is most important to you? Rate this on a scale of 1-10.
  • What are you prepared to say no to?
  • What are you prepared to let go of?
  • What support do you need to change?
  • What is good about changing?
  • What is good about NOT changing?
  • What can get in the way?
  • How will you stay accountable?
  • How committed are you? Rate this on a scale of 1-10.
  • What is the very next step or action you will take today?

Reflect on how things turns out, what went well and what you can do differently next time.

Until then, how about making ONE commitment or promise today and getting behind it with gusto to allow the magic to happen in your life. 😊

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If you want to create lasting change, reach out and schedule a call with me.

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Antoinette Barnardo Twitter

FDN-P, CHPC, PN & CCI Coach, Psychological Stress Specialist & Yoga Teacher. Helping people reclaim health, vitality for max energy! Love yoga, adventure sports, meditation, philosophy & reading 😊