How are you? I’m slowly adjusting to the onset of winter, entering Advent, turning on the outdoor lights. Signs of the seasons really turning.
And earlier in the week, I couldn’t help notice the black mold starting to appear in the shower.
Not much, just a few specks but black, spots against the bright white of the sealant.
My experience of rented accommodation as a student has galvanised me to move quickly when I see these signs. Sure my house is well heated nowadays but I do remember how fast this can spread so I immediately added “black mold remover” to the shopping list and bought a bottle of the required cleaner from the supermarket the very next day.
As I showered again today I once more became aware of the spots of black mold. Unbidden the thought sprang into my mind “I bought the cleaner. Why is there mold in the shower?” and of course, I realised that the bottle of cleaner was stacked neatly on the shelf but I hadn’t actually used it to clean the shower yet.
In that moment I couldn’t help but realise that this is exactly what I warn people about when they attend my workshops or participate in my programmes. Going to a workshop – or buying a cleaning agent – doesn’t change much. It’s using the material that makes the change!
The content I teach can transform your life. I know. I’ve used it myself. I’ve worked with many, many clients. I have the testimonials as people share their thanks. But I know this is only true of the people who have engaged and done the work. It’s not that it’s hard work, it does need to be done. I know because my clients tell me so:
“The lower and more insecure or inadequate you feel, the more this programme will help you. The work is effortless but the rewards are extreme. There are no (obvious) challenges, just supportive invitations to practice thinking differently.”
“Very interesting course and probably, long term life-changing! It’s quite a lot of self-reflection but one of the reasons I took this course was because I struggle with positive reflection. The fact that I was uncomfortable was because you gently forced me out of my comfort zone!”
There are many occasions that I recognise that I’m telling people what they already know but that doesn’t deter me. I know that if my clients are keen on self development they may well have come across some of these ideas and concepts elsewhere. That doesn’t worry me because “if it had worked” for them, they wouldn’t need to sign up for my programme. They may have (some) of the knowledge but they still need the transformation! My role is to fill any gaps and invite them to put this knowledge into action, expand their comfort zone, to practice, to think new thoughts, choose new behaviours…
I know this is the only way.
Just as I know that a bottle of cleaning fluid on the shelf won’t kill my black mold. I need to open the bottle and clean the shower!
So what is it that you know that you know but you need to put into action… yes, that! Start with that.
But how do you build the motivation to actually get stuff done? Let me share three simple methods for you to try.
The most simple way is to put an appointment in your diary, set a reminder and commit to doing it.. Yes, I totally understand that, when the time comes you’re very unlikely to “be in the mood” simply because you’ve set the appointment but remind yourself, you don’t need to be “in the mood” in order to take action, we simply need to decide to do it. Research shows that for many of us, action comes before motivation. We do stuff, then we feel good because we see we’re doing good stuff and then we are motivated to complete the task. I promise you I will never get excited at the thought of cleaning my shower but I can commit to doing it!
Mel Robbins has her 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 method: decide and then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Do it before you change your mind. Simple and often spectacularly successful.
Linking habits together is also a very successful strategy. I know I take a shower in the morning so I could link my decision to clean the shower to the habit of taking a shower. Before I go to bed I get the cleaner, the cloth, the brush, the gloves, anything I need to do the job. Place them ready, in the shower… then as I arrive in the morning my only decision is do I use them or take them out of the shower. As it takes more work to clear them out of the shower than it actually takes to clean the shower – there – black mold treated.
Why don’t you take a moment to let me know what you tackled and how it went for you.