What Would be Different?

Do you know what you want or just what you don’t want?

One of the questions that I ask every single person who books a coaching exploration call is this:

“If we worked together and things went perfectly, how would your life be different in six months?”

Some of the answers I get frequently are:

  • I’d be less stressed out and overwhelmed.
  • I’d have more time to do what I want.
  • I would have healthier habits.
  • I would have clarity 
I follow those answers up with more questions:
  • If you weren’t stressed and overwhelmed, what would you be thinking about with all of the freed-up mental space?
  • What is it that you want to do with this time?
  • What would be different with the extra energy from the healthy habits?
  • How would clarity help?
And at this point, the answers often circle back to their first answer (or “I don’t know”). It can look something like this:
  • If I wasn’t stressed and overwhelmed I wouldn’t be thinking about the things that stress me out and overwhelm me.
  • If I had more time to do what I want I would be spending less time working.
  • If I had more energy I wouldn’t want to flop on the couch instead of exercising.
  • If I had clarity I could plan and I would get unstuck

What You Do Want

While these answers are not completely illogical, they don’t answer the questions and they reveal the obstacle: The change they want is primarily defined by wanting to avoid or escape what’s not satisfying (or what totally sucks).
Now the first sign that we want change is always noticing what it is we don’t like or want to avoid or escape. but here’s the thing: The fastest way to create change is with ideas of what you do want.

Law of Alignment #1

The First Law of Alignment in Kickstartology is “Spend more time thinking about what you want than what you want to escape or avoid.”

It might sound easy and it is simple, but if you’ve been marinating in dissatisfaction for a long time it can take a little work to re-connect to yourself and identify what outcome you want to create that comes from the feeling of desire as opposed to what you think you need*, should want, or maybe even what you used to want. The #1 Law of Alignment does not mean toxic positivity or denial, the keyword is “MORE”. Emotionally engage with what you do want.

Wanting the change from a place of feeling desire is critical because it’s going to make it worthwhile for you to give up the comfort of the familiarity of the status quo.

Avoid the Trying to Try Loop

When people try to make changes just to avoid something or escape their current situation it often leads to what we call in Kickstartology the Trying to Try Loop. This is when you try to boss yourself around, it doesn’t work, and then you just decide you’re going to try harder… again and again.

This is what it looks like with the same examples:

  • I’m going to catch up so I can stop stressing out and stop being overwhelmed.
  • I’m going to set boundaries at work and stop working every day at 5pm.
  • I know what I need to do, I just need to get motivated and do it. This time I mean it.
  • I’m going to do more research and think things through to get clarity.

What Do You Really Want?

It’s so easy to get caught in the trying-to-try loop for years, even decades, and the reason this happens when you break the first Law of Alignment is that you aren’t changing your programming with anything new to think about and therefore default back to the status quo.

So what do you really want? What would you love to spend more time and energy on creating? What do you care about enough that you would be willing to muddle through the uncertainty and the unknown to figure it out? What’s worth overcoming the inevitable resistance that comes up whenever we decide to make a real change?

If you’re not sure yet you can start small, what would make this week awesome? What do you know about who you want to be and how you want to live? The more you ask yourself these questions, the clearer it will become. And don’t worry, you don’t need to wait until you have the right answer, being wrong sometimes is just a part of the process and how you get new data.

This is your life. It’s worth it.

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