Have you ever decided to change a bad habit? Were you successful? As a young person, I developed a habit of procrastination. In high school, I would wait until the night before the project was due to complete the assignment. The habit was reinforced by receiving a good grade on the project. While I knew I could have produced a higher quality product, my success reinforced the habit. When I entered college, I found myself struggling and learned a painful lesson. The reality of the adverse impact of procrastination literally slapped me upside the head. I knew I had to change so I tried several strategies. However, after a couple of weeks I would fall back into my old ways. So how do we make a lasting change? How do we transform our behavior?
Transformation begins in our mind. We must first see the change in our mind. Once we internalize the change, our behavior will align with our mind. In my role as a coach, I work with clients to reach their goals. It is not uncommon that most clients have tried on their own to address their issue but have been unsuccessful. As we explore the reasons for their lack of success, it is normally because they jump to solutions before winning the battle in their mind.
Our mind is our most valuable asset. While our mind controls our behavior, we control our mind. I know that sounds simplistic, however think about your self talk. Are your words positive or negative? When you look in the mirror what do see? Do you really believe you can achieve your goals or change your behavior? What we believe and how we speak to ourselves determines our level of success.
For years the four-minute mile was considered impossible, however a young man named Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile barrier on May 6, 1954. Once the record was broken, it changed the mindset of runners across the world and opened the door for what seemed impossible.
So how did Bannister, who began his running career at age 17, accomplish the impossible? After his humiliation at the 1952 Olympics when he failed to medal despite being the British 1500 record holder, Bannister set a goal to be the first 4-minute miler. He determined in his mind after a two month period of reflection to be the first to achieve the impossible. Bannister won the battle in mind, then his actions aligned with his goal.
It took Bannister six years to overcome the impossible. Maybe you have been trying to change an area of your life without much success. Before you give up, think about Roger Bannister. It does not matter if you are trying to lose weight, break a bad habit or change a behavior, to achieve lasting change, we must first transform our mind.
Yes, we can achieve lasting change! Start today by changing the way you speak to yourself.
Remember, we are more than conquers!
Dr. Kim Moore
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