Hey, brave-hearted sister. I'm so glad to be with you again. It's always a joy for me to come and spend time with you today. I wanna talk to you about something that's really going to empower you if you take it to heart.
It is Newton that tells us that everything left in a closed system is going to decay. That is anything that's left unattended in our life is going to move towards chaos and decline, and that includes our brains. That most definitely includes our kitchen and our cupboards. And ultimately, that's our lives If we don't make it our aim is to continually grow.
I like what Tony Robbins says, every action that you take is fuel for the kind of person you wanna be or become. ‘Who do you wanna be? Who do you wanna become? Do you know that you have the power to create that?’ We don't just lay back and acquiesce to whatever happens to our lives. In essence, we want to direct our lives, under the power of God to make the right decisions, the right choices, and consistent actions that move us toward powerful goals. That's what you want, and that means then that it has to be our aim to continue to grow. It has to be our aim. To continually change. And change is challenging, isn't it?
Do you like to change? I don't know. I like the results of change at times. Positive changes, but I wanna talk to you today because there is actually a psychological cycle that you're gonna go through with any change, any time you wanna change anything in your life. We've all said it. ‘I know I'm gonna do it someday. I just gotta get in the zone.’ What are we saying? Really? We're saying I'm not in the place yet. Psychologically I don't have the mojo or the motivation yet. I don't have enough pain. You know that saying when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change, then you're ready? But that's what I wanna talk to you about and share with you today.
So two psychologists, Don Kelly, and Daryl Conner. They developed a model that specifically begins to outline for us in pinpoints the various emotions that you're gonna have and that you're gonna feel with any change in your life. More specifically how you will feel in the various stages that are required to make. Change in your life, and it's fascinating work. I love it. In fact, many coaches and psychologists, including yours truly here, we've adapted this and made it into our own model to fit the people that we're working with.
I've discovered that the clients that I have, the women that I'm working with, say ~ ‘I'm done being stuck, I want out of the status quo and I wanna make changes in my life.’ I watch them as a coach navigates through the cycle of emotions as you change because it's very real. I've experienced it. But if you understand the cycle of change, it is so powerful for you and as I call it, my brave transformation ~ the cycle of change.ve been doing this work since:
So some of you might say, okay, that's me. I can start. But I can't follow through. I have the desire. I have the dream, but I don't have the skills. Am I right? The next few moments are gonna give you the capacity. If you'll listen and apply what you're about to learn, you will dramatically impact your success and find that you have more power and stick to it to change. Because you're gonna be able to identify where you are in the emotional cycle of change. You're gonna be able to anticipate that's what's coming next. This is predictable and it's common. And if I persevere in this, I am gonna get the rewards. I am gonna get the results. And so if you don't quit and you anticipate what's. You're so empowered, you're so equipped to be an overcomer.
Now, let's look at the five different stages of the emotional cycle of change or once again the brave cycle of transformation. I want you to picture as I get ready to share with you this giant you. The letter ‘U,’ and we're gonna talk. Starting on the left side at the top and working our way around that U till we finally come to completion. Did I say left side or right side? But we're gonna get to the top of the right side. We're gonna start at the left. We're gonna come down. We're good at the top of the right side. So I want you to picture me. Let's talk about these five. So we're at the left-hand side of you, and this is called uninformed optimism.
Uninformed Optimism ~ Now the emotions that you're feeling in uninformed optimism is that you've reached enough moments. ‘Enough, I'm ready for change. I've come to a place where I can no longer stand the pain. I am ready to start something. I'm excited. I'm enthusiastic. I have great anticipation. I'm so optimistic. This is the thing that's gonna work. This is the time. I'm gonna not fail. I'm gonna be successful.’
Everyone loves a fresh start and new beginnings. It's exhilarating. That's largely because you have uninformed optimism. You're in stage one, you don't know. The cost is going to be you are unaware and uninformed of the difficulties that await you and you haven't discovered yet the price. You're gonna have to pay for the pain. You're gonna feel the cost of change.
So you might be in that place right now. You're excited. You're starting something new while you're at the peak of optimism. While you're at the threshold of a new beginning. I want you to do this because trust me, you're gonna need it. I want you to write down all of the benefits of what you can expect if this change happens to you. We call it connecting to your why. You know Simon Sinek who said, start with why. I'm not talking about the letter ‘Y’ now ‘cause I know we're talking about the letter U, but why. Why do you want this change? What will it mean to you? What will it mean to your family? How will it impact and improve your life? What will be different for you? All of those benefits. I want you to write them down. Why do I want to start this journey of change? Write yourself a letter and list all the benefits. Don't skip this step because trust me, you are going to need it because the second stage of the emotional cycle of change is coming your way. So what is that? You're at the top of the left with uninformed optimism, and you begin to slide down.
Now as you start your journey and you're trying to make the stages and you're taking the steps, you're halfway down the U now, and instead of being there where you have been uninformed. You now have informed pessimism. You have come halfway down the U and here is where you're becoming aware of the cost. ‘Ouch. This hurts.’ You now know the price. You know the pain. You're battling in your brain, and this knowledge of how hard it is creates pessimism and now you have a new set of emotions. They're pushing in and they're crowding out all the optimism, and you're feeling frustrated, maybe overwhelmed. You have some anxiety here, you're feeling confused. You're getting really negative and pessimistic, and suddenly those benefits, don't seem clear. ‘I don't want those benefits. Who needs those benefits?’ And you're starting to say they're less desirable or they feel unreal. ‘So why am I even trying to make this change?’ I'll never be and always gonna be. You know those words that start to come into play, you're recognizing now in stage two what it's gonna take, and you're doubting that you have the energy, you have what it takes.
Understand, first of all, that stage two. It’s common to everyone. It's a psychological change that's going on, and so you're doubting your abilities, but I want you to know what's happening is when the cost seems to be greater than the benefit, you start feeling like you wanna quit and you question the worthiness of this goal. That's because you’re now entering the realm of habit in your brain and your brain's.
The number one job is to detect threats and the unfamiliar means threat. So your brain starts negotiating with you with rationalizations, deceptions, reasons, and excuses because it wants to drag you back to safety. And I'm doing air quotes right now.
For those of you who are listening audibly. So before you shed your old identity, your brain, not your mind, but your brain, the habits, the neurons, and the pathways, start bullying you back to comfort old beliefs. Now in mindsets that do come outta your mind, they rise up, they gang up on you. They start to, as I said, reason with you and rationalize with you, and your lizard brain wants to hold you back into a familiar pattern and routines, things that it's always known.
So listen, our unconscious mind loves sameness. The unconscious mind is everything you can't see like an iceberg. It's everything that's below the level of visibility. While your unconscious mind does not like change, and unless your brain is convinced that this change is positive and that you're really. For it, it will start to drag you back into old mindsets and habits relentlessly. You have to let your brain know that your mind is in charge. You have authority, you've made a quality decision, and you have to stick with it. But I want you to celebrate when you feel this, because, this resistance is. Actually, these deceptive rationalizations are saying you are on the verge of some transformation. Something's different, and your bells and whistles are going off. So just keep remembering that. ‘Ooh, it's actually working. Even though I don't like it, I don't want the benefits of the change anymore. I'm starting to think it's not. It's costing me too much. It's too painful. I'm not ready.’
But here's what you do when you're in phase two or stage two. I want you every day to keep making one step. A baby step. A slide edge towards your goal. Towards the change that you say you want. It doesn't have to be a quantum leap. Just one step. Be consistent. You're breaking the old neuro pathways. When we first start a new habit, it's as thin as this little hair right here, but after time, it's as thick as a cable or a fat ponytail. You're breaking that up, so every time you're consistent, you're taking a thread away from the cable and you're adding it to the new habit. Keep going, keep doing what you do. Don't overthink it. Don't get in your head. Don't rationalize. Do it.
Some pushups are better than no pushups. Some savings are better than no savings. Some days of sobriety are better than no days of sobriety. Some days of eating healthy and restrictive will lead you to freedom in other ways. Keep going. Here's stage three. ‘Cause, you might think that in stage two you're at the bottom of the U, but you actually aren't. You're gonna slide down according to psych. Even a bit further.
Now, the originators of the U, actually call this hopeful realism. This is stage three, but stage three has begun to be known as the valley of despair, and this is where you're gonna make it or break it. If you push forward, you're gonna be rewarded, but this is where most people quit. You're hitting rock. You don't like it. You want to stop. You're going to give up and you feel embarrassed. You feel ashamed. You feel despair and you feel some hopelessness like nothing is ever going to be different. You were starting so good. You started out, but now you don't think you can finish. You were in uninformed optimism. You didn't know what you didn't know, and now you wanna throw in the towel. You decided the pain is too much and you're thinking something else will be easier. ‘You know what? I think this is stupid. This is a stupid idea. I think something else. Will be easier. What are you wanting to do?’
Your habits want to pull you back up to stage one. A new beginning where there's all that dopamine and all that excitement of a new beginning. In other words, you can start things but you can't finish them. ‘Cause listen, if you don't quit, you're gonna break through. But if you start over, you're gonna be here again. Any change requires you to go through this matrix. You will have to go through level two and level three all over again. So why lose time? Why lose the energy? Why wimp out? You are a brave-hearted woman. You can keep it going.
How many clients have I talked to that are so excited about a new health regime and they buy all the products and all the food? Maybe some of the exercise equipment, start out amazing. By week two, they're drifting and they're wondering, and then they're thinking, I, my body doesn't like this. This isn't really healthy for me. I mean, how can starving be good for me? I'm gonna binge on all the emotional things. I'm not saying they're not factual.
In some ways, you're not in problem-solving mode anymore. You're drifting into a deceptive phase that is wanting you to quit. But I'm just telling you, if you decide to give up, you will start all over and you will be back here again. Dig in. And I just wanna tell you, this is where coaching comes in. If you are trying to do some of these difficult changes by yourself, you're not gonna do as great as you or, or make it. You need accountability. You need coaching. You need the cheering section. You need wisdom and you need support, and I can help you. But if you stay the course and you stay focused, your breakthrough is coming, you're going to make it to stage four in stage four.
Now you're out of the valley of despair at the bottom of the U, and you're moving up to the right side. You're halfway up the U on the right side, and you're becoming. You know what you're doing, and it doesn't feel as awkward and the resistance isn't quite there. In fact, you're starting to feel like you miss it. If you don't do your regime or your new habit, you didn't quit and you're starting to sense the change and you like this, and you're no longer experiencing all of that pain and all those voices in your head, you're feeling the benefit. You started to lose weight or you're seeing some tone or your savings are improved or you're making more money. Your relationship is improving, you're getting more peace, and anxiety is lessened.
Whatever the change is that you are desirous of, you're gonna start seeing the benefit right here and now. The fogginess where you couldn't see the benefit, all you could do is see the cost and feel the cost. But now the benefit is starting to become clear again, and there's a glimmer of hope. You don't feel hopeless, you feel empowered. Your success feels good, your self-worth. Bolstered. You feel like I'm valuable and this is valuable and I actually don't wanna quit. I'm creating a new life. A life you're proud of, and you love feeling this way and this word here, I want you to think about, you are now becoming, you're becoming new. It's natural. Did I tell you the name of this stage? This is informed.
Informed. I now know what I know and I know how to navigate. I'm becoming really smart. It's becoming very clear to me. You're in the phase now of transformation and, and you're becoming now, that doesn't mean you're not gonna still have sabotage come at you, efforts to dissuade you from what you're doing now. That will still happen, but now you know how to press through and you're gonna reach your destiny.
Have you guys ever seen the movie The Princess Bride? That movie, I think because there are lessons of life, but one of the lessons that I love about the Princess Bride is that the couple, the Prince and the Princess, or the would-be prince, they are running from evil pursuers and they have run as far as they can. They are at the edge, they are at the dead end, and the only way to go forward is to go through what is. The fire swamp and no one makes it through the fire swamp. No one has made it through without being maimed or injured or killed, and that's because they have what they call R.O.U.S., rodents of unusual size.
The rodents of unusual size are in the fire swamp, but if they turn around, they're in bond. There's no freedom. They're stuck, and so the pair decide we are unwilling to turn around. We've gotta make it. We've got to be brave. We've got to press through and get on the other side of this fire swamp. We've gotta take the risk and we've gotta go for it. Yeah, they're in there, they're crying, they're going through the fire swamp. Now they're screaming.
But you know what? Pretty soon they're learning how to navigate the fire. There's a pattern and there's a rhythm, and they start to crack the code and figure it out, and they know how to move and how to dodge and what to do, and when to stand, and when to go, when to press, and that's the phase of this.
That's the change that you're in right now when you're in stage four. Informed optimism. I'm starting to feel optimistic again. I'm feeling hopeful. I've navigated the fire swamp. I'm coming out on the other side. The best version of me has survived, and I have become something that I had only hoped for before and dreamt of being before.
And so now, stage five is success and fulfillment. You've made it. You've conquered this change, and now it's a part of your life, part of your routine, and a part of your habit. And the feelings here are amazing. In this part of the emotional cycle, you are so thankful that you went through everything. You're like, ‘Oh, I don't wanna go again. But I am so grateful that I went through it.’ You've installed new habits. You know what you're doing, habits and routines that are life-giving, and you're so proud of yourself in a godly way. Your accomplishment was hard fought and you won.
Now there's something about you that says, ‘I wanna reach back and help others get here too. Like, I'm really glad I did this, but it's not enough just to live in this.’ I wanna help. So where are you in the emotional cycle of change? Where are you? Have you reached enough moments? Have you decided that something in your life needs to change? I'm not suggesting that you throw away the baby with the bath water and just torch your life and burn the ships unless something needs to be completely burned. But is there something that needs to be tweaked, something that needs to be changed? Are you just only weeks or months away from something significant that you've been battling with your whole? Are you in the valley of despair?
Maybe you've started and you're halfway down that U, or in the worst place yet, which again, once you have the model and you know where you are, you can anticipate that this is only a season. If you keep going, you're gonna make it. It's time for you to get out your list of benefits. Why do you want this? Keep it in front of you. Review it. Every day, talk to your coach about it. If you don't have a list of benefits for the change that you're trying to make if you don't know why. I want this, or you're not connected or you don't even know what you want, I can help. You need direction, but whatever it is, you gotta keep going.
Coaching is the only way you're gonna make it through that cycle of change, ‘cause it's really difficult to do it on your own. So if you want help in becoming brave and making changes in your life, contact me. Let's have a maybe it's time for us to jump on a strategy call. All the links to reach me are in the notes. I would love to do that.
And speaking of love, if you love this episode, share it, post it on your Instagram for me, put it on your Facebook, and review this podcast on Apple. That helps us grow, and it brings empowering messages to more and more women. Those who need to raise their brave like you, like me.
Whatever you do, take some action today. Make sure you move the needle forward, and as always, I'm here to help. This is Don Damon, your Braveheart mentor. I'm gonna leave you like I always do. It's time for you, my sister. Find your brave and live your dreams!