You can’t buy your way out of a problem you behaved your way into…

mocha momentsThe quick-fix.

We are all guilty of searching for it.

We don’t want to do THE WORK we just want “IT” to change – magically. After which we will sail or ride into the sunset.

Newsflash: There are no quick tips, how-to techniques or “you can bet your life on it” tactics that will magically transform your life, putting you in the job of your dreams or in a business that is profitable.

Too often, we behave our way into bad situations. We spend too much. We give too little. We buy more house than we have the money for. We buy cars that make us look successful but hurt us every month in our pockets. We make decisions that continue to compromise our standard of living for the sake of looking good to others. Our shopping sprees go way too long.  Our “secret credit card” keeps getting us into a lot of trouble.

Rich Schefren says “If your performance is lagging or your business is struggling then YOU ARE DEFINITELY involved.” And if YOU ARE the source of what’s holding you back – looking to outside solutions will NOT fix anything. When you go out looking for solutions to your performance problems, what you’re essentially looking for is an external solution to your security fears. You buy books, take courses, listen to CDs and DVDs not with the intent of becoming more confident and certain in your own right, but rather with the intention of somehow avoiding uncertainty altogether. You buy something that promises quick and fast results but it doesn’t work as advertised and then you feel let down. Now you’re even more doubtful and uncertain. Sometimes you try another solution but the results are the same.

You CAN stop your bad actions. You CAN change. You CAN improve your performance exponentially if you start at a different level and identify the root cause of your struggles and THEN focus your efforts to change them instead of just working on the symptoms.

Responsibility1-300x176You need to change your BEHAVIOR and changing your behavior – the things you do and your way of thinking – is a process, not an event. It’s not something you’re going to change overnight. And it’s not going to take 21 days.

When Maxwell Maltz, popular plastic surgeon, reported on his experiences performing operations, like a nose job for example he found that it would take the patient about 21 days to get used to seeing their new face. Similarly, when a patient had an arm or a leg amputated, Maltz noticed that the patient would sense a phantom limb for about 21 days before adjusting to the new situation.

These experiences prompted Maltz to think about his own adjustment period to changes and new behaviors, and he noticed that it also took him about 21 days to form a new habit. Maltz wrote about these experiences and said, “These, and many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”

James Clear recently shared some new data around habit formation. He said “in the decades that followed, Maltz’s work influenced nearly every major “self-help” professional from Zig Ziglar to Brian Tracy to Tony Robbins. And as more people recited Maltz’s story — like a very long game of “Telephone” — people began to forget that he said “a MINIMUM of about 21 days” and shortened it to, “It takes 21 days to form a new habit.” It makes sense why the “21 Days” Myth would spread. It’s easy to understand. The time frame is short enough to be inspiring, but long enough to be believable. And who wouldn’t like the idea of changing your life in just three weeks?

In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally a health psychology researcher at University College London and her research team decided to figure out just how long it actually takes to form a habit. The answer? On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.

Einstein said “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it,” in other words: You can’t solve a problem on the same level where the problem was created. So…if you’re struggling with information overload, then learning MORE won’t help. If the steps you’ve implemented aren’t getting you the results you want, then ADDING ADDITIONAL STEPS won’t make it any better. If you’re dragging your feet from a lack of self-confidence, another how-to book is not going to transform your world.

You’re going to have to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for the results you’re producing. You will have to work at identifying the root of what’s causing your substandard performance and then you will have to willingly acknowledge that not only are you a common denominator but also that you’ve been on the wrong path. All this BEFORE you can begin to turn things around.

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