One of the things that I have been thinking a lot about lately is the idea of resorting to old habits, strategies and emotional responses. Often when someone makes a change, it’s not always happily ever after. Instead they find themselves resorting back to an old way of behaving or feeling from time to time.
The biggest problem that happens when this occurs is that the person sees it as evidence that they have ‘fallen off’ the wagon or ‘failed’ or that the problem has somehow ‘come back’. This dangerous way of thinking can lead from one stumble to becoming the main reason why the person fails to succeed long-term with their attempts to change.
Sometimes I hear them explain how they have resorted back to their old behaviours or even, in a different way, resorted to desperate measures in an attempt to stop ‘falling back to the way they were’.
Firstly, as I’ve mentioned before, the metaphors that we use to describe our problems are a huge part of how challenging the problem is for us. When we talk about falling back or it coming back, we see ourselves as helpless victims at the mercy of ‘it’ and at risk of getting knocked over into failure. The reality is that this needs to change.
We need to start to understand that our metaphors of change, for them to be successful, must involve us as the locus of control. We must see ourselves as ‘doing’ what we are doing rather than something being done to us. Furthermore, we must see ourselves as going on a journey that we cannot be stopped from going on. Regardless of what happens, we must realise that we can handle a setback as quite literally all it means is that we are ‘setback’ one solitary step.
That’s where re-sorting comes in. To me, the art of re-sorting is the ability to stop and take stock of where you are and begin to re-apply everything that worked in the beginning. It is about re-organising your actions so that they work strategically towards your goal and, if necessary, making adjustments to ensure that they do.
Re-sorting your mind in the event that you make a mistake or have a setback upon the path to change is always a smart idea. When golfers play a bad hole, they are mentally trained to start the next hole with any learning that they received from the previous hole but also with a fresh perspective. They learn to start their focus process again and get themselves in the right frame of mind. This is what the very best do.
So, the key to avoid becoming disheartened if you fall off the bandwagon or experience a setback is to remember that you are in control. Take some time to re-sort and re-apply yourself to your goal with a fresh perspective and be proud that you are moving one step closer to success.