The Challenge to Create Lasting Change

I’ve spent several months speaking to other coaches and working with a hypnotherapist, continuing to expand on last year’s higher commitment to deepen levels of self-trust, expand my capacity to receive and process feedback, and empower my choice in navigating my life’s journey. But what do I want to do with that? How do I want to be after doing such work, and how do I want to move forward? I want to show up with who I am and what I bring to the room and engage fully grounded in my values, empowering that it’s up to me to choose how I respond. Focusing on what I want and am committed to and less on what I don’t and want to avoid.

The opportunity we have when we are in stressful situations, instead of reacting out of survival and fear or overreacting to escalate the situation, is to step back and ask, what’s going on? Is this really about me? How do I want to be about this?

Sitting in the process of multiple projects I’ve declared I will complete this year, I want to continue to focus on what I want. But not just what I want, what I’m willing to do, and how I’m willing to be about creating what I have declared I want and see a vision of.

Let me ask, what are you committed to in 2023? What are you committed to giving up? What opportunities are there to be in action? I just finished reading the book Masterful Coaching, and one of the chapters talks about how we look at our life today and how that needs to change to support reinvention and transformation. For me, I began looking my priority, reviewing my day planner and recognizing where I am in action and how there may be areas I can shift to serve my needs better.

Developing Self-Trust

Part of this last year was about developing self-trust and demonstrating how I trust myself in various situations at work and in my relationships- which translates into learning about and noticing my triggers. What triggers you to overwhelm and survival-inducing panic? Can you identify any situations, conversations, contexts, or projections? Being in touch with ourselves, what we want and are willing to do, and trusting gut intuition is an indicator for all of us. Whether taking a moment to form a thought in response or changing our environment, there are many ways to ground ourselves before we react to a trigger. Finding completion around stories I’ve carried with me and noticing patterns, habits, and triggers was the beginning of intentionally doing something about the shadow side of what I bring into a room. 

According to an article in Psychology Today, one of the ways we can identify our triggers for self-sabotaging our behavior is recognizing “harmful thought patterns can occur automatically without conscious processing. To uncover them, try and bring more conscious awareness to your thoughts. Take note whenever you feel a distressing emotion” and ask yourself what you were thinking of just before you felt triggered. This can be a supportive exercise to “uncover yourself-sabotage triggers.

This is, in part, why Where the Change Happens Coaching exists. To support the areas we don’t necessarily spend time developing, especially when we’re younger. 

Just imagine declaring what you wish to create and beginning to take consistent action around your commitment to achieve or realize what is most important to you. What does that vision include? How would you feel if you could engage with that lingering voice of doubt and self-sabotage or had go-to supportive tools and resources on your journey to quiet that chatty part of the mind?

Your Mind Matters

In the book, There is Nothing Wrong with You, Cheri Huber writes, “Socialization does not teach us: to appreciate ourselves for who we are, to have confidence in our abilities,” or “to look to our hearts for guidance.” Reading this book last year was helpful to see how my patterns were impacting my relationship with myself, and I began asking questions like, how is this supporting or detracting from my experience?

Psychology Today provides continued insight, saying, “Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in daily life and interferes with long-standing goals.” It continues to read, “People aren’t always aware that they are sabotaging themselves, and connecting a behavior to self-defeating consequences is no guarantee that a person will disengage from it.” 

It is fascinating that we can recognize a behavior is not serving our overall commitments and continue to behave in the same manner, producing the same results repeatedly. But why? In the New York Times Bestseller, You Are the Placebo, by Dr. Joe Dispenza, he writes that “the hardest part about change is not making the same choices we made the day before” and that the reason it’s so challenging is that “the moment we are no longer thinking the same thoughts that lead to the same choices,” we become uncomfortable. And because new behaviors are unfamiliar, it doesn’t feel normal, and we lose the sense of feeling like ourselves. According to Dr. Dispenza, that feeling of uncertainty is similar to feelings of withdrawal. The book goes in-depth about the biology of the brain and how it impacts us physiologically and provides insight into utilizing the placebo effect. If you’re interested in a more profound understanding of the placebo effect and how “the cravings we battle in the midst of change are real withdrawals from the chemical-emotional addictions of the body,” I strongly recommend reading this book.

Since enrolling in the Coaches’ Training Program, I’ve noticed patterns of lingering doubt and self-sabotage from past experiences impacting my level of integrity and how I show up. Thankfully, I could utilize my journaling process to ask how self-sabotage affects my day, month, or year and what I’m doing. Asking questions, like, are these emotions afraid of creating what I want to have? And, how is my current context around fear or uncertainty triggering survival to be comfortable or the victim?

In reviewing exercises to support my journaling practice to process this feeling I’ve been noticing, I came across an exercise that states,” we strive to get to a place of the most comfort and least pain,” and that “this fear-based strategy has ever diminishing returns as we sink deeper into our Survival Mechanism.” Noticing triggers engaged around unresolved issues of self-worth, old beliefs and interpretations, and intentions to balance life to maintain comfort and commitment to the past were timely to understand as a place where self-sabotage originates. Having tools available to support recognizing old patterns and ways to empower choice now inspires a new commitment.

Understand the Opportunity

As human beings, we have a choice. We can make a choice that empowers or disempowers us, or we can make no choice at all, ultimately a choice itself. My first step to intentionally creating my new path this year came from listening to an episode of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast, a January 23rd episode, titled, How to Deal With The Voice in Your Head, with Ethan Kross. In this episode, host Srini Rau and Ethan discuss his fascinating book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It.

Ethan explains that our mind is an amazing tool and that we can turn our attention inwards to try to work through problems, but sometimes when we experience hardships in our lives, we try to engage in problem-solving, and we “end up ruminating and worrying, and this can really make [our] life miserable. Miserable in the sense of undermining [our] ability to think and perform, undermining the quality of [our] relationships, and detracting from [our] physical and mental health.

So, what opportunities are there to be in action now? How does the way you view your experience need to change to stay on track and in process around what you’ve declared is a priority for you in 2023?

I like the perspective of Rick Carson in his book, Taming Your Gremlin, where he explains, “It’s about having the courage to recognize your life is a time-limited gift given directly to you and treating it as such in every choice you make,” and that, “As long as you operate out of habit, you will limit your ability to fully experience, appreciate, and enjoy your gift of life.”

Sometimes structure needs to change so we can show up not from feeling triggered into survival and self-protection but to respond from intention, integrity, and dedication. That commitment brings my attention to why I’m doing this work. My contribution to supporting and developing humanity in ways we don’t learn about the school systems but learn through experience. Insight and research are available to support our development on this journey as we create visions for our futures, deepening our roots in our principles and values and clearly defining what is purposeful and meaningful.

Experience the Transformation 

Notice your internal dialogue pattern and how you speak to yourself and ask yourself, how will I need to develop to create my vision for what I want? What’s missing that, if provided, can significantly impact your higher commitment in 2023? Shift your context or perspective, acknowledging you see and experience things one way and the new way you’ll need to see them and answer to the best of your ability. Look at who you’re being, shape the context, and empower your choice to choose how you want to proceed. There’s no right or wrong about it. This is about having tools available to support your well-being when you are in the process and feel stuck or unconfident navigating your journey. If you knew you’d be OK on the other side of taking this new action, what shifts would you make, and what new ways do you see yourself needing to be to show up at 100%? If the vision seems impossible, this is where working with a coach can accelerate your progress and remove barriers that come up.

Declare powerful new possibilities for your life and translate them into goals that take you beyond what you think, know, or have experienced to date. Consider a complimentary session with Where the Change Happens Coaching.

My mission is to provide insight, inspiration, and motivation through coaching individuals and organizations to consistently produce an impossible future that we’re willing to take action to create and build momentum around what you want to shift or create connected to your purpose. In 2023, I’m committing my heart to share more forms of Where the Change Happens and what the coaching structure of support can bring to your life in the form of accountability and co-creating systems that help you achieve what it is you want to realize. If you want achievement and to shift your response to a situation or trigger and create the vision you wish to see in the world, email me at and experience where change becomes transformation.

The opportunity is here now to load up your well-being tool bag if your mind is chattering, and self-sabotage is a familiar deterrent to realizing what you want. What would happen if everything was not a struggle, and you built the new habit when less was at stake? How would you be showing up differently than how you do currently? What would be happening? Write it down even if it’s pie in the sky and feels like a stretch far from possibility. The word impossible is a barrier. If you quit before development becomes more manageable, or you can expand your capacity to raise your baseline, how do you know the level of commitment necessary? How many of us approach a breakthrough opportunity experience and quit just before the finish line?

Recognizing patterns and having support on the journey of life supports developing the necessary tools to stay in action. That is what coaches are about. To co-create structures for when you notice you’re not showing up and are not in action around your highest commitment that is most important to you. It’s not about stagnating and accepting less. It’s about clearing a path for what we wish to see, create, or experience and giving it the time necessary for that to happen.

Are you open to discussing your questions about what coaching is and what you want to get out of it? Determine if coaching is a fit for you and book a 20-minute conversation today. Experience the opportunity to create a new vision of what is possible. Lean into having what you want in your life because having what you want is possible, and life is too short to live in fear.


What was most useful or valuable here for you in this blog post? Leave a comment below or send me your feedback to

Can I ask for your help? Where the Change Happens and After the Divorce: From Looking Back to Leaning In, could reach other readers like you by reading a helpful review on Amazon. Click here to leave your review for Where the Change Happens and hereThis is about having tools available to support your well-being when you are in the process and feel stuck or unconfident navigating your journeyto review After the Divorce to help your community discover where they can begin to create meaningful change in their relationships today.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you. You can also check out the Resources page for a full list of books I’ve read that I believe will inspire the change you would like to see in your journey. Be well and happy reading!

Check out a testimonial from one of my recent coaching clients:

“My experience was so great! I laughed and cried and learned a lot about myself. Coaching made me focus more on what I want versus what I don’t want. I have a plan, and he was the first step of my project. I wish I could talk to him every week about different areas of life. He’s very good at what he does. Highly recommend!

Click here for my latest podcast guest appearance on The Process with Mark V. Smith, titled, Moving from Transactional to Transformational “FORWARD.”

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