Be Aware Be Strategic Be Mindful Be Still
In any change management process there are three key elements. The first one is being clear about the current situation. The second is the vision of what things would look like if they were better serving. The third is what would have to be done to bridge the gap between those two places. At EAP we call that bridge, Being Strategic.
Having become more aware, you better understand the capacity to live life free of the stress, exhaustion and anxiety that has taken over how you experience life. Or in your awareness you have greater clarity about where you want your journey to take you, and with expanded wants and values, your vision of a purposeful life that is both fulfilling and rewarding means you no longer keep falling back into old patterns of belief and behaviour.
It makes sense then that a strategy is necessary in order to create the new reality. Paraphrasing Einstein, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. So strategising is coming up with a new set of behaviours capable of producing a new result or outcome. This is effectively creating a new neural pathway, which may or may not include elements of what you have done in the past. In the last two blogs I have discussed neural pathway development and neuroplasticity.
In the first unit of the Enhances Awareness Program you identify your formative narrative (the story) that sits at the foundation to your subconscious patterning as an adult (which governs 95% of how you turn up in the world). You also identify a key aspect of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual consciousness that is symptomatic of your story. These are key to what handicaps maintaining inner peace and stillness. In the Being Strategic unit you create a new neural pathway for each aspect by listing a series of actions and sub-actions (and associated challenges) that you would have to adopt and manage, so you could experience sustainable change.
This is part of the pragmatic approach to EAP, this is the practical component that is necessary to create a new reality. Having taken the time to think through these strategies you unknowingly set off new neural links between axons and dendrites (nerves) in the brain that are essential for adopting new behaviours that result in the creation of your new reality. In the case of EAP we are talking about replacing stress, exhaustion and anxiety with clarity of mind, enhanced wellness, being emotionally fulfilled and engaged in a purpose that is fulfilling and rewarding. As previously discussed, this is the point at which EAP takes a different approach. This is where the ‘laziness’ comes in.
Laziness is this context is not about doing absolutely nothing. It does require some effort, but it’s nowhere near as much as what life-coaching would expect, for example. Having created the strategy, your only obligation is to maintain a daily awareness of the strategy as you encounter life. This is what is more commonly known as being mindful, in other words, remembering your strategies as you encounter life. More about the intricacies of that next time.
The strategies have to be developed in such a way that if they were to be adopted, all contingencies would be covered that made sure the strategy would succeed. The actions and their associated sub-actions would be in bite-sized pieces making the neural pathway clearly achievable. Contingencies to resolve any obstacles to achieving the strategies would give you confidence that the creation of a new reality was possible. The key here is not being tempted or driven to have to go out and immediately make changes to your life. You must understand that the ONLY thing to be done is to be mindful of the strategies throughout your day.
Creating a new set of behaviours does require some creativity, imagination and guidance. Many people find this part of change management challenging. Of course, if it was easy you would have already done it, because, who wants ongoing stress, exhaustion, anxiety and ill-health. The capacity to foster change through being aware and mindful is counterintuitive to how we normally perceive change occurs. That said, it requires a certain degree of faith to have a go at trying an approach like this. In the next blog I will be discussing the concept of ‘faith’. In fact, faith is necessary if you are going to have a go at being mindful.
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