Last week, I wrote about this resistance to change many of us face.  On the surface, we are willing and prepared to put in effort, but when we contemplate the long-term change to who we ARE and who we may BECOME, we find resistance.

Feeling the change in our core is challenging and can require rewiring a lifetime belief system.  If our doing has not led to the success we wanted as often as we wanted, being resilient and tenacious enough becomes exhausting.

"OH BE-HAVE" Austin Powers

While there is an argument to be made for DOING to create a habit (dress for the job you want, not the job you have…make small changes for big compound effect, etc), the mindless act of doing whatever these things are won’t make lifelong change.

Experts in transformation often tell us that repeating a behavior consistently for 21 days will become habit. This transformation coach will tell you from personal and client experience that without getting ok on the BEING, the DOING will not stick.

Why?  There is a hint in that advice from coaches in one word–behavior. The origin of this word derives from the Middle English word behaven/bihabben which meant “to restrain.”  Further back, the Old English word behabben meant “to surround, hold, contain, hold back, withhold, or restrain.” Breaking the word into BE and HAVE, it is essentially putting limits and control (have, possession) onto the BE.  It is the moral standard, societal expectation, but if improperly valued, I argue creates suppression all the way to shame for who you may inherently BE.

When considered this way, comments like “just change your behavior” don’t sit right (for more on my opinion of the word JUST, click HERE). We each carry a story with us that has caused us to ONLY put the best and strongest versions of ourselves out there.  People with mental health issues, neurodivergences, traumas and more use this masking more than most, too.  We all would rather approach our DOING and our habits as achievable when we have actually have an imposter deep inside picking away at our confidence, undermining our success.

Unblemished Inner Purpose

Rather than fall into decision paralysis (what should I do to change/improve?) or a constant cycle of doing the same thing and never seeing a difference, what if we allowed ourselves to get to our core of who we are?

My coaching mentor calls this her apple tree wisdom.  An apple tree has a singular purpose which is to grow apples.  It has a way of achieving its purpose in doing the things an apple tree should to succeed. But should that tree find itself in a grove of, say, orange trees, it may wonder if it is doing the right thing to succeed.  In the comparison to the behaviors of the orange tree, it will likely fail.  It bears pointing out that if the tree surrounds itself in the wrong environment with a bunch of weeds, it also may not succeed (so keep your environment always favorable to your growth). Even an apple seed has everything it needs inside to fulfill its purpose, given the right environment and actions taken.  It does not fight its nature, no one has asked it to be small, behave “properly” or limit itself.

When faced with what to do next and what actions to take for change, what if we first considered what our purpose is?  Find that thing deep inside, that little apple seed not yet changed, and know who you are and what you are supposed to do to succeed.

Apple trees doing exactly what they were designed to do.