Have you ever been to an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting? When I was in my early twenties I used to like to go to AA meetings with one of my good friends who was a recovering alcoholic because I always found the insights people shared in the meetings helpful for managing my relationship with my alcoholic mother. In general I feel like AA gives a lot of great advice that everyone, not just alcoholics, can use to improve their lives, because so much of it focuses on being responsible for your actions and your life.
One of my favorite AA slogans is, “Keep coming back, it works if you work it,” which reminds people that if they stick with the AA program they will benefit greatly from it in the future. It works if you work it. This is solid advice that can be applied to just about any positive behavior, right? If you eat right and stick with it, you’ll reap health benefits. If you speak up for yourself consistently, you’ll reap relationship benefits (yes, really). If you notice and act on intuitive guidance repeatedly, you’ll reap whole-life benefits. Notice a theme here? You gotta stick with it!
Positive changes typically start with a decision and progress into a mindset, but the real magic is in the work. Positive thinking will only get you so far. In order to see real results you have to do the work. A lot of clients come to me with problems whose solutions involve pretty significant changes in mindset and behavior. It’s so easy to get discouraged when facing a big behavioral change, like developing self-love, learning how to establish boundaries with others so you don’t get taken advantage of, or learning to express who you really are rather than who people expect you to be.
You can make the decision to change but in order to achieve success you have to show up every day and do the work. In the above example of developing self-love, one example of doing the work could be catching yourself thinking self-sabotaging thoughts and replacing them with encouraging thoughts. It may seem small or silly, but when done consistently over time this type of small chance yields big results. If you were working on establishing boundaries with others, an example of doing the work would be speaking up for what you believe when faced with a challenging situation in which you would normally compromise on your ideals out of a desire to avoid conflict. And then doing that again and again, every time that type of situation arises. Yes, it’s hard! But, it works if you work it. Positive changes are the direct result of consistent behavior.
What changes do you want to make in your life? What work can you do on a daily basis to make those changes happen for you? If you need guidance, check in with your own intuition or book a session with me, I’d love to help you!