Have you ever been frustrated in your attempts to create permanent change? Me too. Have you ever started and then found yourself back at or beyond square one? Me too. Have you ever seen the change you wanted in the short-term but found it challenging to sustain? Me too. Why is that? It’s because many believe that simply a change in behaviour is all that’s required to experience different outcomes, but it’s more than that.

I am currently reading a great book, called The Outward Mindset, by The Arbinger Institute, and it is really opening my eyes to what is really required to change your health, your circumstances, your relationships, or anything you desire, forever. The book talks about ‘The Behaviour Model’, that states it is simply behaviour that drives change. However, how many times do we change our behaviour to get a different outcome and it fails miserably? Great question.

I have had more relationships that have ended than I am comfortable revealing on a public platform. It has sent me on a journey to do some self-reflection and try to understand why I have experienced so many heart-breaking outcomes in my life. In almost all of those relationships, when things started to go pear-shaped, I modified my behaviour in an attempt to improve the situation, but only made things worse. How could that be when prevailing wisdom suggests that all I need to do is improve my behaviour and my circumstances will improve as well? Another great question.

My behaviour definitely changed; I started asking questions to gain more understanding of my partner’s needs, I listened more, I began doing more thoughtful things, I was more affectionate, and I tried really hard. So, why did things get worse? What was missing? If only I knew then what I know now, I would have understood that behaviour alone will not create permanent positive change. If behaviour changes, but beliefs, attitudes, and expectations don’t change, then you, me, and everyone is headed for more pain and heartbreak.

Let me explain what I mean. Whilst my actions were changing, my beliefs about my worthiness to be loved and my capacity to love didn’t change. Whilst I modified what I was doing, I didn’t change my resentment towards my partner for her part in the conflict. Even though I was behaving differently, I was deep down still expecting the trouble to continue. The end result was that my partner could feel that I wasn’t sincere about the changes I was making. It came across more as manipulation and smooth talking than it did a genuine desire to improve the situation, and it just created a higher level of distrust. I hope this makes sense. What was missing from the behaviour was a foundational change in mindset.

When you examine the unsuccessful attempts you have ever made to change your circumstances, can you see that it was your mindset that was the problem, not the actions you were taking? When you try to lose weight or improve your wellbeing, with a prevailing mindset that you have no willpower, have failed before, so will probably fail again, don’t like exercise, and are not hungry to eat breakfast, can you predict the outcome, irrespective of behaviours? Have you ever started a savings plan to increase your financial situation but maintained a scarcity or lack of deserving mindset? How did it go for you? Have you ever started learning a musical instrument but doubted your ability to get good at it? How did that work out? Have you ever started making calls, with the perfect script, for your business to set up appointments or sell a product or service with the belief that no-one will take you seriously? Were you bamboozled by the lack of success and amount of rejections you experienced? Or did you expect it?

Can you see how foundational mindset is imperative to ensure the behaviours you change will actually give you the desired result? The work needs to start in your head and heart before you will see the fruit from the actions you take. You are good enough, you do deserve great things, you can improve, you have what it takes, your past does not determine your future, you are worthy to be loved and happy, you are an amazing human being. When you start to really believe these things about yourself, just watch the significant change that accompanies your new behaviours. In my podcast this week with Cameron Tukapua, called Find the light, we discuss what can change in your life when you find the light that is within you, and you believe in your potential. It’s all about mindset.

For me, being in a loving and amazing relationship with an incredible lady is something I believe is possible for me. My past experiences have absolutely damaged my feelings of worthiness, but the mindset I have is changing and I know, in my heart, I am deserving of love and capable of loving. It is this mindset, coupled with the right behaviours that will ensure that becomes my reality. The same is very true for you. When you change how you think and what you believe about what you are trying to change, then the behaviours you modify will actually help you create that reality. Just remember as you move forward in your life to be the best you can be, it is more than behaviour.