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Making changes Stick

Part 2 - Taking Action

Part 1 of making changes stick revealed how our personality is shaped as we are conditioned. We gained a better understudying of who we are and why change is difficult.

Part 2 deals with the steps we can take to ensure change happens and that it becomes our new reality.

Whatever we seek to change, we are moving away from a current state towards a desired state. Our desire is to convert possibility in to reality and by this we mean change our personal reality. This is where we are required to change our personality.

If our personality is a result of our internal processes then this is where we start. It seems as simple as changing our thoughts and we can change everything. And it is…

Candel, a neuroscientist, discovered in her research in 2000, that when we learn something new our brains increase neural connections from 1300 to 2600 connections. We physically change our brain structure when we learn something new. Another insight from the field of neuroscience is the saying: ‘Neurons that fire together, wire together.’ This means as we think something new we are physically changing our brains. The big question is: “What are we going to do with it?”

Imagine that we have been seeing a coach to work on a strained relationship and we become aware and learn that it’s our intolerance of certain behaviours that has us react this way. We take things personally with this individual and we lack questioning skills. We walk away from the coaching session feeling armed with the tools to change this relationship.

What happened in our brains in that coaching session? We learnt a tool for self-management (in the moment) and a tool for questioning. The result is our brain circuitry doubled. If we don’t do something with this then the circuitry gets pruned and the learning is lost. Our brains structure reverts to what it knows and nothing changes.

We need to convert knowledge (in our minds) into experience (in our bodies) and experience into wisdom (our new way of being). We need to convert our thinking (learning from the coaching session) into doing (actively practicing the new tools) and this then becomes our way of being (automatic habitual ways of being). We need to be able to repeat the experience from the coaching session again and again until our bodies and our minds (our brain in action) are in sync. This is called mastery and our new automatic way of being is that we get curious and ask questions versus being reactive and taking things personally.

The simple act of taking action on our new learning by thinking about things differently and feeling differently has us behave differently and changes our personality. When we show up in our lives with a renewed personality everything changes. Our personal reality is different and all it took was a change in thinking. The key is small steps over time and managing your way through the uncomfortable internal space of change.

Change is simple. Stop complicating it.

If this article peaks your interest I am keen to have a conversation with you as to how I can work with you and your teams around generating results more effectively. Send me an email – details below.


Stephen Light is a Leadership Expert & Executive Coach who uses Neuroscience as a platform for being more effective at understanding and changing self. He assist leaders in finding more effective ways of leading people through changes resulting in the objectives of teams being met.

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