Friday Confession: People are all talk

People love to hear themselves talk. I’ll admit it; I’m included in that too. But one thing that really bothers me is when there is no action behind that talk. You know when someone starts to tell you ALL these things they are going to do, yet they rarely begin. So you just wasted my time listening to ALL these exciting and amazing things that I know you would excel at, and your own time describing and explaining it ALL to me. I read an article a few months ago, that mentioned the moment we tell others our goals and aspirations or even things we want to do, we then feel a bit of accomplishment. As if we have accomplished something by merely talking. Sounds so odd, but I began to notice when I did it, and when others would do it.

In coaching, mentoring, and therapy I hear talk more so than the average. Now don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, because I love helping. However, I’m no help if the person has no follow through. We all want to change, but very few are willing to put forth the efforts to accomplish the change.  In graduate school, I learned many theories and reasons as to why people change, as well as why they don’t.  In order to change the pain (or unwanted thing/event) must be so unbearable that you can't imagine feeling (dealing with) it anymore. Very commonsensical, who would continue to do things that they don’t like, right? Wrong! Everyday people do it. That job they complain about, yet guess where they are still employed at? That friend that drives them crazy, guess who they are hanging out with this weekend? So many situations…can you think of any in your life?

 In looking at my own life, I rarely made a change until I decided the “pain” was too much to bear.  When I had my first son, I was 18 years old and undecided about college. I would go then I would quit then I would go again, and I would quit again. I played a refund game with Sally Mae for a few years. I would go long enough to get my refund check, and then I would drop out.  I had my daughter at 21 years old and I hated the jobs that were available to me, and that’s IF I worked. Between my parents supporting me and my Huni, I was in my comfort zone. The “pain” wasn’t bad enough to make a change. I quit a “good job,” and decided I really wanted more. I needed more freedom, I wanted fulfillment, I didn’t appreciate the way the clientele would talk to me. And this is back when my attitude was “nuck if you buck,” and I hadn’t fine-tuned my assertiveness.  I went back to college and did exceptionally well. My pain was too much to bear.

I want you to really think about things that you want to change, how bad is the pain? Is that why you haven’t made any progress towards this change? Do you even want to change?

I’ll leave you with this, before verbalizing any changes you want to make, do, or embark on, write it down and an estimated completion date. Include one actionable step you can do within two days to get the process going. Once that’s completed tell two people and give them your estimated completion date. These people should be persons that will hold you accountable to your date.