by Carolyn Campbell, MA, CPPC

There are a number of strategies for changing your life and accomplishing your dreams. Sometimes people begin by setting a goal in relation to what they want and create a To Do list. Others take time each day to meditate on what they want to manifest. Some people have an idea, jump into the ‘pool of life’ and then find their way. These are all great approaches to manifesting what you want in life.

Sometimes, though, I’ve found that even with all that positive focus, I find clever ways to avoid doing what I really need to do. When I notice ongoing behaviors that don’t honor my higher Self—or keep me distracted from what I really want—I use some TOUGH LOVE to help me GET REAL with my life.

Please note: This is not for everyone. It is about really stepping up and over the hurdle of procrastination, avoidance and self-dismissal—in your life and your business. Using this NO LONGER TOLERATE approach, I’ve been amazed at the life changes that have sprung from holding myself accountable.

About a year and a half ago, I was at a summer concert with a friend. In the midst of talking about avoidance foods, I found myself pronouncing that I was NOT going to have a single Coke for a month. This may seem like a small thing to most of you, but drinking Coke has been my most difficult addiction to break. I love the fizz. And the zip really gets me going.

There is a long story that follows, but suffice it to say: my life change started with a behavior I was no longer WILLING TO TOLERATE.

It was tough, but I made it. In fact, when I noticed how much sugar was infused in my diet, I decided to cut out all sugar…not just Coke. What makes this a TOUGH LOVE APPROACH? I committed to paying $100 to an organization I do not respect (well, hate) if I had one sip of Coke, one piece of cake, one scoop of ice cream. It was my incentive to keep going, even on the really tough days.

What happened? I certainly didn’t give them my precious money!

Having this incentive pushed me to get real, real fast. My diet changed. I started seeing how I used sugar to keep myself going in areas of my life that were dissatisfying. I realized how I used sugar to suppress my dissatisfaction. I changed what I was doing. I started taking time to eat well. This gave me time to think. I got in better shape. This gave me more energy. My business grew. All because I was no longer willing to tolerate ONE behavior.

And, yes…I’ve been Coke free since July of 2009! Longest I’ve ever gone!!!! So, as you think about your life, what ONE thing are you absolutely fed up with?

It might be:

  • Talking about yourself in a dismissive style;
  • Keeping yourself busy rather than sitting and reflecting on your life;
  • Eating or drinking something that is disrespectful to your physical or emotional body;
  • Watching TV or having a drink every night to numb you out;
  • NOT writing a To Do list each day;
  • Asking for your partner’s opinion rather than stating your own;
  • Surfing the web rather than envisioning what you really want.

Hmmm…what is yours?

What ONE thing are you NO LONGER WILLING TO TOLERATE? What behavior is no longer serving you so much that you’d be willing to pay $$$ if you did it? This is about a specific behavior…not a thought or feeling pattern. There’s no way to anticipate what other transformations might flow from standing up for your SELF—to your SELF—and changing just one habit.

Are you ready to show yourself some TOUGH LOVE?

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Carolyn Campbell has more than 30 years of experience working with non-profit and for-profit businesses. In creative and connecting ways, Carolyn melds her expertise in community outreach, education and business development to help clients expand their reach and increase their impact…using their unique approach to life. Her areas of specialty include leadership, visioning, outreach and community building.