IMPACT: what you need to make the difference you are after

When we are lost, we need a new map to old territory. With a new map, we will see signs and clues that were always there but which we missed because they were hidden from view. Our IMPACT Model is one such Map. In this post, we give breakdown of the Model and how it can help you find your way back again into a more positive way of living.

Impact

If our existing conversations were enough then we would simply turn to the people we know to resolve our difficulties. Partners, friends and colleagues would listen to us, take a detailed description of what we are going through, and in a considered manner pass on the knowledge and wisdom that we need. If only it were that simple. It is a truism that conversations change lives, but only those that include what is missing from conversations that don’t. So how do we know what we need from a conversation to make the difference we are after? How do we have a Conversation With Impact? To find the answer to this question, take the CWI Questionnaire.

Meaning

Overcoming our difficulties requires us to make sense of why things are as they are. If we can’t make sense of what our experiences, then we are a mystery to ourselves and our attempts to move forwards will be random guesswork. We might strike lucky of course, but usually we need more than luck. The best source of meaning we possess is closer to home than we think: our emotions. Difficult emotions like stress, anxiety and depression are messages, and they contain important information about the difficulties we face. In fact, they contain two messages. The first message is about the causes of our difficulties, and the second message is about how near or far we are to overcoming them. To change the message, we must identify the causes of our difficulties and then show how we will overcome them. This is how we can replace difficult emotions with positive ones.

Patterns

What are we doing a lot of that isn’t working? What are we not doing enough of that it is? These two deceptively simple questions can reveal a great deal about our difficulties. Answering them can help us understand the ‘who, what, where, when, why and how’ of our troubles.

  • When did the patterns start?
  • Who is involved?
  • What do the patterns relate to?
  • Where do the patterns occur?
  • Why do the patterns exist?
  • How do they operate?

Our patterns are made up of the thoughts, behaviours, feelings and relationships that constitute our lives, so answering these questions will necessarily lead us to consider how we think, behave, feel and relate. Building a detailed picture of our patterns, be they helpful or unhelpful, means we can focus on replacing that aren’t working and maintain those that are.

Acceptance

When we are struggling in life it can be understandable if we find this reality hard to accept. However, the truth is that we have little choice but to accept. If we don’t accept our current reality, then we are living a ‘fantasy’. When this happens, we open up what is called a ‘Fantasy-Reality Gap’ (FRG), which is the difference between:

  • who we think we are and who we actually are
  • what we think we are doing and what we are actually doing
  • the life we think we are living and he life we are actually living

FRGs are common to all of us, but it is when they go on for too long or when the Gap becomes too large that problems can arise. Into our FRGs pour in difficult emotions such as stress and anxiety, which are messages (see Meaning) urging us to close them. And the way we close them is through Acceptance. When we accept:

  • who we think we are is who we actually are
  • what we think we are doing is what we are actually doing
  • the life we think we are leading is the life we are actually leading

Challenge

Overcoming our difficulties is a challenge. So far so obvious and yet challenge is both what we face and the way we conquer what we face. To use challenge to help us conquer we need to find the right amount of challenge and to do this we can use The Goldilocks Principle: not too little, not too much, but just enough. With the right amount of challenge:

  • we move out of our ‘comfort zone’ where no progress is made and into our ‘stretch zone’ where we grow and develop, and
  • we also avoid stepping out of our comfort zone and straight into our ‘panic zone’ where we are out of our depth

Signs that we are not being challenged enough in life include remaining stuck, bored and apathetic. Signs we have too much challenge include feeling demoralised, frustrated and depressed.

Transformation

What are we all searching for? Transformation. Why? Because achieving Transformation means we have reached our destination and put our difficulties behind us. Destinations can be hard to reach, but we can make our journey easier and increase our chances of arriving by having a helpful approach to transformation:

  • Acceptance of one’s current reality and a commitment to doing what it takes
  • Time and patience
  • Positivity – towards oneself and from others
  • Self-belief and trust in one’s abilities
  • Turning setbacks into opportunities
  • Useful ideas, a sound knowledge & effective resources
  • Skills – practice and repetition
  • Alignment of realistic goals with effective strategies
  • The right type of support and encouragement
  • Positive emotions that help rather than hinder
  • A resilient mindset

Knowing the Art of Transformation can ensure we make great progress through good times and recover more quickly from the not-so-good times.

Do you need a Conversation With Impact?

If you are lost and need a new map to old territory, then please get in touch. Our IMPACT Model has helped many clients to find their way back again into a happier, more contented life (see Testimonials).