So you’ve decided to change and take action. You’re all inspired. But is the change sustainable? Why do people fall back into their old patterns after the initial change?

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Words of Maya Angelou.

Imagine being in a dark warehouse, searching for something on the shelves. It is pitch black and you only have a tiny flashlight. You can only see what the flashlight illuminates. Then someone turns on the floodlights and the whole warehouse lights up. Suddenly you realise how much you were struggling with your tiny flashlight – there is a whole big warehouse with hundreds of racks you’ve never realised were there!

But then the floodlights dim again, and you’re back to seeing only what you can with the little flashlight. But now you know what is beyond the light of your little flashlight. So either you become settled in the darkness again and eventually forget about the bigger warehouse, or, you might get a little frustrated, knowing about it, yet not being able to see.

That is when I get excited, because when you get frustrated it means something is bound to change. What has been seen can never be unseen. Pain over your current circumstances is a signal that you need to change something – a danger sign. We are conditioned to ignore it, but ignoring it means we will eventually get hurt (or more hurt). Big ouch.

So where do you start?

I’d like to share some principles that I use in my coaching toolkit, which may be of value to you:

  1. Take responsibility

Sustainable change needs your full commitment, because at times it may not be easy. You may have to stretch your boundaries and get out of your comfort zone. Many of us want freedom, but freedom requires guts… we become responsible – nothing or no-one to blame.

  1. Understand what drives you

What are you passionate about? What drives you and gives meaning to your life? These are your core values. Values compel us to do some things and avoid others. People fail to change or achieve their goals is because their goals do not know or meet their core values. They miss the mark because they do not understand what drives them. Do you now yours?

  1. Communicate truthfully with yourself

Notice how you show up. Some of us have been wearing a mask for so long, we forget it’s a mask, and we continue to act out something that is not real. The worst is we lie to ourselves too! And we build safe, seemingly secure comfort zone around these lies, and then refuse to change. What lie have you been telling yourself?

  1. Get a grip on obstacles

Imagine how wonderful it would be to NOT have to carry the load of your limiting beliefs. So get down to business and zap those limiting beliefs. Understand your behaviour patterns and change them. If you need help changing them, get help. You’ve recognised them as illusions; now learn to change your patterns, thought processes and beliefs.

  1. Shift your subconscious

This is about YOU. Self-love is not self-ish. Not loving ourselves manifests in a constant search for validation and external approval. True empowerment requires a subconscious change, an identity shift. Of course this may not be easy, so again, get help if you need to.

  1. Recognise when you’re spiralling down and change it

Change your vibration. When you are stuck and feeling” low” it may be hard to get inspired, so learn what takes you from a negative to a positive state. Get out of that stuck feeling, and generate new possibilities for yourself.

  1. Transform totally

Look at all areas of your life– spirituality, relationships, health, finances, intimate love, recreation. A holistic view and true, sustainable change means looking at every aspect of your life and constantly striving for growth and balance in mind, body, spirt and emotions.

  1. Take action

Knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing. Learn and apply. Do what it requires and focus on growing every day. Make small changes, but do it constantly. Like the famous slogan: (just) DO it!

  1. Understand and manage your environment

You can change negative thoughts and patterns, but they are like weeds. They became your beliefs in the first place so don’t allow them to grow back. Take an honest look at your resources and support structures. Let go of energy thieves (things, places and people). Know who to ask for help (and don’t be afraid to ask!), and learn how to manage your resources, including your time.

So back to that warehouse – do you prefer to toss around in the dark, or let someone guide you to apply these principles?


Celeste Du Toit is a transformational Life Coach, NLP practitioner, healer and speaker. She is passionate about working with people who dare to dream or think out of the box, and who long for “something more”.

Celeste runs regular retreats in which she guides people towards sustainable change. Her next retreat is in November 2016in KZN Midlands during which she teaches participants to implement these practices in a practical, sustainable way.

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