Are you a Stan, or a stay?

Linda Sage
HMP Leeds

The 5th June, 2017, I went back to do some work in a prison, to date – I am still there.  11 years, 8 months and 17 days it took me to walk back through a main gate, after my complete burnout and previous experience.  From literally burning my work clothes, not just leaving a job, but moving to another country to “run away” from my torment. (not that I saw it as that, at the time!)  Going back has taught me a lot.

Can you still change?

When is it too late to change? If you get off to a bad start, can you still turn things around when you are an adult?
 
If you were in trouble all the time when you were a kid, a teenager, and even as a young adult, do you think there is any hope that you will straighten out your life when you get to be 30 or 40? According to findings from two of the longest, ongoing research studies in the nation, many people have an amazing capacity for change throughout life.

To be a Stan or not?

There is the example of “Stan.” At the age of 32, “Stan” seemed destined for failure. Abandoned at birth by his father, and orphaned at the age of three when his mother died, “Stan” dropped out of school, became an alcoholic, and served prison time for rape and vagrancy in his 20’s and early 30’s.
 
15 years later, against all odds, “Stan” had turned his life around. When researchers checked in with him at age 47, he was sober and happily married, had an adopted son he doted on, and owned a transport business and a house.

Not just a one-off!
 
These studies – and evidence from an on-going study within HM Prison Service in London- point out that “Stan’s” story is far from unique. We all have the capacity to change our circumstances – no matter how old we are, and no matter how difficult our early experiences were. It comes down to whether or not we want to change. Once that mindset shift takes place, from “have to” to “want to,” change becomes a whole lot easier.

Make a choice to see change

Up to you

So, please do not give up on yourself. Be careful about listening to anyone who says it is too late to change. They just may have given up on themselves. You don’t have to. If you really want to – if you are willing to alter your beliefs and your behaviour – you can do it. It all starts with changing that internal picture of who you “know” you are.
 
Conquering your own fears and negative beliefs changes your life in so many ways.  If you are struggling with change, start with small steps; just think if a pilot deviated from his flightpath by just one degree, you would arrive at a completely different destination. Your mindset is not different, small changes made on a consistent basis, equates to a big change.

Don’t take my word for it.

There are millions of stories of people achieving amazing things, conquering fears, climbing mountains and slaying their own dragons. You can take inspiration from them, but you can also create your own story.

If you need some help you can always let me know, www.lindasage.com/contact

Here’s to your Stan story and a life you deserve.

Warm regards

Linda Sage

www.lindasage.com

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