The Challenge of Changing…

Posted on April 1, 2011


One of the most difficult facets of life is to embrace change. As a matter of fact, the majority of our population wants to change various aspects of their lives, but continues to fall prey to the pitfall of “familiarity breeds contempt.” What I mean by this is that, even though intellectually we realize that change may bring benefits — an upgrade in lifestyle, for instance — we tend to avoid changing and continue with what we are most comfortable with.

To help you create and implement change, let’s first look at the two primary desires or reasons why people want to change: 1) we want to change the way we feel; and 2) we want to change the way we behave.

When you feel bad, you want to feel good. If you are feeling sad, you want to feel joy. Everyone agrees that feeling happy is more appealing than feeling sad. However, the reasons for feeling sad, bad or guilty, for instance, are usually the outcomes of past situations or circumstances. Though we can’t change past painful experiences, we can change the associations we have with those occurrences and the roles they play in our lives.

Knowing that fast food is unhealthy and eating it anyway sends a dis-empowering message to our subconscious and negatively affects our self-esteem (how we feel about ourselves). The same goes for smoking, drinking alcohol in excess and taking drugs. The great news, however, is that self-defeating and self-limiting behaviors can be changed immediately.

Now let’s look at what stands in the way: fear and responsibility.

If you know you want to change but you haven’t been able to do it, take a closer look at why you continue to fall short. What you are likely to discover is that fear may be the foundation for why you continue to have a difficult time creating change. More often than not, people avoid change that lasts because the discomfort of embracing change takes precedence over the familiarity that he or she wants to change.

In our culture, it is widely accepted that to change how you feel and to change your habits takes time. The truth is this: Change is immediate. The only thing that takes time is the preparation — the buildup to change.

By taking responsibility, learning to be compassionate to yourself and others, you automatically position yourself for an upgrade in self-esteem. Positively affecting how you feel about yourself positions you to reap the benefits that will result from leaving what you are familiar with and embracing change.

So keep your head up and remind yourself daily that it’s often when we are experiencing the low of change that we are offered an opportunity to grow with change.