Let’s face it, change is hard to undertake.
If it were that easy the world happiness survey figures would be through the roof.
Have you ever come to realise that most of your new year’s resolutions are the same year after year ?
You’d want to make a change in your life, but you never took action.
Otherwise, you manage to change for a couple of days or weeks only to fall back harder into old habits and behaviours.
You fail to lose weight, quit smoking, or to stop playing the victim of life.
Whatever the change you are trying to implement in life, there are three core reasons why change is so hard.
1. You haven’t associated pain to the old habit
As humans we rarely like to venture into the unknown. We like what seems
familiar to us and almost always lean towards the avoidance of discomfort.
As a result, the comfort zones we set for ourselves become more secure each time we repeat a habit or behaviour.
Hence, even though you reach a point in life, where you realise that a
change is needed, you would most of the time still go on to engage in the old
habits you are trying to quit.
How many times would you hear a smoker say ‘I’m quitting tomorrow’, only to have them repeat the same thing to you a couple of months down the road.
The mind feeds off repetition and doesn’t like being deprived.
Therefore, even though we intend or take action to change, the mind will
almost always fight back to avoid losing its comfort food (your old habits).
As you are met with this resistance, that’s where you give in to your mind’s
craving, because deep down you want to avoid the discomfort the situation
In order to break this barrier, you must associate some sort of pain to the
old habits you are engaging in.
As your mind associates them with pleasure, you must come to a decision
point where the pain from the failure to change becomes larger than the pain caused by your mind’s resistance.
In other words you must reach a point where you aknowledge that the
long-term discomfort of not changing, will exceed the short-term discomfort
brought on by your mind.
2. You’re thinking the same way
You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created that problem.
We spend most of our days driven by our subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind holds all our beliefs and values, which in turn influence our behaviour.
It’s not enough to simply make a conscious decision to change. We must also
make any subconscious beliefs and behaviours about our old habits
For example if you want to stop playing the victim of life, you can’t keep
beating yourself up and pitying yourself each time you fail at overcoming that behaviour.
Your thinking has to change.
You do this by building awareness of your thoughts.
Without awareness you’re just like a hamster in a wheel.
3. You give up easily
No one ever said change was easy.
Change is difficult! but If you want to change then you have to be willing to battle your own mind and never give up!
At the first sign of relapse, we tend to throw in the towel and assume the task is too difficult to accomplish.
Well according to a Harvard study, change is never a linear process.
You can initially take two steps forward and three steps back and that’s ok. In time the momentum will shift forward.
Relapse, therefore is a very common process. You should not get discouraged, but rather take it as a lesson to do better.
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