We are all looking for a positive change when we’re unhappy with some aspect of our lives. But when we talk about making those changes, oftentimes, it’s usually just wishful thinking.
Positive change is oftentimes a difficult thing to do.
But we can bring positive change into our life. We just have to understand what barriers we use to block it.
So how do we bring about positive change into our life?
Table of Contents
- There’s More to Positive Change Than Just Wanting It
- Culture and Change
- Positive Change for a Better Life
- What Change do you Want?
- What is your “why”?
- Negative Self-talk
- Commitment, or Lack Thereof
- Positive Change
There’s More to Positive Change Than Just Wanting It
Change doesn’t happen by wanting it and “POOF”, there it is!🧚
Growing up I chased my elusive dream of having beautiful skin and a svelte body. I was a typical young woman trying to pattern myself after those beautiful people I saw on TV.
I fell for the commercials selling beauty creams, exercise fads, and trendy diet plans.
And the result was usually the same. Because I didn’t get the results I wanted, I quickly got bored and moved on to the next latest and greatest phenomenon to transform my life….always chasing that dream.
I am not unlike most every other woman wanting that kind of positive change in their life.
It took me a long time to realize that there’s more to change than just wanting it.
So, why is it so hard to change?
Culture and Change
Research finds that we are resistant to change partially due to human conditioning.
Erika Andersen explains in a Forbes article, “Why Change is so Hard (And What to do About It), that homeostasis, is a physical phenomenon in that we have an internal instinct to protect ourselves. Our bodies are programmed to stay within certain guidelines that keep us “alive and healthy”.
If something goes haywire within our bodies, we have learned to adjust in order to survive and then go back to normal after the threat is over.
She applies the same concept to societal homeostasis. Throughout much of history, life was fairly consistent. We were born into a family, raised as the generations before us, married within our circle of acquaintances and culture, had children, and began the cycle again. We didn’t stray far from home and what was comfortable.
If there was a community threat, immediately after the threat subsided, it went back to what was normal and comfortable.
It is a fairly recent phenomenon, with the advent of industrialization and technological advances, that our lives are now very different. Children move across the country, and even farther, from family, jobs changes are made frequently, information flows freely across the world at an astounding pace.
Changes in our lives now happens rapidly and quite frequently. But we are still tied to that human conditioning.
We need to be able to rewire for change and become more adaptable to it.
The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.Charles Kettering
Positive Change for a Better Life
But even though as change happens all around us, it is still difficult to make those positive changes for ourselves. I’m talking about personal change, those such as losing weight, moving on from a restrictive relationship, or even changing jobs. Change that makes our own life better.
These changes are certainly within our realm of possibilities. And they are certainly for our own benefit.
But, once again, why is it so hard to make those personal changes?
What Change do you Want?
What is the change that you want? Define the change in specifics.
Every positive change in your life begins with a clear, unequivocal decision that you are either going to do something or stop doing something.Brian Tracy
Do you want to get healthy? Start walking? Drink more water?
So, the idea of getting healthy may not be specific enough. Being healthy can mean eating nutritious foods rather than junk, getting more exercise, or getting better quality sleep.
Let me give you my 3 big reasons of why you are not able to change.
What is your “why”?
Is it because you want to feel better, you want to live longer, or you’re just tired of being tired?
This is important. If you’re why is big enough, you have a better chance to succeed. For instance, if your doctor tells you that you have to make healthier food choices in order to stay off of medication, this may be the kickstart needed to make a healthy change.
Here’s an example of a recent conversation that I had with an acquaintance about her health.
She has a trip scheduled for next Spring to travel to Italy. It’s a lifelong dream and she’s very excited. But, she is afraid that she won’t be able to keep up with touring because she is very much out of shape. She is sedentary and can’t walk very far.
So, in this instance, her “why” is to enjoy her Italian vacation.
I offered to walk with her to build up her stamina but she feels that she is incapable of staying power.
So what is she planning on doing to increase her chances of enjoyment?
Nothing. At this point, her plan is to go and hope for the best. To me, this sounds like she’s setting herself up for failure. She will be quite limited in what she can see and do.
And even though she has five months to get into better shape and condition herself for all of the inevitable walking, she is making a conscious decision to do nothing to prepare.
And I can tell that she is very unhappy with her decision. But obviously, her “why” isn’t big enough to make a change.
Now you may think that doesn’t make sense, but think back to the last time you made a life-changing decision.
Let’s look at the thought process that we do intentionally, and non-intentionally, in order to increase the chances of making a successful change.
What kind of self-talk, or mindset, do you have when you want to bring about positive change in your life?
Let’s go back to the beginning of this article. I said that when we want to make a change, it’s often just wishful thinking.
What I mean by that is we have thought of something that would make us feel like we would be in a better position in life if we could change. But then, for whatever reason, or a myriad of reasons, we just can’t get beyond the thought, much less to the end result of what we’d like to achieve.
What stops us from moving beyond that initial thought?
Barring any mental health issues that would keep you from change, it is quite possible that your negative mindset, or thought process, is what holds you back.
Let’s do a little test. What change would you like to make in your life right now? Quit a job that you hate? Lose weight? Buy a new house? Further your education?
To achieve any of these desired goals, you have to put forth effort. Would the effort that you have to exert be worth it? I’m sure it is because you’ve decided that it’s something that you want in your life.
Now that you have that goal in mind, what do you think of next? The logical answer is, “what do I have to do to get my desired outcome”.
This is the step that many get tripped up on. Negativity starts to creep in. Your monkey-mind is hard at work. And those negative thoughts can overwhelm to the point that you can’t even get through that first step and move toward your desired goal.
One of the big reasons for not making those changes, other than the “why” you want it, is fear.
- the unknown
- leaving your comfort zone
- moving beyond your past
- what others may think
- being too difficult
- the financial cost
What do you think? Does that sound about right?
Fear can be paralyzing. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome it.
Commitment, or Lack Thereof
And the third possible reason for failure to bring about positive change is a lack of commitment. You have to have the drive, the energy, the “git-er-done” attitude, and the momentum to reach your goal. Without it, you again, are doomed to fail.
Let’s look at an example of trying to make a change that sounds relatively easy.
You want to have a more youthful appearance. Yes, I understand that gets more elusive as we age. But I’m talking about looking the very best you can at your age. And that means taking care of your skin. So you find the best nourishing beauty cream on the market.
As you start using the magic potion, you aren’t getting your desired result quickly. So now, you have to dive deeper into how to use the product to get the best result. You find that in order to get the appearance you’ve been searching for, you have to add an additional product and three more steps into your nightly regiment. Now that smoother, more youthful skin has become more difficult to achieve.
If you’re not entirely committed to the entire process, you give up.
You can list many reasons to quit: it takes too long, you get tired of going through the whole nightly routine, you don’t want to afford the products.
See how this works? If you lack the required “staying power”, you, once again, are not successful.
I can write 100 different how-to articles on Dream. Explore. Discover You on how to make changes to achieve goals. But unless you have a big enough “why”, realize, examine, and confront any fear you have, and understand your level of commitment, you will continually fall short of your desired outcome.
Throughout all of my writings, I explain the process of change as well as practical steps to take to be successful. To make those desired changes, you have to be in the right frame of mind and expect some hard work ahead.
Remember, you especially have to make a conscious effort to hear those negative thoughts that your mind automatically feeds you. You may come up with the key to why you are in the constant cycle of failure.
Once you figure out what is holding you back, success will come more easily!
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