The hardest thing about change is not doing it until one is compelled to. In all of my struggles from homelessness to divorce what saved me was my taking complete responsibility for my life.
As a business owner, holder of dreams unfulfilled, executive, educator or politician making uncertainty and complexity, the wheels of change work for you is a requirement of life. This is where your opportunities are.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
You have probably arrived here because you want to make a positive change in your life. Perhaps you want to improve your social skills, your health or simply your attitude and how you think.
Now this is great. But it seldom that easy. There may be obstacles outside of you. There are almost certainly obstacles inside of you.
In this article I’ll explore some of those common obstacles that can make change so hard and how to overcome them. Hopefully you’ll find something that can help you to move forward to make that change.
1. You don’t want to change.
Maybe you think you want to change something. But is it really your wish? Or is it the wish of your parents, boss, partner, friends or society?
If you don’t really want to make the change deep down then it will be very hard to go the distance. Yes, you can begin but if there is no inner drive to do it then you will lose motivation easily and feel like giving up all the time after a while.
What to do about it: Sit down and really think about whose goals you are working towards. If they are not yours the think about what you can do to stop working on them and spend more time on your own consciously chosen goals instead.
If you still have to go on with may have started as someone else’s goal – perhaps your boss has told you to do something and you can’t just ditch that if you want to keep your job – then find your own reasons for working on that goal. Brainstorm and write them all down. Review that paper and make the goal into more of your goal and know why you are working towards it for you own sake.
This is also why it is hard – if not impossible – to change someone else. So be careful about such wishes and hopes.
2. You don’t feel courageous enough.
Change can be scary. Doing things for the first time or stepping into the unknown can pretty frightening. You may feel like you need some courage to make those changes you want, to take those first steps.
What to do about it: Well, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said:
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
You have to be willing to take action, to move out of your comfort zone and to face fear to increase your courage and self confidence in a way that stays with you (not like when you pump it up temporarily by using different exercises or music for example). You have to be willing to take the punch and risk some emotional pain for a while.
There is no way of getting around that.
And I won’t lie to you. Sometimes it will suck. You will go to bed and feel sick to your stomach and just hope the day will end. But many times you will feel great as you just move over that invisible barrier and face your fear. You may not even get the result you wanted but still feel great about yourself because you just dared to face that fear or take some action.
But what about the times you felt sick to your stomach and went to bed feeling not so good at all? Well, the next day you will wake up. And you realize that you are still here. You are intact and the earth keeps spinning and you get up for a new day. Life continues. But now you know deep down that you can handle things at least a little bit better because you could handle what happened yesterday. You have raised your confidence in yourself and become stronger.
And another thing is this: when you do things you don’t just build confidence in your ability to handle different situations. You also experience progressive desensitization. What that means is that situations – like for example public speaking or maybe just showing your latest blogpost to an audience out there – that made you feel all shaky become more and more normal in your life. It is not longer something you psyche yourself up to do. It just becomes normal. Like tying your shoes, hanging out with your friends or taking a shower. And so you don’t really need that much courage after a while.” […]
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