Let’s face it, change is hard. Like, really hard. So much so that many of us have to be utterly miserable with the way things are before we’re ready to make changes. I totally get it. I’m a procrastinator through-and-through and I’ve noticed a troubling pattern about myself: I have to be in a lot of pain and discomfort (figuratively speaking) before I even consider making changes. And even then, it usually takes me a good several months before I take action. Here are 11 reasons making changes is so hard.
#1. We’re don’t realize that we need to change in the first place – aka – denial
First of all, we might not even know that there’s a problem with our way of thinking or acting basically because, on some level, we’re in denial about it. Hey, it took me a whole decade before I ‘realized’ I had a problem and was willing to get help.
#2. Breaking old habits is hard to do
A habit is an ingrained thought and/or behavior that most likely took a while in the making. So, imagine trying to undo that habit. They say that it takes about 3 months of consistently doing a new thing before it becomes the new habit. That’s why in the program, they suggest “90 in 90.” Bet you didn’t know that. Going to a meeting a day for 90 days (3 months) will set you up for a better chance at successfully getting into the habit of going to meetings from there on out.
#3. Fear of the unknown
Everyone experiences it. The fear of the unknown is what keeps us from venturing outside of our comfort zone (see #4). It also keeps us small, in the figurative sense. People from small towns, you know what it’s like when you go back home and you see people who have lived there their whole entire lives? How nothing’s changed? I mean, that’s OK for some people but, it’s not really living a life beyond your wildest dreams.
#4. It’s called a “comfort zone” for a reason
Exactly. We get set in our ways; comfortable; complacent. Well, that’s boring. Just being honest.
#5. It takes effort to make changes
You can hope, wish, and want all day long but, if you are to actually achieve change, you have to take committed action and put in hard work.
#6. We often try to change too much too quickly
Once we do get a wild hair to make a change, we often want too much of a change and in very little time. This will only set you up for failure. Making changes takes baby steps. And patience.
#7. We let our past failures discourage us
It’s true, past experience is the ultimate teacher. However, don’t decide you’ve failed before you’ve even started. Draw on past experiences for insight but, don’t let them dictate you’re ability to make changes from here on out.
#8. We forget to align our goals for change with our values and principles
Sometimes we decide we want to make a certain change for whatever reason (it’s popular, it’s “trending”) but for whatever reason, we can’t seem to even get started on accomplishing said goal. It might be that the change you say you want really has nothing to do with what you truly believe or value.
#9. It’s difficult to be objective
In fact, it’s impossible. We’re talking about making personal change and growth as you decide it to be and how you want it to look. How on earth can you be objective? This is highly personal. So, it’s difficult to assess your current status (whether change is needed) as well as your progress along the way. If you’re like me, you’re your own worst critic and so, even if you are making progress to whatever goal you’ve set, you won’t allow yourself to bask in the little victories.
#10. We don’t know how to get started
If we do know what changes we want to make, it can be difficult to actually make those changes because we simply don’t know how or where to start. We know where we want to go and we passionately want to get there but, we just have no idea how to get there. When this happens, our desire to quickly dies out.
#11. We’re afraid of relapsing once we make the change
Relapse simply means ‘to slip or fall back into a former worse state’ after a period of improvement. Many of us find that making changes is so hard because, even after making some progress, we allow fear of returning to the way things were to paralyze us.
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