Why is it so hard to change? There is actually a good explanation. And it does not involve you being damaged or crazy.
6 quick steps to change:
- Decide what you want to change
- Know why you want to change
- Learn about what you want to change (google is your friend!)
- Start to make small steps towards changing
- Celebrate your wins, regardless how small
- Notice how far you’ve come & then keep going
You can grow through pain or you can choose to change.
Or life will cause you to change or you decide to change on your own.
Either way change is inevitable.
To start understanding how change works we have to dive into the fields of quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics.
READ: Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself
By Dr. Joe Dispenzia
This book was recommended to me at the perfect time. I was really having a hard time understanding why I kept doing the same things, even though I knew that they weren’t good for me and I had already decided I wanted to change. I just couldn’t seem to actually change…
In this book Dr. Joe Dispenzia bridges the gap between the sciences of quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics to show you what is truly possible. Not only will you be given the necessary knowledge to change any aspect of yourself, but you will be taught the step-by-step tools to apply what you learn to make measurable changes in any area of your life.
You are not doomed by your genes and hardwired to be a certain way for the rest of your life. New science is emerging that empowers all human beings to create the reality they choose.
This is one of my favorite TedTalks – it’s 10 years old but everything he talks about still applies to our lives today.
Jeff Gaines has 25 years of experience in the personal and professional growth field. In this video he combines neuroscience, emotional intelligence and humor to help us understand why our physical, financial and scheduled lives have gone so wrong, and offers some solutions.
Why is Everyone So Fat, Broke and Busy?
Jeff Gaines at TEDxAlbany 2010
In general, mindsets reflect how we see things, and they impact both our beliefs and our behaviors. Interestingly, our behaviors impact our mindsets, too, so by practicing specific actions we can help shift our mindsets to be more agile in the face of change.
There are 2 types of mindsets:
A growth mindset – you have a belief that developing your skills is possible. It allows us to see gaps in our knowledge as opportunities to learn something new. And when we have a growth mindset, we are therefore more prepared to experience the change moment as a challenge, rather than a threat.
A fixed mindset – you believe that you and other people cannot easily change or grow capacities. You may also believe that people are innately gifted in some ways but not in other ways. The consequences of fixed mindset thinking can make it more likely for you to experience change as a threat. In part because rather than try to adapt to or embrace change, you may shut down or become avoidant. This type of response can make change moments even harder to manage or overcome.
How to develop a growth mindset:
- Try re-framing your thinking to view change as a challenge, not a threat
- Celebrate moments of progress during the change — including baby steps
- Give yourself permission to start experimenting along the way
- Learn from peers who seem to model the growth mindset well
- Look for ways to lead by example, even if you aren’t always confident
Above is from Neuroleadership, you can read the full article here.
This model is a process involving progress through a series of stages:
- Pre-contemplation (“not ready”) – “People are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their behavior is problematic”
- Contemplation (“getting ready”) – “People are beginning to recognize that their behavior is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions”
- Preparation (“ready”) – “People are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward behavior change”
- Action – “People have made specific overt modifications in modifying their problem behavior or in acquiring new healthy behaviors”
- Maintenance – “People have been able to sustain action for at least six months and are working to prevent relapse”
Pre-contemplation (aka not ready yet)
Contemplation & Preparation
TIME TO START THERAPY
Action & Maintenance
TIME FOR ACTION & COACHING
How People Feel Through the Stage of Change…
I like the illustration below (courtesy of Bernie Group). It’s related to the 5 Stages of Change and it’s showing how people might feel as they are going through the changes, it can feel like bit of a roller coaster ride sometimes. And if you’re just starting the journey (or realizing you have a problem) it might be comforting to know, that we all go through these steps and that you don’t have to go through it alone.