Why change doesn't work
Transform by RESETing your mind
We are starting the last month of the year. As the year starts unwinding to it’s end, we tend to become more contemplative of our life and work. We take inventory. We weight opportunities. We think about change. . .
Unfortunately, after many years of doing the same, making new resolutions for the new year, and failing at them, many give up on change and on themselves. If you are like them, you think about change, but have come to HATE change. . . or your failure with change. It's easy to accept one of several self-change myths:
- I’ve tried everything
- I don’t have enough will power
- People don’t really change
- I’m too busy to take time for this
Others don’t even think there is anything they need to change. They are in denial. If someone calls their attention to what they are doing wrong, they deny responsibility or justify the behavior. They create all kind of “good reasons” for their bad action. They want everybody else to change, not them!
What is appealing about not changing?
There are many reasons why you might prefer to give up on change:
- Staying as you are feels safe. This week I was talking to a client that for years have been contemplating to further his education. He knows he would have more opportunities for advancement if he does. He would love to have more responsibility. But he still hesitates. When I asked him why, he said he was afraid of the turmoil and effort it would take. “I feel safe in my job, make decent money, and can pay my bills. Why rock the boat?” And then he proceeded to tell me all kinds of “what ifs” scenarios. Not changing might feel safe, but it rarely IS safe.
- You can’t fail if you don’t try. If you tend to be a perfectionist, or if you have made some efforts in the past and failed, you might be so afraid of failure, that you don’t want to try anymore. The problem is that if you don’t try, you can’t succeed either.
- You can be free from the demands of time. You can change some other day, or some other year. Anytime but now!
- You can be free of guilt! If you don’t think about bad habits or behaviors, you don’t have to feel guilty about them, right? Therefore, you prefer to live in denial.
- You are free from social pressure. If you don’t acknowledge any need for change, nobody can talk to you about your problems, even if they have the best intentions. You always find a way to turn the tables somehow into being somebody else’s fault.
No change vs transformation
Here is the thing. As much as you don’t like to feel stuck, not changing is an easy road, because it does not require any effort.
The reality is that if you really decide to change, you can! Just this past week I learned abut a friend that has been a smoker for more than 40 years. Through the years he has claimed that he wanted to stop, but could not do it. He always had a ready and "valid" excuse. Not long ago he was diagnosed with lung cancer. In order to have the operation the doctor told him he had to stop smoking. And yes, when it became an issue of life and death, he was able to stop cold turkey. No relapses. No excuses. He's done with smoking. From one day to the next, he transformed into a non-smoker.
You see, as long as you think about change, and how difficult it is, and how long it will take, you will be stuck, and stuck sucks! What you need is a total transformation that will move you to the next level of success. Now that is much more exciting!
If you are serious about change, you first need to believe that you really need to make a change and stop making excuses. Then think what is the transformation you need.
Are you really serious?
Check your attitude! What are the words that usually come to your mind when you think about change? (No editing here!) If you think it is hard, difficult, annoying, frustrating, or impossible, it will be more difficult to make any changes.
Now, what words come to mind when you think about transformation? Many leaders I work with come up with words like: exciting, energizing, hopeful, wanting to start, etc.
The good news is you don’t have to remain as you are and consider it your “fate.” You don’t have to fail. You don’t have to admit defeat even before you have started. You don’t have to give up!
But you have to be serious about what you want. So, are you serious about this? Or are you just talking? Are you still on the fence, or have you decided?
Until you decide, you'll be required to use willpower (and not many of us has a strong will power!), and will continue making minimal progress.
If you're truly committed to something, in your mind, it's as though you've already succeeded. All doubt and disbelief are gone. You are a 100% IN!
For example, if you're committed to running a marathon, you're going to put everything in place to make sure it happens. You're not going to leave it up to chance.
You're going to start by signing up for a race (investment). You're going to make it public (phase one of accountability). You're going to get a running partner who holds you accountable. You're going to track your progress (feedback) and recount your progress to your accountability partner. Lastly, you're going to remove things in your life that keep you from running. You are going to make sure that your environment supports your running.
Commitment means you build external defense systems around your goals. Your internal resolve, alone is not enough. An undefended and opposing environment, is not commitment, it's craziness!
The truth is that you can have a much better life if you are willing to contemplate transformation and arrange everything around you to make sure you succeed. I have good news for you. In a few days I'm going to open up registration for an amazing power packed transformational day: “RESET your brain for success.” This program will demystify the process of transformation and give you 5 powerful strategies for making transformation easier, effective, and lasting.
My blog posts throughout December will be about transformation and how to get ready for transformation. Keep your eyes open, because I will announce the opening of the transformational day soon, and space is very limited. In order to be hands on with you and lead you to transformation, I accept only 21 people for that day. So, you will need to take quick action once it opens. Whether you decide to join me for this amazing day or not, I’m sure this mini-series about transformation will be helpful to you. So, come back to my blog every week in December to learn more about transformation.
Remember. . .
Change doesn't work. Transformation does!
Today, I want you to think about one thing you need to transform and how that one transformation would change your life, business, and relationships.