Copyright (c) 2008 Dorothy Tannahill Moran
That’s a great question. At some point in your life, you have witnessed in yourself and perhaps others, attempts at making changes to their life which simply didn’t “take”. The range of changes is everything from losing weight to ending a bad relationship or smoking.
Whatever the example, we have all had an opportunity to experience what seemed like good attempts but for some reason, the good attempt failed. It can leave one to wonder if, at some point, we become too solidified in various behaviors to really change.
Let me set this stage by first saying: yes, we can and do make real changes all the time. I need to add that there is a bit of a process to it, but it’s not rocket science so it’s all available for us to do.
I usually end with a Pearl of Wisdom but on this topic this needs to be said upfront. If you are considering changing someone else: don’t. You only have control over yourself. You will only frustrate yourself and tick off the other person if you make them the focus of YOUR desire to change THEM. You need to work on acceptance, but that’s another article.
The process for change starts first with positioning yourself to find the need and desire to make a change. It’s like what you hear about addictions, you first must recognize you have a problem before you can start doing anything about it. Along with the recognition of the issue itself, you need to spend time truly analyzing how it impacts your life. You or someone needs to ask the tough questions like: How does this get in the way of accomplishing things you want to do? What would your life be like if this issue didn’t exist? How DOES this impact your life? It’s not enough to say “I’m over weight and I know I shouldn’t be”. You need to know at your core why it really is an issue. For this process step to be useful in spurring you on to action, you may need to research the issue by reading or talking to people. This is not a waste of time. Too often people will take a run at changing an issue, before they feel any real need to make the change. When it doesn’t work, they walk away wondering why or maybe rationalizing that “I knew it wouldn’t work”. Once you truly have internalized the need to make a change, it will help drive you forward to the next steps.