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Why it is so damn hard to change something important

You tried, did your best and then noticed that it doesn’t suit you and doesn’t serve you well. But you keep doing it.


It’s interesting how often we accept our current state as something unavoidable and “just how it is”.

We’re comfortable in our suffering, in our familiar discomfort.

Oh, I know that it’s true, I’ve been there myself!


We choose to stay in our familiar discomfort as it is less daunting than the idea of change.


So, all the time we create stories, justifications for our actions and choices. Even if deep down we know that the situation is not good, we often tend to focus on the reasons not to change. And we convince ourselves.

“I will give it one more year, maybe it will get better”

“It’s just a job / it’s just a phase”

“I’m not trying hard enough”

“I’m doing something wrong”


Well, sometimes there may be a grain of truth there, but often, too often, we just fool ourselves.


Why?

Because we are afraid.


Afraid of being seen as a failure, a quitter, not good enough. Afraid of the unknown, of having to start something new again and that the change won’t bring anything better… and that we will ‘fail’ again.


Yes, it is scary. But:




Analyzing the situation, with all pros and cons, and then making an informed decision what to do next is a sign of maturity, not weakness. You’re in charge of your life and only you know if what you have and do serves you well. And without trying things you will never know for sure if something will be good for you on a daily basis.

Think about it - you try clothes on before buying them (and if you buy online you can always return them), you have a test drive when you buy a car, you view a house before renting or making an offer. Why do you think that it’s bad to “test drive” a job, an approach, dreams? And say after a while, “it doesn’t fit, it’s not for me”?


Also, you’re not the same person you were a year or two ago. Your situation probably changed since then too. It’s normal that you may want different things and have different ambitions. What’s wrong with that?


The change doesn’t need to be drastic. You don’t need to quit your job, move to a different city or stop seeing your old friends to start behaving differently, set different goals, focus on different things. It’s not always about drawing a line and chopping off your past experiences. Fresh start can be where you are. You think that people will be surprised and maybe shocked when you suddenly speak up or start saying ‘no’ when they ask you for another favor? So what? No, seriously, would it be so awful?


When you think, “I’m not trying hard enough, I’m doing something wrong”, I’m inviting you to do two things:

  • Sit down in a quiet place and imagine that you stay in the situation and try harder for one more month, year, few years. Visualize how your days will look like. Now, listen to your body. How does it feel? Are you excited, with butterflies in your stomach? Tense but with tingling in your fingers to try out some new ideas? Or instead of butterflies there is a big lump of clay and you feel tired already?


  • And now think about your situation from a different perspective: if it was your friend – would you advise them to stay where they are, or would you encourage them to do something? And if they did change, would you think they were a quitter? Or admire them for their effort and courage? There is a lot of research that shows that we can quickly spot errors and weaknesses in someone else’s argument, but we are blind to our own. Changing perspective and taking some distance can help evaluate the situation better.


And lastly, if you are afraid that you won’t manage to follow through with the change and you will fail, seek support.


You don’t need to do everything alone. Hire a coach, find a mentor in the area that you are interested in, ask around, and, what is very, very important - build up your desire for the change, write down all the ‘pros’ instead of ‘cons’, visualize how it would feel when you achieved it, educate yourself and prepare a plan.

I’m doing it every time something grabs my attention. Even this week I approached someone I believed could give me an insight into one opportunity I am interested in. The conversation helped me better understand if it could be something for me and decide if it’s worth my effort.


As a transformation coach who focuses exactly on this – on the process of a successful change, I can ensure you that it’s possible. When you manage to shift your thinking from “it’s too scary” to “it’s good for me” and from “it’s impossible” to “I really want it”, then, even if sometimes difficult, the whole process will become an exciting journey and every completed step will be something you will feel proud of.


I believe in you. Good luck!

Barbara

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