Why making a change is so difficult for humans!…

I do a lot of talks to groups, usually business groups and groups for entrepreneurs.

A lot of what I tackle in my talks is this idea of ‘change’.  So, how we can change ourselves as human beings.

Change can be as simple as making a simple tweak in an area of your life that maybe you don’t feel completely happy about, or maybe for you it looks like addressing an area that if you really sat and thought about it, you know you could improve…even if it’s just your diet or quitting smoking!

For you, it might be that something immediately comes to mind when you read this.

You may know instantly for example that you want to feel more confident.  Maybe you feel like you need more time to get everything done?  Maybe you want to change your body, your relationship with a significant other, or to grow or start your own business?

 The million dollar question then is, if you know you want to change this thing, why haven’t you done it yet?  Maybe you’ve actually tried and failed.  Maybe you lack any energy or enthusiasm about doing anything? Maybe you haven’t started?  Maybe you just don’t know where to start?

What’s really funny about this, is that there is a big contradiction when looking at humans and how they change.  The contradiction is this..

..Change happens in an instant, &

..Change takes time!

Now before you switch off or think I’m pulling your leg, let me explain what I mean.

Actually changing a set pattern of behaviour can happen instantaneously.  I saw this happen with my own Grandmother and it’s a great example of what I’m talking about.

She’d been a smoker her entire life, and was the typical smoker who tried, failed and tried and failed.  She also was so addicted that she hid her smoking from everyone and would convince them she’d stopped (she lied if truth be known…naughty Nan!).  Point is, she L-O-V-E-D smoking.  In her mind she was and would always be a smoker.

Then one day she went to her doctors, having experienced a few health problems, mainly with her eyes.  It turned out that she had diabetes, and she was told that if she continued to smoke she may lose her eyesight.

She left that doctors surgery and never smoked again.

Something had shifted for her.  The threat of losing her eyesight presented such a re-frame that the risk felt too high for her.  And this is a good example of what happens when change is instant.

I’m sure you can think of examples from you own life or that of people you know where a similar thing has occurred.

Change can happen too by just deciding, but often fails and people quickly revert to an old pattern of behaviour, often as they end up just relying on willpower alone which is often a recipe for disaster.

This is why change that happens instantly, when paired with an external force like the health threat my Nan experienced, or some other kind of associated negative behaviour (to you, e.g. threat of redundancy, salary loss, a partner leaving), that change has a better chance of sticking.  Think about disciplinig a child…effectively it’s like conditioning your own inner child to do/not do something as there’s a negative consequence.

This then also answers why, change takes time.  It’s not always the case that an external force is available to us, and as they’re often negative associations, we don’t readily seek them out.

There is another way though, and that is to tackle a change consciously and over a period of time.  A good example of this is Slimming World or the like when you want to lose weight.

This kind of action based change strategy does a few things to help you make a change.

It allows you to set goals and see small incremental changes occur, where you usually can feel/see the benefit.  It allows you to build a deeper understanding of what’s going on and therefore what works for you what doesn’t (which bodes well for when you dip or slip off your path), and it also very importantly this set up holds you accountable.

That accountability acts as that external force similar to what I mentioned before.  It’s also why people who want to change or improve in some way hire a coach or personal trainer, or even therapist of some kind to keep them on track.  It means you’re accountable to someone.  Someone is waiting and interested in your results!

If you’d like to make a change and you’re wondering where to start, I’d like to help you by sharing the work I do which I know gets results.  It starts with you being open and delving into your thoughts and feelings about what you want to change.

In giving you something really practical, I’d like to then share the first part of the APE Model which is all set up to help you make a change.

These first 5 pillars are all about setting you up to give you the best chance of having a change stick.  These 5 pillars are:

Vision

Goals & Definitions

Knowledge & Skills

Belief

People

If you’d like to start to implement a change yourself, why don’t you have a go at considering these 5 areas of your own life and how they can impact your area of change. You can start by just answering these 5 questions in relation to the thing you want to impact:

  1. What is your vision for your future self/what does your future self look like if this change were to happen?
  2. What knowledge or skills do you already have in said area and what skills knowledge do you need?
  3. What mini goals can you create for yourself that you know will set you on your path?
  4. What positive and negative beliefs do you hold about said change?
  5. Who are your champions/the people that you know can/will support you in you making this change?

Just starting to address these areas allows you to start to get some clarity about what you’re doing and how you’re going to go about making your change.  The idea then is to be in action in regards to what you’ve come up with.  If you’ve set goals, start to implement them.  If you have a vision, stay focused on that vision and allow it to be used as your guide to help you stay focussed.  Go back to ‘your people’ when you feel like you need more help or motivation to stay on track.  Focus on positively associated beliefs and be aware when your negative beliefs rear their head….you can se how this starts to work and also sets you up for success.

If you feel like you’d like more help with these things, to dig deeper on the psychological underpinnings, and also to be held accountable then you can also sign up to APE o find out more about the training that’s on offer as well as the free groups I run to help people who want to do this.  You can do that by clicking here.

Also, if you’re in the UK you’re in luck as I’m running a 2 hour workshop on the 9th June called The Mind Map in which I’m going to go through this is person and show you the true power of your secret weapon…your brain, and how you get to make these changes in a way that will stick.

To find out more about this workshop just CLICK HERE to be taken to a page to find out more.

You can also watch the video below to see what it’s all about…

I’d love to hear from you and if you tackle these questions, wold love to know what you  see?  What exciting changes will you be making?

And if you’re now of the people who’s already bought your ticket totes Bond Map, I look forward to seeing you on the 9th!

Til next week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.