I recently ran into my friend Bob who immediately shared with me that he really needs to lose 20, 25 pounds. He is feeling the negative effects in different ways due to the extra weight he has put on. My neighbor Bob told me after his doctor visit that he had received a letter stating he “needed to make some changes in his diet” as reflected in his recent blood work. My good friend Randy called me and spent quite some time telling me how unhappy he is at work. Sound familiar? Everyone feels the need to vent at times, yet I do not believe venting is helpful. Change is!
The problem is that many of you may be doing these same things right now, talking about what you are unhappy with. This may go on for the next month, 6-monthes, 12-months, or forever? You may recognize a need for change in some area of your life, but you are not willing to make the step toward change. There are some of you that have put off making changes for so long that you may have finally come to the point where you have given up, or have become so desperate for change you say, “something different has got to happen.” As a result you may now be willing to open yourself to change, like attending a first A.A. meeting.
My job for 23-years was in the Juvenile Justice System as a Marriage and Family Therapist, counseling and educating delinquent adolescents on how to make changes in their lives. These changes could help them get off of probation. My hope for them was that they would mature, make the necessary changes and never come back into the judicial system. But there were those who resisted any attempts to help them change, even though it would be in their best interest.
We have all found that change cannot be forced on anyone. Most of us have resisted change at some point in our lives. But we are older and wiser now, so why do we still resist making changes that we know would help us in some way, possibly even making us feel better emotionally, meaning happier?
It is not rational that people would come back month after month sharing the same complaints over again, while suffering the same negative results. When you ask, “What are you doing about it?” you get back I am “still waiting for, whatever, to happen.” Always talking about going to or needing to change, but never taking the first step to change is crazy at some level.
The battle for change begins, right there, in your head. It is the ongoing struggle between two opposing points of view; fighting between saying yes or no to change. It’s like two people wrestling in your head for control of your thoughts, but you lose because you are stuck in a continuous tug-of-war to change.
After you have made the commitment to change, the first rule of any change, is “your thinking has got to change before your behavior can.” All behavior is the product of how you think. Your current behavior is a pattern of your past behavior. Your thinking, past and current, is determines how you will behave. To change behavior, you must change your thinking. (See my book, “Take Control of Your Life,” to learn more.).
Thinking and talking about a problem never changes anything. Once you decide to change, your behavior will want to show how changes you are making is different from how you behaved in the past.
Change starts with awareness for the need to make changes. The process of change takes time, like fruit on a tree. but the more open and willing you are to change, the process speeds up. My point is: change cannot happen until choose to change.
It’s the staying stuck with a problem and being aware you are not changing anything that is so confusing for me. It is interesting how many people can stay stuck on one small area of their life for weeks, months, even years, before they come to a day where a light turns on and they see themselves as having the power to change anything in their life they want.
You have the power to make any choice you want in life; to take control over your emotions, as well as your behavior! You can change everything about your life if you want to. You have the ability to choose which direction your life will go each day when you wake up.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw
I teach people how to make changes in their life. I want people to take control of their life; overcome life’s obstacles, control negative emotions like anger, change addictive problem behavior and bad habits, turning them toward positive behavior and emotions. If you need help clarifying and achieving your personal goals, please contact me now to schedule a free introductory life coaching assessment. As an expert in emotional intelligence, I deliver keynotes, small group presentations and seminars for companies and organizations striving for effective communication, leadership and team performance.
So by now, I hope you are motivated to take a big step into change. Please let me know if you do.