Why we keep putting off change
Times change. Places change. People change. You change.
Progress? Sometimes positive, sometimes not.
Humans are good at adapting to external changes that we have little or no control over. We may not like these changes, but we cope.
Many of us are not so good at instigating change ourselves though. Taking responsibility for something that isn’t working for us and doing something about it out of choice is a different kettle of fish.
Changes tend to generate a mixture of feelings – a bit of excitement, a healthy dose of fear, a sense of relief sometimes – because instigated change generally requires us to step outside of our comfort zone.
Change can be exciting, but leaving the safety of what we know and what we’re comfortable with can be scary. Our imaginations run riot and come up with a whole host of “yes, but what if” scenarios which can make us think again about following through on any change we were contemplating.
So we procrastinate.
Comfort zones are all very well and good and cosy, but if you stay there, you don’t grow. You don’t get that satisfaction of trying something new, of taking on a challenge and prevailing.
Which is why fulfilment can be hard to find within your comfort zone.
If you go all in, big changes can happen almost overnight, and you could see huge differences very quickly. It takes courage and a willingness to take a big leap out of your comfort zone.
But big changes can also be made incrementally.
Small steps, repeated consistently over time, add up to huge differences too. Not so much one giant leap out of your comfort zone, more a case of leaning up against the edges and dipping a toe outside it, then bit by bit going a little further.
It’s the difference between base jumping off a skyscraper and taking the stairs down!
Those small steps still require courage.
They require commitment.
They require a strong desire to make sustainable change and a resolution to keep going.
But to keep going, first you have to start.
If you know you need to instigate change… you just know.
And yet you put it off.
I’ll do it when…
I’m not quite ready…
Finish these sentences with whatever reason you like.
Except they aren’t reasons. It’s just resistance.
Do you want to know the real reason so many of us find it hard to instigate change?
It’s because we’re only looking at it backwards.
In other words, we’re only looking at what we need to move away from, only thinking about what we don’t want.
To take the first steps away from whatever it is that needs changing, you need to have a compelling vision of what it is you’re moving TOWARDS!
Where are you heading?
How do you want it to be?
More importantly, how do you want to FEEL when you’ve achieved this change?
Take some time to really focus on what you DO want.
Write it out in as much glorious detail as you can.
Get emotional about it and include how it’s going to make you feel.
I think you might find that, suddenly, taking that first step just became a whole lot easier.