People don't change very easily. That's a fact.
Seriously. It’s the statement I get the most. “I know I should be doing better, but I really love eating cheese.” Other regular statements include:
- Sugar is the hardest thing in the world to give up. I love ice cream. How could I NOT eat that?
- I would change my diet, but my husband (or wife) won’t eat that stuff.
- I don’t think diet has anything to do with it.
- My doctor told me I can just take this medication instead.
It all starts with a thought.
As simple as it sounds, we tell ourselves things constantly. That doesn’t make them true. We choose to manifest certain thoughts, and those thoughts are repeated over and over throughout the day. Ask yourself–what do I think about most often? It really is unbelievably revealing. This is where the kernel of change happens, when you can change your inner dialogue. So let’s address why change can be elusive, according to our thoughts.
You really don't want to change.
Quite often, people don’t change because they feel pressured TO change. We can feel like other people are trying to exert power over us. A good example of this might be, “My doctor told me I need to lose weight so I need to stop eating sugar.” Here the idea rests with someone else. It is all in the thinking.
If you said to yourself. I want to feel better and lose some weight. I feel great about giving up my afternoon latte to start the process. Therein, that lies with you. Now you have your own personal responsibility to make that happen. No one is exerting control over you. You create your own power.
Now you have moved from a negative belief that someone called you out on being overweight, so you feel ashamed and angry, to a positive feeling of doing something good for yourself.
You are afraid you will fail.
Everyone wants to save face. No one wants to admit they made mistakes and they failed, again. This is the worst THINK you can think, as Dr. Suess would say. It’s incredibly destructive and totally wrong. You will fail. No doubt. That’s what humans do. We make mistakes. We learn from them. We move forward. To be most enlightened on this fact, borrow a baby for the afternoon.
How many times does a baby attempt a new task? We accept the learning phase of a baby’s life. We want our children to learn to walk. Our shame about failure is learned from our society and cultural ideas. Failing is perfectly normal and part of the process. That is where we have to think about what we are saying to ourselves, routinely. So getting over negative self talk, moving forward from the failure is another part of that process. It is the thinking that has gone wrong, not YOU. So attempt a new task, and adjust accordingly. Start there. Listen to yourself. The way you think about your goals is everything.
Others are keeping you from change.
We all have the naysayers in our lives. When I first transitioned to a plant based diet, I had so many people tell me that it would never last. I had people in my family that said I am not participating in that and you are crazy. Literally. So how do you deal with change when others close to you don’t support you? You do it anyway!
The key is to address it slowly. This is another big part of it. We take on way too much, come hell or high water, and crash and burn out badly. If your spouse won’t change, that’s okay. You can take on one challenge at a time. You make a small change that is easy to accept. Taking on too much, too fast is a sure fire way to never achieve your goal. Allow others to see your change happen as you grow. One baby step at a time. Then you will have more support from others.
The other interesting thing about this, once you seek to make some changes, gradually and consistently, you will spend less time with those who are negative in your life. You will seek out positive people and educate yourself around what YOU think is valuable, and this creates more and more momentum to keep moving forward.
Things aren't bad enough yet.
So many times, we are just looking for the easy way out. Our thinking gets the best of us. What is rolling around in our heads is, “It’s too hard.” And every time you think that, you confirm it. And it goes on. So many times I hear clients say, “I didn’t realize I felt that bad.” It’s true. We are too busy confirming that our life is OKAY.
We constantly make excuses about why we can’t change. It’s not really THAT bad. I just feel sluggish and tired because I am getting old. I’m not that sick yet. The medication I am taking is supposed to take care of my bad habits. These are all really great ways to continue a steady decline.
We don’t ever say:
- I’ll change my diet after my heart attack.
- I will just wait until I get cancer and then I will eat better.
- When I lose my sight from diabetic retinopathy, I will change my diet.
These are all ridiculous, right? But so often we wait until a very serious condition alters our health dramatically. We hit a point of no return to make a drastic change. But no one really wants to go through these terrible problems, but yet so many of us do. It is our thoughts that hold us back.
Slow, steady progress is the gateway to real change. My biggest motto? START WHERE YOU’RE AT.
If you believe you can change, you will change.
It’s that simple. I didn’t make positive change because I am different than you are. We all have negative thoughts. We all have limiting thoughts and beliefs. Sometimes we believe only other people have success. We believe something is too hard. Other people were endowed with better genes or smarts than us. That’s all in your thinking.
When you start believing you can change, you will change. If you believe your husband will keep you from losing fifty pounds, then you will never lose fifty pounds. If you believe that everyone disrespects your ideas, then your ideas will always be disrespected. Because those are YOUR beliefs. What if you changed your thoughts? What if you worked on that negative perspective? What would change? Everything. Start where you are. Start listening to your self-talk. What do you hear? I can hear the winds of change. Let’s get going today.
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