The more things change the more they stay the same. People are capable of change but most of us do not change significantly outside of a life altering event. Going to war, getting a divorce or the passing of a loved one can sometimes cause us to stop, get out of our routine and take a long hard look at our life.
But to some, even this is not enough to move them from their path. Why is that? Why is it so hard for some people to make necessary changes in their lives?
Change and the unknown are scary to most humans. It is biologically hard wired into us. Yes, we like to try new things but once we find something that works for us we tend to stick with it even if it stops working the way it used to. We fear what we don’t know and understand. We like our comfort zone. It is comfortable after all. It is so comfortable that even when we are pushed out of it by circumstance we will jump right back into it as soon as we can. Even if it is hurting us in the long term it is familiar to us and we understand it.
Even if we overcome our fear of change we may not know what we need to do to change. We may lack the resources to develop a plan for change that is going to pay off eventually. In order to develop that plan we would have to some some very deep soul searching and understand who we are and what we really want before we can even start. Some folks are just not that capable of harsh analysis of their actions. They don’t want to look too closely because they are afraid of what they might see. If you don’t know who you are and what you want how can you possibly know what you need to do to change?
They don’t think they need to change because what they do is so comfortable it just feels right. You have to look at yourself from the outside to see your own shortcomings and mistakes. People find what works for them and stick with it even though it isn’t the best way to do it or get them the results that they want. Coaches exist in sports for this very reason. Their whole purpose is to be that outside voice to let the player know he is doing something that could be done better or more efficiently. Without someone showing you your shortcomings you will think you are doing the action perfectly because it feels perfect to you. It feels right even though you are doing it poorly.
You tend to do the things everyone around you is doing. It is hard to lose weight if everyone around you overeats. It is hard to quit smoking if you live with a fellow smoker. It is hard to quit drinking if you spend a lot of your free time at a bar. It isn’t that the people don;t want to change but they are constantly tempted not to change.
Change requires a lot of effort and hard work. Some people are just not willing to sacrifice for the change they want. It is too easy to stay complacent, and not change. Change requires determination and perseverance and won’t accept anything less.
Before you can change you have to own your mistakes and realize that you need to do something different. It is very easy to blame your failures on others. It is difficult to own those shortcomings and decide that that is not who or what you want to be.
Some people fear that if they do successfully change their situation or their outlook they will be expected to perform at a much higher level. That higher level might require more effort and dedication than they are willing to give.