Do you try to make positive changes and are often met with resistance?
Whether it's your health, fitness, career, relationships, or simply deciding to be more outgoing…making changes in yourself is often one of the most difficult things to do. Why does making change turn into an internal and external tug of war with yourself and those around you?
Do you see other people transform themselves in some way and think, “ya, I'm totally doing that!”. Then, within a few days of your burst of energy, you drop it. Something stops you dead in your path. That amazing energy seems to float away into the ether.
The story is not an uncommon one. Some people even say, “no one can truly change” or “you are who you are”…”once a cheater always a cheater”…all of these statements determine that people can't improve their lives. This “you're stuck with what you've got” attitude is really one of the reasons change is so difficult in the first place.
But let's take a little deeper look…and I'll explore some of the most common reasons changing can be difficult…and then show you how to overcome, push past and transcend those reasons.
OPP (Other People's Problems)
…. Have you ever watched someone try and try and try to do something positive for themselves, but they just can't seem to get past it?
Surely if they can't do it, then why should you bother?
It's easy to look at someone's experience from the outside and make a judgment on what's working and what's not.
You're missing some key things though by deciding to follow someone else's example and quit just because it isn't working for them. There are many reasons internally that can sabotage you. There are moments of weakness when no one is around.
Especially in the case of diet & exercise…not everything works for every person. You don't know what that person is eating when you don't see them. You might not see the intensity or lack of during their exercise sessions.
Don't judge. You can certainly ask someone what works for them, but don't take their “failure” to achieve your goal as a reason NOT to pursue it.
There are many physical and mental reasons why their apparent lack of success is occurring in the first place. What brings one person success might not bring another person slower or limited results.
- Avoid Judging Someone Else's Journey
- Avoid Comparing Yourself To Other's even if you know the complete story.
- If you do compare, ask the person what is working for them…as opposed to what's not working. Still, be cautious comparing yourself to another person.
- Think about yourself and the goals you want to achieve…focusing on other people dilutes your attention and self-awareness.
Everyone's Got An Opinion
No matter what you do, how you do it, where you do it, when you do it, when people find out you are trying to create positive change in your life, they will often react & give you their opinion.
Some will be very supportive and take action of their own being inspired by what you do.
Others will question what you do in a seemingly negative way – that then leads to you questioning yourself as well. Some people are very vocal with their opinions on other people.
Rachel Cosgrove calls these types of people and reactions CRABS. In a bucket of crabs, if one tries to make a break for it to the top of the bucket, the others will instinctively pull it back down. Beware of these types of people, since they can show up in your life disguised as support.
They could be a long time friend or family member. They could be a co-worker you thought would jump on board with you to workout at lunch together. They could be anyone who comes into your life. Just stay tuned into people's reactions and comments.
While I'd like to tell you to avoid these crabs…you can't and don't always want to do that.
I mean, come on…who wants to file for divorce if their husband makes a slightly poking fun comment at you for working out in the evenings? Not me. Who can really quit their job because someone makes a point of commenting on your lunch choices? Probably not you.
Even though there are many crabs you can eliminate from your life, the ones that remain can become lessons. These crabs can strengthen your resolve…but you have to remember a few things… don't ignore them, or try to defend yourself…it's only going to make their advances continue.
And remember from another article I wrote about the right and wrong type of support, these people might just have issues of their own you don't know about.
And to that end, some people simply like to drag other people into their misery.
So, define what they are doing and the effect it's having on you and resolve to be different. You don't have to go to lunch with them or share what you are doing in specifics.
Find people who really do support you consistently. These supporters are going to carry you across the finish line, not the crabs that invade your life from time to time.
Plus, I don't think I'm going to stop my husband from making fun of me while I do exercises he only wishes he could do on my Valslides…so ignore it if someone's just trying to get under your skin.
- There are crabs everywhere, even in the people you love.
- Focus on your goals and don't feel the need to share these goals with everyone.
- Find the right type of support and give support back to these people.
- Be an example of your change…show people that you are changing, don't just tell them.
The last reason I'm going to discuss is a bit of a heady-new age-y reason, but stick with me for a moment. This could be the main explanation why change is so hard.
I asked you at the beginning of this article if you have you ever resolved to do something and then only a few days later you notice you are already waning in that initial energy that you got you started? You start along a path that seems to disintegrate in front of you or be too vague in the first place to keep you moving forward.
I truly believe that we are taught from an early age to see change as a difficult task… So, the very fact that we see it as impossible or difficult or unlikely make it so. I won't go into a whole discussion on manifesting what you want your life to be like, but I will say that what you think usually is. Your thoughts reflect your life and your life reflects what you're thinking about.
If you don't think you will achieve anything or that you will stop after a few weeks or that it's too hard to do…then, yeah…guess what…you won't get there. Period. So, take a moment and listen to your thoughts.
If you hear yourself saying that getting in shape is tough, try to change that thought to a more productive statement, like: Getting in shape is a process and I'm at the beginning right now…I'm eating clean 80% of the time and working out consistently.
I know that you do have to jump in sometimes without a super clear picture of the end result, but if you allow yourself to do all the necessary steps that have been laid out for you in many programs (most of them have a very similar structure and focus on your eating & exercise), the path will become clear and more defined as you go along.
Another self-sabotaging type of thought is the can't vs. won't syndrome. Do you find yourself saying, “I can't find time to work out.” I can't get up that early in the morning. I can't find a cheap enough gym. I can't go because I don't have a babysitter. It doesn't matter what your can't is…what you really are saying is that you won't do x, y, or z or the hard work to get in shape.
Want to know more about this and see an awesome video about this and other self-deception we inflict on ourselves? Visit: http://www.marieforleo.com. I think you'll enjoy it. I know I did!
One of the best skills you can learn is to listen to yourself.
Sometimes it does take a little leap of faith without a clear plan, but total engagement and focus on the process will get you to where you want to be. The path will become more clear and your goals will be achieved by totally committing to the steps you must take to get healthy & fit.
Be aware of the moments you aren't so nice to yourself and immediately knock the thought out of your head by replacing it with a more positive statement. This doesn't have to be a perfect all encompassing I am powerful statement, but anything that shifts your negative internal dialogue toward a positive or more productive statement will work. Sometimes just stepping back and stating the most realistic “this is what I'm doing” statement also works. Keep it real (yes, I said keep it real lol).
Use your roadblocks as a way to learn more about yourself.
Realize that change is a process.
Transformation happens to you – it's not something you do. (Thanks for reminding of this Marie Forleo!)
Have a great day…and enjoy those changes your making…