1.We are not willing to pay the price for our dreams
This is one of the most frequent reasons why we don’t change. Many people turn to me and want me to help them change. But many of them are not ready – to do what it takes. And I don’t even mean anything extreme. I mean a minimum amount of change in a person’s lifestyle and habits. Many people can’t wrap their heads around the fact that you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. It’s like taking the same path every time and expecting to get to a different place. This can’t be – the sharp curve has not gone away. It is still there and will be there every time you take this road.
When you see someone who has achieved what you desire, you must know that this person pays the price for their achievement every day. The price is in the choices we make. The price is in going out of the comfort zone of what you know and challenging yourself to do something different. Every change is difficult, because it has to do with saying goodbye to our current beliefs and identity. Every change requires the initial mustering of willpower that we harness in order to make a new and conscious choice.
Many people don’t admit this to themselves and look for excuses which they carry over to the external circumstances. Each and every one of us faces difficulties and challenges, but when a person really wants change, they rearrange things and find a place for what is new and a place into which they can invite change. Other people – they pass over the responsibility to someone else or to something outside themselves. You are the only people who can make change happen, when you choose to pay its price.
2.We have a wrong idea of change
Change is not a one-time event. It is the result of the accumulation of many small choices that one day become visible and significant. Change is not in the choice you make today, but in the choice you have been making for the past 4-6 months. Change is not a straight line. It is like a dance – you take two steps forward and then one step backward, but what matters is that you keep moving forward little by little. Old habits don’t change with our decision to change them. They change with the everyday practice of something new that builds a neural pathway which then turns into a new habit. A large part of our behavior is automated and is a fruit of this very repetitiveness which has built a solid connection between what happens and what we choose. It takes a lot of repetition before something becomes a part of you. And before it does, it takes mindfulness and willpower to choose this very thing.
3.We don’t view our beliefs critically
Most people’s beliefs are unchangeable. They are never even questioned. People are afraid to change, because they are afraid that change would mean that they are inconsistent or that what they used to believe was false. To me there is nothing more dignified than changing and standing for everything you used to believe in and will believe in. Beliefs are a fruit of the experience we have. If you always have the same beliefs, it means you are not growing, but stand frozen in the same spot. Experience is perspective. It is what helps you see life and everything in it from a different angle. The more sides you are familiar with, the closer you are to the truth. If your beliefs are constant, you may be looking at life through a magnifying glass and refusing to see everything else that is around you. Don’t be afraid of change and of other people’s opinion that comes with it. Life and the people around us reflect what we are. When we choose something new, it is normal for a part of this life to step back and make way for something new and different. This includes people and pursuits. When we change, the people around us change as well, but this is not something bad. This is simply the way life works and the only way for us to get where we want to be. This does not mean forcing our opinions and beliefs on others. Everyone is free to support us or refuse to do so. But for everyone who did not believe in us and left, there comes someone who supports us with their entire being.
4.We are afraid, because we don’t know what to expect
Most people don’t choose change because of fear. And I am not saying that when you change, you should not feel fear. I feel it all the time. Every time I start something new, I am afraid. I feel doubt and I often feel like quitting. But there is something inside me which is much stronger. Something that makes me confident that I don’t need to be familiar with the whole road to embark on the journey. Something that reminds me that a person doesn’t get the desire to achieve something, unless they have the strength to. Sometimes all it takes is taking the first step and letting time take care of everything. And the first step usually produces even more motivation and enthusiasm and shows you that the road ahead is not all that hard. It shows you that everything is much more complicated, when you are only guessing, and much easier, when you put your nose to the grindstone. Stop postponing yourselves. How hard can it be to get up 20 minutes earlier, turn on the hotplate and scramble two eggs with some kind of flour, throw in some cocoa powder and cinnamon and bake two pancakes? How hard can it be to cut up a banana and sprinkle about a dozen pieces of nuts on top? It takes no more than 10 minutes. But you’re right! To the mind the word “pancake” sounds complicated and fussy, because when you were kids, you only got pancakes on weekends, because someone else made them for you and that was probably when they had the time to do it. But why live through somebody else’s eyes and not through your own eyes? There are many excuses and they are always waiting for you to look for them. But the same goes for possibilities – you are the ones who get to choose which one to reach for.