I sometimes wonder why it is so hard to change. Let’s be weird and wonderful; let us investigate why it is so hard psychologically for people to change. Maybe the procrastination is so abstract you need more than willpower to cognitively illicit change. Let’s find out.
How many times have you had to make changes in your life?
When I was a child, as I grew up I saw changes. This is something which made me scared at one point because I just wanted to remain a child. I saw so many sad adult faces. This is real honesty at the most prominent time in my life where I would like to change young people’s perception of the world and be positive about it as an adult.
I mean, I really when I was young I definitely was not prepared to have a boyfriend at one point. I had heard all the stories about sex and became afraid. It took me 2 years after having my first boyfriend to actually have sex. It took me a further 16 years after to have my first child because I was so insecure about such things and my abilities. I mean, change is great but someone abused me and made me doubt myself even more. I really feel with doubt comes fear.
However, when you are young change is sometimes scary but you will be amazed at how much you bounce back. I felt a little more fearless at most things like sports but my parents controlled my life. I feel when you make a choice to change it feels less difficult but when you aren’t given a choice and you are treated like a child or not given a choice at all change is more difficult.
So I really did find moving a challenge when I was young. In my adult life I know this is my life choice. I feel I have accepted my decisions and it made it easier to accept the changes or the obstacles made with that choice.
When did you notice someone had even more trouble with changes in your teenaged year’s?
I had a friend who really lacked the confidence to move or detach from her mother. We all have moments when we are too afraid to leave home – we all have moments where we go back home and people say: “you’ve changed!” So they notice you are all grown up because they are being friendly. They kept saying it to me but never encouraged her. I felt when they said it to me it was a nice way of saying it is okay to change.
Unfortunately, she told me her dad had other expectations of her and he verbally abused her, then she began to doubt herself. The fear had set in her mind about her life because she was beginning to have confidence to do her own thing and then being verbally abused just made her not want to change at all. I used to go out with her a lot and we had so much fun together. It came around to moving in together and she became scared.
I was in no position to help myself at the time. I knew I had to change to try and not be with a person who was abusing me and draining me; so my worry at the time was that I had put her off being in a relationship……
……Maybe I wanted her to change with me and she wasn’t ready. She has sisters who are in loving relationships so it’s okay. I felt like a lonely journey for me but then sometimes you have to stop being frightened and just go with the flow.
We were in our late 20’s but many want to stay at home and take their time these day’s. I had no choice in the matter but to accept being in a bad relationship felt like she may not have recognised my change was necessary. Honestly the way it felt was unbearable because at the time I felt like that person completely came across as immature: to not comprehend the complexities of adult life at first – then I realised the magnitude of how much I was changing and it took my own breath away. I gasped and then there was a wave of an unpresidented feeling of doubt and fear for myself because it dawned upon me of how vulnerable I was.
I really wish I could have changed her mind some how. I hope from the things have occurred in her life and she has been able to make changes by herself, because she became so anxious. Believe me when I say I understood her fear and that I really wanted to be strong because I needed to challenge the fear factor bubble myself.
Inside my mind when I was friends with her, I felt like I needed to have balls of steel. I was always fighting against what ever came my way. I felt like I had no choice but to continue in this manner…. she must have seen the pressure I was under; even though I feared most things i tried not to show it. I mean, honestly – Even though people had said negative things to me I felt necessary to make changes. I tried to survive on my own without family because I was not as fortunate as her to have family around but I needed courage.
I wrote this Poem to beat anxiety: “balls of steel” Weird and Wonderful (2015) which shows you have a battle inside with your mind and body as you are facing changes. I wish I could have said those things to her in order for her to think I am human. We are all going through the same challenges and have to face the same challenges in life; some more than other’s. I felt I never really expressed these things to her.
So why do you feel personal change is so difficult?
I think about two words firstly, it’s anxiety and fear. Then I feel, fear is a big factor which plays a part on whether we change or not.
“The greater the fear: the less likely I feel we are likely to want to change.” Weird and Wonderful (2016)
I mean, change should be seen as a positive step but we are so engulfed in such emotions of guilt, or, anxiety of not being loved, or, being alone, or even having the chance to accept ourselves and our accomplishments so far in life; change becomes one big huge blurred stigma.
I felt like I saw people at their most vulnerable stages in life and almost being unable to illicit change by themselves when I was working in mental health last year. I didn’t know how to describe the fear factor. The negativity had ebbed away at the characters of these wonderful people, who had the courage to keep going even though they had attempted suicide; they needed to be heard and this was what I felt was most important.
Hearing their life events made it feel so
raw: it comes across as total neglect for ones self when people really are fearing everything and everyone. These people are brave for speaking about their inner termoil and there doubts – it feels so real that you taste their fear, pain, anxiety, trauma and depression swoop from every angle of thrir bodies.
Let me explain further: their body language spoke volumes, the way they spoke was tense and sometimes they don’t speak at all and the silence was even more deafening than them speaking. It was as though the lump in their throat was preventing them from speaking – It was a clear indication of something eating away at them; then finally they took the steps to speak and then they have the courage to begin the first steps.
I mean, social anxiety isn’t something to laugh about. It’s not pretty – it’s also not wonderful looking at the depth of abuse people go through. There is really nothing you can do apart from being there for someone, give them their voice, let them be heard; let them feel safe; like they have someone who genuinely wants to help and support them to cope.
Change is slow, but these people recognised they needed to change. They needed to go through stages of emotions and speak out. I genuinely feel it was worthwhile listening and actively listening. Not being someone who gets the side view but participating in their change. It felt rewarding. Now they recognised it because they must have tried in the past and relapsed.
In order for me to recognise why it was so difficult to change I read these 6 things by Bill Knaus Ed.D. (2013) Why Is Personal Change So Tough to Do?:
1. Sometimes you can trust your feelings. You may resist changes that don’t feel right. However, some emotions come from distorted thinking and your emotions drive you to avoid the very changes that you are likely to benefit the most from making.
2. Anxieties over uncertainties can prompt a cycle where you repeat painful or unproductive patterns. You may have to teach yourself to explore uncertainty to become familiar with what you fear.
3. If you believed that complex personal change should be both effortless and a complete metamorphosis, this expectation can lead to exasperation. You may have to separate false from realistic thinking about the costs and benefits in making a change, and strive for what is reasonable for you to attain.
3. All humans have a built in tendency to approach what is easy and pleasurable and to avoid what is tough, tense, or painful. Sometimes you’ll need to reverse this natural tendency when doing what comes naturally is self-sabotaging.Procrastination, for example, comes easily. Change is challenging but blaming is easy.
3. We live in a blame culture where we’ve gone overboard with blaming and defending ourselves against blame. Daily, you’ll see many non-productive examples of denial, rationalizations, and defensive finger pointing—all to mitigate blame. At the same time, many who engage in defending themselves against blame, also value honesty and authenticity. What a paradox!
6. If you foreclose on yourself by thinking that you don’t deserve better, this view can lead to complacency procrastination or treading water be
cause you don’t expect much for and from yourself.
So really if you concentrate on the part that is making you anxious and really focus on channeling in to the reasons why then I feel from my own experiences in life; you can resolve issues
preventing you from accepting you have to change. However, you have to make things simple
Why do you have to make personal life changing goals simple?
We are never Satisfied. I feel we are all weird and wonderful and I have already written about Why are we never Satisfied? (2015) .
Discussing how we need this cognitive pattern. However, cognitive behavioural therapy is exactly what is needed sometimes to channel in what makes people fear. I feel, it is easy to say what you want from life at a drop of a hat on the other we have so many feelings preventing us from making change.
I introduce the 3 step challenge:
☆ keep 3 simple goals to begin with
☆ have some ideas on when you want to complete the task: short or long term goal.
☆ make sure that it is obtainable…. whatever you do please – – – do not make it difficult: it’s not easy changing it takes small steps sometimes.
Most of all treat yourself after one step has been achieved. Rewards are good for you:Take a holiday, buy a dress or a suit, something you need, by some music, or a book you have always wanted to read. Just enjoy yourself because change has to be rewarded so you keep doing this.
Love yourself because sometimes I feel people around you do not really like change because it frightens them. If they see you taking those steps to change it will be easier for them.
Why do you feel like you need to be positive about people around you not wanting to change?
You really wouldn’t want to relapse. With all the recognition in Fear Saga Part 1: “Baseline” , and Fear Saga Part 2:”Handling Fear” – this makes me feel as though it’s a cycle; once it’s broken then unfortunately you have to repeat from the beginning until your confidence builds. Change is brilliant I suppose you could call it your finest moment in your life.
Let’s be positive about this cycle. The action is followed up by maintenance this is important to keep because you begin a spiral of depression if you are not able to grasp hold of the change.
I feel this cycle is more important than even group support or counselling because realising change is all about what you can do for you. When you feel a little under the weather or depressed, look deeply into the whole you and what you have accomplished and keep going. Don’t forget to love and treat yourself no matter how small you think the challenge is just do it for the opportunity of not relapsing.
Please read Fear Saga Part 3: ” Recognising Relapsing.”
Weird & ₩○NdeRf#ll _____