Is Change Hard?
Since you have started reading this post you have undergone numerous changes at a cellular level as well as shedding some skin and maybe losing a hair or two.
The you who is reading now is almost an entirely different you to the one of 10 years ago, and the one of 10 years ago was different to the one from a decade prior to that.
I’m sure you were not struggling to make those changes. In fact I’m confident for the most part you weren’t even aware as they happened, because you’re in a constant state of flux.
Which is kind of cool, because so is everybody else on the planet and every living creature too.
The paradox is that the one thing that is happening to you all the time is the one thing you resist the most.
The one thing you think is difficult and painful is the one thing you are best at.
You may think you’re an outlier and embrace change and in some situations that may well be true, but in others you will resist with all your might.
As an extreme example, you will almost certainly resist your own death.
If you get sick you will seek help to restore the status quo because that’s not the kind of change you want to see happen.
But there will be more prosaic examples.
Maybe it’s a career change that you know deep down will be good for you, ending a disempowering or abusive relationship, quitting smoking or clinging on to your favorite M.C. Hammer pants.
Change Is Easy
The actual process of change is very, very, easy.
With leaving an abusive partner, the actual walking out the door bit is not difficult, presuming that is, you know how to open a door.
Starting a new job is easy. All that’s entailed is arriving at your new place of work, probably signing a few forms, being shown around and introduced to your colleagues and hey presto, you’ve started!
As for quitting smoking, that’s the easiest thing in the world because you don’t have to do anything. How easy is it not to buy cigarettes?
I don’t smoke and I can assure you I have no problem whatsoever not buying cigarettes every single day. I don’t go into the store, don’t ask for a pack of cigarettes and don’t give them any money.
And as you know the way to the trash bin and presumably also have a hand to pick your M.C. Hammer pants up with? In which case, they can be gone quicker than his career.
You think of change as being difficult, not because it is, but because you are told it is and the process of getting to the point where you do the change can look difficult, or even overwhelming.
And the reason that you think of the process of change as being difficult is because (presuming you’re like most people) you construct images of what could go wrong, how much preparation there is to do and how uncomfortable you’ll feel.
- What if I don’t like my new job? What if my boss is horrible, my co-workers don’t like me or the work is too difficult?
- What if I can’t find another partner? Or f I can’t find anywhere to live, or worse still if I end up with an even more abusive person than previously?
- What if I get cravings? What if I fold after one too many beers at the Christmas Party in 6 months? And how will I cope if I get mega-stressed, because smoking always calms me down?
- What if M.C. Hammer has a huge comeback and Hammer Time comes round again just I have thrown my yellow striped satin pants in the trash?
And so you build up change as this huge great unconquerable demon who stands 30 feet tall, breathes fire and farts bullets.
The Case For The Prosecution
The truth however is somewhat different and the evidence that you’re more capable than you give yourself credit for, is not just compelling, but totally and utterly devastating.
No attorney on the planet would defend the argument that you cannot deal with change, because they tend to be clever people and they know they’d lose every single time.
What was the last change that happened in your life that you didn’t deal with?
Give it some thought.
If you are struggling to pick one don’t worry because I can answer the question for you.
There isn’t one.
You have dealt with every single piece of adversity life has thrown at you, and the reason I know that is because you are here right now reading this blog post.
Sure there may be events in your past that you wished you’d handled with more aplomb, equanimity, grace or humor, but you still dealt with them, they didn’t kill you.
You have more toughness, more resilience, more tenacity, more adaptability and more resolve than you ever give yourself credit for.
The reason I get irritated with Life Coaches making silly blanket statements such as, “change is hard” (which I recently read on another coaches blog) is because, firstly there are billions of examples where people have changed with ease, but more importantly, it creates a belief that things will be hard.
The Power Of Your Belief System
If you set out to make some beneficial changes in your life believing they will take months of hard work and even then they may not come to fruition you exponentially increase the likelihood that it will takes months of hardwork and may not come to fruition.
Some Life Coaches may want you to think change is hard because that way they convince you to sign up for long-term contracts and you set off on the journey believing that’s how long it will take because your coach said so.
Actually that may be a tad harsh. I think with a handful of coaches it’s like that, but with many more they simply don’t know any better.
However, the biggest indicator of how successful you will be is not the Life Coach you work with, the money you spend, the affirmations you utter, the books you read or the prayers you say, it’s the beliefs you hold.
Of course some of the above things can help bolster your belief system and I recommend doing anything legal, moral or ethical that does likewise, but they are tools to help you, they aren’t the reason you will or will not succeed.
Without belief you are not necessarily bound to fail, but you are going to increase the likelihood exponentially.
There’s an amazing story about the power of the belief, a story that when I first was told it on my Life Coach training I simply didn’t believe it.
If this story doesn’t blow you away and make you fully appreciate the power of your beliefs, then you are either dead, in denial or dead and in denial.