By Solomon Thimothy, CEO of OneIMS. A sales and marketing guru who has built a number of successful companies over the last decade. Read more at Thimothy.com.
Why is it so hard for us to change?
How many times a day do you hear someone say, “I really want X,” a totally attainable goal, but they do nothing about it.
When you take a look at those who have made a big change, I think it would be safe to say, they may have actually wanted it more than others. They also might have been put in a situation where not changing meant they’d lose something very important and therefore not changing was not an option.
How many times has life presented you with a sink or swim situation? The truth is, those scenarios actually sharpen us in a good way. When we shift from routine, habit, half-asleep mode to fully alive, it’s an opportunity at its finest.
Sure, we all want change to some extent. Especially if something becomes problematic in our lives or our businesses. Nobody is totally content with their current situation. But it’s often the case that we are not uncomfortable enough to radically change. Or we were just comfortable enough with our struggle that we make it part of our individual story and shrug it off as the inevitable. That way, we can rely on it as the thing to complain about or the scapegoat as to why we didn’t accomplish our goals.
All of that being said, it’s important for you to get really honest with yourself at some point. Ask why you haven’t met your goals. Use these four questions to help you get to a deeper self-analysis and gain keener insight.
1. Am I addicted to my struggle story?
A rise in awareness of the importance of mental health has helped us create safer and more positive environments in the workforce and interpersonal relationships. People are more open to discussing their struggles, concerns and worries. This has helped us connect and understand one another better. However, we have to be aware of how these thoughts affect how we label ourselves which then affect the trajectory of our lives.
While we all struggle in life, be conscious about how you label yourself and how it affects your circumstances going forward. Try making it a rule that if you are going to share difficult things in your life or in your business, you have to be willing to discuss how you’re going to fix them.
2. Am I just comfortable with what I know?
One of the reasons change can be so hard to enforce is that, whether we are aware of it or not, most of us love knowing what to expect. Our routines (mental ones included) repeat day after day in our minds. If we are constantly telling ourselves how we didn’t get the short end of the stick or how unfair life is, we will continue to see these patterns.
You have to consciously break the mold. Write down what you are grateful for. Then sit with that positive feeling. Imagine what it would feel like to have the things you want. Those things might require change and real change may require you to “rewire” your own brain.
3. What lies at the core of my struggle?
Sometimes the thing you think is the problem in your life, never really is, but is more of a cover-up. Your problem lies somewhere else. Perhaps somewhere deeper within. For example, one too many people blame their bosses or coworkers for why they don’t enjoy their job. When all along, they may just be in the wrong role or industry.
Self-awareness is key. Experiment. Take tests, meet new people, try new things. Do what you need to uncover the true root of your problem. This, again, requires you to become hyper-self-aware. Know your triggers, understand what brings you joy and move toward those things.
4. If I only had one week to make the change, how would I do it?
It’s true we are all procrastinators. Last-minute (wo)men, if you will. If we can put it off until tomorrow, you bet, most of us will. A hard truth in this life is some things do have an expiration date. Billionaire Peter Thiel once said you should look at the 10-year plan and ask yourself “Why can’t I do this in six months?” You’ll get a heck of a lot more done if you implement this mindset than if you give yourself 10 years.
That little or big change that you’ve been sitting on or holding on to? It expires this week. Everything else can wait, your life won’t fall apart if you reprioritize. When you make it a priority, you’ll be amazed at how much your life improves.