Realize – Execute: The Two Steps of Change
I have been thinking about change and why it is easy for some to change while almost impossible for others.
I think we can all agree that the first step in change is to recognize its need. If we find ourselves dealing with the same unpleasant of hurtful situation and/or feelings time and again, it is most likely we will want to change.
The difference between people that succeed in achieving change and the ones that don’t comes with the next step – the execution.
I have a very close friend who has been talking about the same problems for decades. While she realizes there are issues in her life needing change, she can’t get pass the recognition step. Why is that?
I believe we must have some pragmatism or self-discipline in order to execute change. Remember, humans are beings of habit. We tend to think and respond the same way time and again. So to affect change we must step outside ourselves and become the “teacher” to our old response system.
What I mean is: when faced with a situation or a feeling we have identified as a behavior/response system in need of change, we must take a moment before responding. And in this moment we must dialogue with our own selves reminding us it is time to react in a different way. Intellect must take over for impulse.
I believe my friend can’t affect change because as she has the internal dialogue her old self keeps answering “It’s too hard to change.” Instead of saying “It might be hard but I’m going to do it starting now” she just gives up. So she stays in the merry-go-round.
Change is essential for growth and for a better life. It doesn’t happen spontaneously. It happens as a result of diligent self-work.
We all can achieve change. But we must recognize and execute. And in between compassionately and firmly remind ourselves the old way needs to give way to the new.