After years of coaching, surveying thousands of people on change, and studying the art of personal achievement, here are the top 3 reasons Iíve heard about why people canít change.
#1 Ė Not enough of something (e.g. money, time, support)
#2 - Lack of clarity (e.g. around goal, or direction, or how to do it)
#3 Ė I donít have what it takes (e.g. not enough experience, training, courage, etc)
While these reasons at a surface level might seem true, they miss the underlying issues that may be causing these problems in the first place.
Surface Reason #1: Not enough money, time support
People often say they donít have enough time, money, opportunities or support from key people in their life. Think about an area of life where you feel stuck about how to change, do any of these reasons resonate for you? For example, finding more fulfilling work, losing weight, improving your financial situation, etc.
Actual Reason: While on the surface "not enough of something" may seem true, often the underlying reason is a perception problem. Your assumptions can be your prison.
Case study: One client said she couldnít achieve life balance because she had no support from her family or boss. However, that turned out to be a false assumption. Her kids and husband told her they actually prefer it when she seemed happy and balanced rather than burned out and resentful. Her boss said the same thing. The real reason she felt burned out was that she was not prioritizing, setting boundaries, and communicating effectively about her needs. Underneath that reason was a belief that she had to sacrifice her well being for other people. Underlying that belief was a fear of disapproval, which plagues many people and stops them from moving forward in life. By removing this core level script about needing other peopleís approval she was able to then set boundaries, prioritize, and communicate her needs. This allowed her to then effortlessly regain life balance and to finally make it stick.
===================================================== Surface Reason #2: Lack of clarity
People often say they cannot change their situation because they donít know how to change things or what direction to go in.
Actual Reason: What may actually be happening is that they havenít given themselves permission to explore whatís really going on.
Case study: Another client disliked her job but felt an inner conflict because she disliked every job sheíd had and couldnít face having to quit and find another one only to face the same situation yet again. By making an appointment with herself and taking time away from distractions to be quiet and to focus on the issue, she was actually able to resolve the inner conflict quite easily. It was the fear of facing the inner conflict rather than the conflict itself that was 80% of the struggle. Upon deeper reflection she discovered that it wasnít what she was doing but how she was doing her job that was causing her grief. She had an unconscious script telling her she had to do everything perfectly. The reality of perfection was impossible to achieve so she was in a perpetual state of angst. Once we removed the "perfection script" and replaced it with a more realistic expectation of herself, she was able to keep her job and find peace and happiness in her daily life again.
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