Why Change is Hard (And Why Almost No One Succeeds)
“Why is our mutual friend [who runs one of the largest businesses in his field in the UK] so successful? I wish I knew what his beliefs were.”
Talk about a rag to red bull.
I wrote back:
“My experience is it is very hard for almost anyone to break through in the areas where they are stuck…because of inertia and the avoidance of pain. Almost impossible if they try to do it without help and support.
I think it is more determination than anything else, coupled with action. He’s incredibly good with people, and worked out that there were loads of things he was not good at – so he’s built a team around him who specialise in all the areas he’s identified as weaknesses. Plus he will take well-thought out high-stress risks.
When you have had a pattern a long time, people tend to say, ‘I am this type of person’ and ‘that’s not me’ and ‘I’ll never do that’.
I don’t think it has anything to do with belief, but habit. The belief only comes from doing the habit lots of times. So, for you, the habit of saving is something that is almost an obsession and MUST be done.”
Why That Reply Still Wasn’t Enough
The more I thought about it, the more the question became:
How does something become important enough that you will do the new behaviour often enough, so that it becomes the new habit that DOES give you the results you want? And Why do so few people manage to do this?
For example, some people perceive asking someone out or dating to be a chore or …………… (Fill in the blank) at some level and to change that habit seems exhausting or impossible.
It is hard to change habits because we can’t see how some of the other things we do each day hold us back. e.g. You get so focused or busy that you miss opportunities all around that could take you in a different direction.
A nutrition experiment I recently did (which involved cutting out dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol and caffeine) was hard as the pull to eat sugar or drink coffee is HUGE (the smell of those roast beans…).
It’s hard to change – money, health, relationships, work, career.
Because it takes effort and it feels uncomfortable.
It also boils down what matters to you: your values.
And it’s actually quite hard to determine what your core values are that would make you happiest, and keep the alignment with your conscious and unconscious mind. You need to have the right level of feelings and motivation (unconscious values) coupled with a powerful attitude (ongoing conscious awareness).
This is no easy thing, and it’s taken me a long time to master how to do this and help clients achieve that level of optimum performance.
Let me explain.
When I have changed and helped clients to change it is because I’ve asked:
- What matters most to me?
- If I don’t change this, what will the cost be? Am I happy with that?
- If not, what practical step will I take today?
Why People Fail To Find That Relationship
Most of us are too invested in security and the status quo. You see this in the workplace: inertia, lack of willingness to try new things and the safety of the known. I can think of few exceptions to this.
Let’s look at changing relationships from being single to dating…
We know looks, personality and money matter little to getting a girlfriend. Not as much as you might think. What matters is being determined, and consistently putting yourself on a daily basis in situations where you inter-act with people who are looking for the same thing as you. There are only social clubs, parties and dating sites that are effective avenues that I know of.
A single person could join social clubs, talk to everyone, turn up to every social event, take an interest in everyone, put on a party or event (cinema evening) and flirt like crazy. They do need to do with a certain amount of self-awareness, noticing their body language and what happens.
It thinks attitude trumps belief. Belief is woolly like the Law of Attraction.
However I know a lot of people who do take action and still fail. Why? Because their underlying values are out of alignment.
What Love Go To Do With It?
Let me give you and extreme example. Years ago I did a formal strategy elicitation. This is an old school NLP technique and has some value (pardon the pun). I worked with a lady who was seeing several men and was confused. When I asked what her number one value was, she replied, “money.”
Now, let me be clear, this only happened once. Most people will probably have things like “love” pretty high up on their list. But there we are. This was where she was stuck. Honestly, she didn’t want to change that. You can pretty much imagine where her life would go (wealthy, but with a trail of broken hearts).
The reality is that people don’t change their overall attitude because they perceive they will be giving things up in terms of time and money (they will) and have to change behaviour (again, you will). You can’t use time in the same way and can’t do all the same things you did before if you hope to change.
We go with what we know, unless we have massive motivation to change.
Should-ing on Yourself
The key is turns out is to have the unconscious alignment to what’s most important by consciously choosing it. This is also hard because most of us have and do things we think we should (dress in a certain way, talk a certain way, act a certain way, do a job to meet the expectations of peers, family and friends.)
We all feel that pressure to some degree: the things we “should” do.
Beliefs are worthless because you could know them and you still wouldn’t change. What matters is values (what’s important to you) and attitude (This matters, so you feel “I will make it happen no matter what”).
You are willing to fail to learn – because it is in alignment with the things that you want most.
How Past Pain and Inner Talk Holds You Back
Clients who come to see me usually have poor inner talk that is driving their discomfort:
- A sense that “nothing will work, so why bother”
- “I’m not good at doing things / not deserving, being watched and will be criticised/punished”
So, even when you know what will make you happy, you often need to clear the old pain, anxiety and worry that has been lurking for some time. Hypnotherapy is hugely effective in doing this. Regression techniques, for example, help a person in deep hypnosis (somnambulism or Esdaile or Sichort states) to let go of these at the point of origin. The unconscious does all this work for you. It then becomes much easier to choose what you really want, what matters, what has value and peruse that abandon.
You will be better off taking action where needed, grounding yourself and staying highly aware of them.
Believing “I am worthy” won’t make a difference because the inner critic, the anger and humiliation gets turned inwards much more powerfully.
However, once a change becomes important enough, hypnosis can amplify that desire and we can use it as leverage to enlist the subconscious mind to support long-term change.
The Power Of Now
If I want to break through to feeling good and being happy and grounded, then I need to take action on multiple levels, “in the field” NOW.
Many of us are heavily criticised growing up as anyone I know…the pattern because established…act as though I will be criticised…get criticised…
Belief makes no difference in this.
Kindness, gentleness, determination, daily action: That makes the difference.
With my hypnotherapy practice and blog, I enjoy creating content that helps people. So that’s important enough to me, and I will willing to expend energy.
Can you change your conditions at work?
Every day you need to be asking yourself, “What can I do to change this? How can I make myself invaluable? What new skills can I learn?”
You keep going.
There is no messing, there is no “I might but it feels horribly inconvenient”
Decide. Commit. Resolve.
The people who make progress take action now. They decide, they know what’s important and get going.
I absolutely know each of us can have loving relationships, improve health and attract more money. We all have limits in our minds, but we can change that thinking.
That only happens through action and that only happens when it is important enough.
7 Factors That Will Stop You Changing
The bottom line: it is a very hard for people to change, even if they say they want to consciously. There are a number of factors working against them:
- Their old maladaptive schemas (their “stuff” that could and filters everything they do)
- Secondary gain – we get a lot of sympathy and attention when we have problems and ask others to help us
- They are comfortable and change isn’t necessary. In other words, they can carry on as is for the rest of the their lives with minimal need to change, minimal risk and a reasonable level of comfort.
- They only have their problem some of the time, and when they are not having it, they get amnesia (phobics and addicts are very good at this. Some people call it denial).
- They haven’t sat down and looked at how important this change is and what their life will be like if they don’t change
- Once you have a habit, it takes a lot of effort to change it. You have to overcome inertia, which requires a lot of initial energy.
- Their values are out of alignment, due to old traumas growing up and doing things they thing they should be, rather than what will actually make them happiest
How Does Hypnotherapy Help With Change?
As soon as you have a clear sense of why making a change is so important, you are ready to tap into the wider abilities and resources of your subconscious mind. When you look at how your life will be impacted if you don’t change and the consequences and it creates a sense that this is a priority, then hypnosis is a great way to clear the blocks.
For example, I often regress clients to clear the root cause of problems. I help them reach deep levels of hypnosis known as the Esdaile and Sichort states, which were thought unattainable even a few years ago – and perhaps most importantly I teach them how to use self-hypnosis so when they have finished their course of sessions, they are able to use it confidently for the rest of their lives across for wide range of problems and outcomes.
Why don’t people change when, if they made a series of small changes, they could probably get most if not all the things they want?
There are three things a person needs to shift in their thinking:
- Recognise that what you are doing isn’t working
- Recognise that you hold the key to change by changing what’s going on inside of you –and make changing an important enough value to you, consciously
- Pick the approach or strategy that sits best with you and get going.
Hypnotherapy has some great advantages when you are ready to change: it helps you tap into more of your latest resources to go and get things done.
Before he was successful, our mutual friend who prompted my initial reply, worked with me a number of times to get conscious alignment. He was stuck in a job where he wasn’t fulfilled. After getting aligned, he truly flourished. Today, he runs a thriving business with twenty-five employees and growing. Not all of us want that. Many of us would be happy in the right job or something seemingly “small”, but we are not getting there: we also need that sense that each day matters, that we are making the right kind of progress, that what we do counts.
Adopt the attitude that change matters, and do whatever you need to get aligned with those values. Once you are choosing based on what truly matters to you, then the actions and results will flow much more easily because you will be motivated to engage with that each day. If you can’t get aligned or there is something inside holding you back, it may be a signal that it is time to consider some form of coaching or therapy where you can benefit from building bridges to your unconscious.Google+