If you're like me, and most other people, there are things in your life that you wish were different and would like to change for the better. Although you may have had the best intentions to change in the past, for some reason you have not been able to successfully achieve the results you want.
Perhaps you have wanted to kick a bad habit. Or you feel you deserve a raise or promotion at work, yet something is preventing you from asking for it. Alternatively, you find yourself in a relationship that is no longer fulfilling. Maybe you have wanted to lose weight, and have tried all the miracle diets, or joined a local health club, but never shed those extra pounds.
What could prevent you from making the changes you desire?
1. Positive side effects
Sometimes you may try to create change in your life, but you are not consciously aware of the positive benefits or side effects that you are getting from your current situation.
Some people who label themselves as depressed, stay depressed, because of the extra emotional attention they are receiving from family and friends. The desire for attention, or the need for significance, becomes a strong enough motivator for them to stay depressed.
Think about the positive benefits of the situation you would like to change. What are some of the emotional, mental or physical positive side effects of your current situation? How important are these benefits to you? How could you maintain the same positive side effect by making the change you desire?
2. Inner conflict
Sometimes you may resist the change you think you want, because of an inner conflict between the values you hold.
Values are basically ideals that are important to you in your life. They are usually expressed in abstract terms such as success, respect, freedom, health, love, loyalty, honesty, integrity and so forth.
Let's assume that you want to get a promotion at work but never asked for it.
Now imagine for a moment that you actually did receive the promotion you wanted. What would getting a promotion mean to you? More money? And how important would that be compared to some other values that you hold?
If a promotion means a better paycheck, but it also means more time away from your family, this may create inner conflict which will likely cause you to resist moving forward. What you resist will persist!
3. Self-limiting beliefs and thoughts
Another reason why you might resist change is because t you’re holding on to limiting or outdated beliefs that prevent you from moving forward and getting the results you really want.
Think about the change you want to make …
How confident are you that reaching your goal or outcome is possible for you? Do you believe that you have what it takes to make that change? In other words, do you believe that you are truly capable of getting what you want? Do you believe you are deserving of the change you want?
Now, again imagine that you already successfully achieved your outcome. How would this new situation affect you and the people around you? And, would that be okay?
By exploring some of the questions above, you may discover some limiting beliefs you hold about yourself or the situation you want to change.
It is only when you become consciously aware of the internal barriers - positive side effects, conflicting values or limiting beliefs - that you will be able to make a full personal commitment to the process of change.