The Psychological Reasons We Struggle to Make a Change
We often talk about how difficult it is to make a change. Different factors like our psychology and the environment can both contribute to this difficulty.
The psychological reasons for this change resistance often come from deep-rooted beliefs about who we are and what we value. Such as our values and beliefs about what is important in life, such as safety and security. According to psychology today, there are different stages we must go through to make a change, depending on the model we follow.
Our brains thrive on automation. In fact, our brains want to make everything as easy as possible to conserve energy. So changing habits or patterns is not something your brain will find favorable. In fact, it will resist and make it harder to change your habit.
The sociological reasons for this change resistance come from the environment that surrounds us, which can also be a major factor in how difficult it is to make a change. The society around us will have their own expectations of who we are, what our place is in society, and what success looks like – these societal pressures can make it even more difficult for an individual to take control of their own life
How to Identify the Root Cause of Your Challenges and Start Building Strategies for Success
The causes of challenges can be internal or external and to identify them, we need to look at the situation and understand the root cause.
We can identify root causes by using many techniques such as brainstorming, cause-and-effect analysis, and past events or trauma. Once we find the root cause of a challenge, we should develop strategies to overcome it.
There are three types of strategies: a corrective strategy to fix the problem; a preventive strategy to ensure it never happens again; a transformative strategy to change an issue into an opportunity.
These strategies may sound easier than implementation. Yet, if you are really ready to make a change in your life, you can start by believing you have made the change.
3 Tips When You Struggle to Make a Change
#1 Corrective Strategy
Start by asking yourself what it is you want. Make sure to phrase it in a positive way. For example, “I want a promotion at work.” Visualize yourself in this new position and continue to think about it daily. Use “I am” statements. Such as, “I am the head chairman.” and really believe you are in that position now. In this way, you are essentially getting your brain ready for the change by believing the change has already happened.
#2 Preventative Strategy
This type of strategy can be used in a situation where you are trying to change a bad habit such as explosive anger or smoking. After visualizing yourself as a peaceful person, you must have a strategy in place in case you start becoming angry. Some ideas are listed below:
- funny videos on your phone
- check-in every hour to evaluate feelings using a timer
- positive affirmations
- saved articles on anger you can quickly reference
- reminder poster offering strategies before you become angry
- deep breathing techniques
The key is to find something that will break the negative pattern you are trying to change. Once you have changed your thought, the emotions will follow.
These are some ideas for anger, but depending on what bad habit you are trying to remove, you can jot down some ideas accordingly. There must a bridge to help retrain your brain to jump to the more positive behavior, instead of the negative behavior. You will find this difficult in the beginning, but as you see success, you will find it easier and easier to accomplish this change.
#3 Transformational Strategy
The last strategy is transformational. This strategy helps you transform into a new version of yourself. You can plan and take steps in becoming the best version of yourself.
You can set SMART goals and begin taking action to get to where you need to be.
These strategies will help you make a shift to the new goal you are wanting to accomplish.
How to Tackle Your Struggles With Self-Compassion and Affirmations
Self-compassion and affirmations are great ways to help you live a more fulfilling life.
Self-compassion is the ability to be kind and understanding to oneself in instances of personal failure or difficulty, rather than being harshly self-critical.
Affirmations are sentences or phrases that one speaks aloud as a reminder of some personal quality, belief, or accomplishment. It can also be as simple as writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper.
Understanding the Past is Important but It’s Not Always Necessary To Rehash the Memories of What Happened
The best thing about the past is it is in the past and that is where we will leave it. It doesn’t matter if you have failed before. What is important is to never give up on your dreams and to keep trying, but learn from your mistakes.
In fact, I like to celebrate my failures. If I didn’t fail, that would mean I never tried.
When making a change, looking at the past to identify triggers and behaviors is essential to make a change, yet holding on to grudges and anger is not helpful.
These angry thoughts can hinder our self-development.
It is best to use techniques such as journaling and meditating to release negative thoughts about the past.
Struggling to Make a Change Final Thoughts
Although change is difficult for many, it is not impossible. Start by letting go of the past and celebrating failures. Learn to make a transformation by using strategies that are corrective, preventative, and transformational. Your brain will give you some pushback as you try to change, but never give up and keep reaching for your goals. Your success is imminent.
Related Personal Development Posts:
- How to Build a Relationship With Yourself
- How to be More Fun
- How to Get Rid of Jealousy
- Worst Bad Habits I Should Remove Right Now!
- How to Make Life More Manageable- The Complete Guide
- The Art of Goal Setting