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What Makes Change So Hard?

Everyday, we all make personal changes. To our hair style, new golf clubs, new clothing, you name it we change things around us constantly. So why do we resist change and what makes the process so difficult?

What Makes Change so Hard

One common change we’ve all probably experienced is wanting to loose that 20 lbs. gained during the Covid pandemic. Not so hard you say to yourself. I’ll just cut back on what I eat. Or wanting to get healthier, by exercising more. Or how about wanting to change something about your partner. How easy was that? 😔 One of the reasons change can be a real challenge for us is because we are held captive by our senses and internal value system. The old ways of doing things become very engrained, even if they aren’t doing us any good, and may even be hurting us. However, we continue to do it because it’s what we are used to and are comfortable with.

Why can’t we free ourselves from the old ways of doing things even when they are not serving us?

From our ego’s perspective, it hates change. The ego’s role is to keep us safe. It’s attitude is: Better the devil I know, than put my trust in something I don’t know.

Change happens on 2 levels. There is the external rational perspective and internal emotional experience. For example, the rational perspective would be: when I want to lose weight, I need to remove all the sweets in the house and give my husband strict instructions not to buy any sweets when he goes shopping - no ice cream, and no cookies, please!!! (Yes ladies, how this was achieved is another blog topic 😊).

The internal emotional experience I need is to be motivated by an old image I dislike, and have a new self-image I very much want.

The reality is, the hard stuff, like not having sweets around, while being very important, will not support the new behaviors long term, unless the soft stuff, such as a new svelte image of myself, is motivating enough.

Perhaps you’ve heard this expression “It’s the soft stuff that’s really the hard stuff”. Soft because you can’t see internal values, or images, which motivate new behaviours to help us the achieve our external goals we wish to experience.

Any external goal we have must be support by an internal image or value system connected to something personally motivating to us. It’s that old adage “What’s in it for me!” Without the soft stuff, it will be very difficult to achieve the hard stuff.

Since 1984 I’ve been working with senior leaders around the globe helping them to lead change and transform their organizations. I wrote the book, Conscious Culture - How to Build a High Performing Workplace through Values, Ethics, and Leadership, to share tools and strategies to implement change successfully.

DM me for more information on my keynotes and to find out how I can help your organization meet it’s long term goals. Much love, Joanna

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