I’ve recently begun thinking about Change – in a very general behavioral sense – probably for personal reasons, but also recognizing the universal human difficulty inherent with it.
When you are going through Change, things get blurry. Your perception gets fuzzy and things jump around a lot, much like the photo above. Only upon later reflection can you pick out the angles and dimensions that weren’t so apparent when you were within the Change event.
I for one savor Change. Stagnation bleeds life out of me. And to help me think through Change, I have created a sequential plan of attack for one attempting it:
1) Accept that Change is necessary – if you can’t get through this concept, there is no point in continuing
2) Identify precisely what needs to change – the tool for this step is thoughtful introspection
3) Create a real plan for Change – this is based on 2)
Now comes the really hard part
4) Recognize situations where Change can be applied – a first opportunity may easily slip by. It is all new and to realize Change you really need a new mindset that is triggered to recognize events that cause the old behavior, attitude or thing you are trying to change. Don’t get discouraged if you miss one or two opportunities. Support of a loved/trusted one is invaluable
5) Enact the Change – it is a new recipe and might feel “wrong”. But that’s the point: we’re talking difference. We’re talking Change.
4) and 5) and the difficulty associated might look like excuses for not changing. Maybe they are or could be used that way. But the point is that by default, Change is something different, something novel. How good are we at something we try for the first time?
Another point is that, yes, Change is difficult. Also difficult is the process or methodology of changing. By adopting the methodology and getting good at that, Change could be easier.
You can also learn things by how you fail along the process of changing. Failing repeatedly at step 4) may mean your heart truly isn’t in the Change you are attempting. 5) isn’t a one-time step, but as it is repeated over and over, the explicit need for 4) goes away – you don’t need to think to recognize the situations, the enactment just happens. And when the recognition is no longer conscious and the enactment occurs without effort, then you have truly “changed”.