“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” ― Leo Tolstoy
Maybe, you have tried to make a change. You might have realized that it’s more than just saying that you want to be different. It requires consistency and dedication, which is why many people quit or avoid change altogether. Many people do it with the illusion that it will immediately make everything easier, but I have found that is not exactly what happens. There is a process to change and I want to talk about it in this post.
First, it takes 28 days of consistency to form a new habit. So, if you decide to make a change whether it involves physical change or mental change, you have to do it consistently for, at least, 28 days before your mind will accept it. This means that if you stop before the end of a month, your mind will go back to its usual way of doing things. Just because you have decided that you want to change doesn’t mean that your mind is on board. I know that sounds weird to say because you probably assume that it is your mind that is making the choice. But, there are two parts to your brain.
The part of your brain that is making the change is the conscious part. The part that is resistant is your subconscious. It’s like the part of your computer that actually runs the programs that you install. Have you ever installed a program that was supposed to work on your computer, but it just rejects it? Well, that’s what the subconscious is like and change is the new program you are trying to install.
Once you have made it past a month and the change is installed, there will be a test.
The test will come in the form of a temptation. It may come looking like a person, a place or a thing. If you’re dieting and lost weight, it will come smelling like your favorite food and begging you to overindulge. If you’ve decided to be faithful, it will come in the form of a temptress or a friend you’ve always had a crush on suddenly revealing she’s in love with you. If you’ve decided to change careers, it may come in the form of a raise at your current job. It is something that looks as rewarding as your change, but more familiar and comfortable. It’s inviting you to abandon your change and stay right where you have been. It’s the test to see how serious you are about your change. This is where more people fail. They don’t realize that it’s a test and some think it is a sign that their change isn’t worth it or working.
If you make it past the test with your new belief system in tact, the next challenge you face is the haters. You know you’ve changed and you can feel the difference. You may even see the changes in your life and are experiencing the benefits of your change. While you are excited, you feel that some people around you are not so happy about your change. They may accuse you of being different or question your commitment to your new self.
If you look at it from their perspective, they see the same person, but with a new attitude. For them, nothing has changed and they expect to treat you the same way. The other reason the people around you aren’t supportive of your change is because it may require them to change or to look at themselves and decide if they need to change. I said earlier that people are resistant to change. The resistance you feel from the people around you in reaction to your change is their internal struggle and has less to do with you than it has to do with them. This is another area where people will fail in changing. The fear of losing the support of family and friends can send some people back to familiar surroundings and old behavior. But, when you make a change, you should be aware that you may lose some people. Not everyone grows the same way or at the same pace. Some will grow and change with you and others will part ways, but it is apart of life.
If you have made it through these three hurdles and remain consistent, your change is likely becoming apart of your reality. The important thing to remember is that the change is for you, but it will eventually benefit all of those around you. As you become a new person, your interactions with others will inspire and encourage change. Don’t be deterred by what looks like obstacles. Keep going until you finally feel the sweet relief as it becomes second nature. You know the change is apart of you when you can’t remember another way to be.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein