Your view of change will either motivate you to keep making positive changes or will make you fearful and therefore avoid change. One of the biggest changes a person can make is to go from viewing change as painful, hard work, to an attitude of enjoying the entire process of self-development. While true change can be difficult, enjoying the process keeps you motivated.
Change is a natural process that begins in infancy. You changed when you learned to crawl. You changed when you learned to walk and run. You changed when you began to speak well enough that others could understand you. You changed when you began to read and write. You changed with each new skill you learned. And you changed when you internalized ideas and concepts that affected your emotional states and actions.
What is your personal attitude towards change? The more you enjoy making changes, the easier it will be for you to help others view making changes as enjoyable. Learn from other people who enjoy making changes. Some teachers and coaches reframe change as painful and they reinforce this attitude in others. Find teachers and coaches whose greatest pleasure in life is self-development and growth. Ask them how they learned to enjoy it.
When you think of making changes, think of the outcome: After you make the change, how will you speak? What actions will you do? Keeping your mind on the outcome you want makes the process easier than if you keep thinking about how difficult it is to change from the way you are to where you want to go.
Imagine how difficult it would be to walk if before each step, you would say to yourself, “It’s so hard to lift my feet defying gravity. Each step I take I once again need to overcome the powerful pull of gravity.” Try it sometime. Then you will realize that taking twenty steps thinking about going against the pull of gravity can be a difficult task. In practice, when we walk we keep our mind on the outcome we want and not on the difficulties involved.
Receiving an extremely large sum of money for making a change, would make it much easier than not receiving that money. Why? When thinking about the significant benefits, one is highly motivated and the new actions are subjectively easier to do. So too with all changes. The more you focus on the benefits of a specific change, the easier it becomes.
One of my students told me this story:
I was lazy and pessimistic. I would always see the dark side of a situation. Nothing was so good that I couldn’t find fault with it. I would blame and complain. My persuading caused misery to others and the one who suffered most was yours truly. A number of people told me to go for counseling. I did. But I didn’t feel up to spending months dredging up my miserable childhood and recalling every depressing memory. I was advised to ask potential counselors, “How do you view change?”
Some responses were:
“How I view change isn’t the issue. The issue is how you view change.”
“Change takes time and is very often very painful.”
“Most people don’t have the inner fortitude to face the facts that they need to change.”
“We resist change. It takes a long time to understand and overcome our resistance. Then we can begin the long journey.”
Finally I met one who said:
“Some changes can be painful. But by focusing on the benefits, the entire process will be meaningful and can be a source of joy in a person’s life. I feel that most people can develop this attitude. We change all the time. Enjoy every positive step forward. Change really means that you are learning some new type of action and pattern of thought that will make your life better: This can be tremendously exciting.”
Meeting someone who felt enthusiastic about change changed me. It took a while to recondition my brain, but I enjoyed the process much more than I thought I would.
– Zelig Pliskin
From: Kindness: Making a Difference in People’s Lives: Formulas, Stories, and Insights.
Printed with Permission of Shaar Press