The question is how much pain do we have to endure to change a behavior? Even if the behavior is really destructive we have trouble changing.
My friend was given a gorgeous, glass dining room set ; it’s quite large with six chairs. It is actually too big for her kitchen but it was free. It is so large, that every time she has to get to the refrigerator; she hits her back end on the corner of the glass table. She actually has several large bruises from the dining room table. Why wouldn’t she want to lose that weight?
So what makes people change?As Wayne Dyer says, “Your reality is shaped by your thoughts.”
Let me give you the rest of the story. My friend is my height, 4’11” and weighs 155 pounds. Twenty years ago, she weighed 110, like me. The doctor told her that she was ‘obese,’ and said it was paramount that she lose weight. My friend continues to complain about why she can’t lose weight, but that’s another story.
Why don’t we change when it’s obviously in our best interest?
I know when I don’t go to the gym I feel lousy. Lousy because I say that physical fitness is the cornerstone of my life and I’m violating my standards. Regular exercise is how I live my life.
I also think about my health and the long term effects of not exercising. The other day someone said, “Have a piece of pizza.” To which I replied, “It’s not on my menu.” To this they replied, “It’s only one time, you don’t do it every day.”
Think about having one donut a week for 52 weeks. The predictability of that outcome for my cholesterol is easy to predict. They say that 90% of our problems were predictable 2 years before, we just ignore the signs.
If you’re not changing, and want to, you might look at the source of the pressure. Is it someone else telling you it would be a good idea if you changed? Is your doctor telling you to lose weight. Obviously health is not really a priority for her even though she works in the health field. She obviously, like so many of us, doesn’t think about the the outcome of long term obesity. Is it better to have diabetes and high blood pressure?
If change is on your horizon, but you can’t seem to get there, examine your motives and have a serious talk talk with yourself. Ask yourself, is your change part of your values or someone else’s?
If the values don’t belong to you, that’s why you’re not changing. If you still want to change, you have lots of work to do.
Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses institute change for over 20 years. If there’s something you would like to change in your business or personal life, contact Lisbeth for a heart-to-heart chat.
Thanks to Glen Llopis for the photo on change.