How Will You Change?
Is there something that you want to change in your life, yet you continue to hedge back and forth, wondering if you’re strong enough to make that needed lifestyle change? If you are ambivalent and not truly committed to changing your life, don’t waste your time or energy stuck in your own ambivalence. The odds are definitely against you.
Most people have to be in one of two states in order to truly alter their life. They need to be so fed up with their situation that they are miserable, and in so much pain that they are truly ripe to change their lives. The other example is the group of people who create change because they have been inspired to alter their life. The inspiration has altered their thought patterns. Instead of focusing on deprivation or on what they will be “losing”, they focus on what they will gain if they make modifications to their life. Changing has invoked a have positive attitudes. They find enjoyment from their substitutions and are excited by their altered lifestyle.
Let me give you examples of both of these types of people.
Misery and Pain Scenario
Talk to an alcoholic about his recovery. He will typically tell you that he went into treatment after “being sick and tired of being sick and tired”. He could no longer tolerate his existence and had to do something different. It’s as if his alcoholism had worn him down to the point where he
was resolved to try anything that would pull him out of that big, dark, black hole.
I often see this in people who are obese. They report that no matter how hard they try… they cannot maintain a healthy eating lifestyle. Although they may actually loathe their bodies and use negative self-talk throughout the day, their despondency is not bad enough to give up food or to increase their activity level to achieve a healthier body.
The Inspired Scenario
You may have met someone who was inspired to change. People who have lost weight by exercising describe the euphoric feeling that running produces. The euphoric feeling is inspiring and creates a positive attitude. This can often generate positive feedback from others, which reinforces the desire to engage in the new behavior. All of the sudden, they are being noticed for their positive changes, which reinforces their healthy lifestyle behaviors.
Which person are you? Do you make decisions based on misery or your ability to create behavioral changes that energize you?
People who gravitate toward misery may have addiction problems with drugs, alcohol, eating, gambling, or spending. They wait until things can’t get worse.
The inspired groups may have been inspired by a motivational book, a passionate friend or a stimulating program or meeting. These people get excited by change. They plan out their success and decide how they are going to alter their routine to effect change. You may be one of those people who have experienced both scenarios in your past.
How would your life be different if you didn’t have to hit rock bottom and instead could make the choice to change your lifestyle before you were truly down and out? Is there something in your life that could act as a catalyst for change?
Just remember, that state of ambivalence you may be currently feeling is telling you that you either need to get in touch with your misery or look for a motivator to induce change. It is only when you make the decision to move out of ambivalence that you do something about your plight!