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One of the most common challenges I have heard my clients express is their difficulty to deal with or accept changes. Whether it is a change at work, at home, in their relationships, in their body, in their income or lifestyle; they all find it very challenging and disturbing and there is always a lot of resistance in accepting the fact that changes need to be made. One the one hand we all want to grow and improve our lives yet on the other hand we can find endless reasons and excuses for why we haven’t taken the first step. It is for this reason that I thought this would be an interesting article for you to read and I hope it will help you with the changes you feel you need to make in your life.

Empowerment Quote

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new

Why is change so hard to achieve? First I think it is important to understand why people are so resistant to change. Many say there are 2 motivators to make a change. The first is when pursuing pleasure and the second is to avoid pain, You need to believe you are doing one or the other in order to be motivated to make changes.

Most people are afraid of change. They focus more on what they might be losing rather than how the change will improve their life. Another reason for the resistance is they don’t want to move out of their comfort zone. People will stay in an unhappy or even toxic relationship rather than leave, because as toxic as the situation is, it is a known that they are used to and they choose this rather than get out of their comfort zone to make a change. How many people join the gym in January only to stop going by February? They want to get in shape or else they wouldn’t have joined, but if they don’t have a plan and strategy to keep motivated, they lose interest, become discouraged and then drop out. In life there is one thing which is constant, and that is change. Yet, change is something we all battle.

5 Steps to change

1. Accept that you need to make a change. Write down all the pros and cons for making this change. Tell someone your decision. This will give you accountability which will help you to stay motivated.

2. You need to have a plan and a strategy. If you want to get into shape, it’s not enough to say you should join a gym. You need to find one and register for it. You need to wire yourself for success. If you notice that after work you are tired, find a gym close by, or go with a friend who will motivate you, or go to a gym on your lunch time. You need to expect you won’t always feel like it but block in a schedule in your agenda that will help you to follow through.

3. Change your perspective. Instead of seeing change as something exhausting and difficult. See it as an opportunity for growth that will help raise your self- esteem and empower yourself. Growth is the process of reaching for something new while letting go of the old. Growth always leads to positive change in our lives. Whether it is a new relationship, a new job or exercise program. Making changes leads to positive change as it shifts from the old to embrace the new. Growth is the foundation of evolution and challenges us to become more in some area of our lives. Growth always produce change, but change does not necessarily produce growth. Growth is about evolving to become more of who you are meant to be.

4. Change your perspective. Instead of focusing only on what you are losing or giving up, consider how you will feel once you have accomplished your goal. Get excited about it. Genuine change involves emotion. Emotions enhance your motivation and they must be a part of change before genuine change can occur. Think about the peace, the pride, and sense of accomplishment you will enjoy once you have accomplished your goal.

5. Be persistent. Changes can take time. Start off with one step. Make an appointment to see the lawyer, the new gym, or get an interview for another job. You don’t have to take the job or get the divorce; just get the information and consider your options. You are in control of what you do with this information, when, how and if you decide to proceed with it, but knowledge is power, the more you know the more empowered you will feel.

Have a great week.

Rhonda Rabow, M.A.

Author's Bio: 

Montreal licensed psychotherapist, Rhonda Rabow M.A., has been involved in couple, individual and family counselling in the Montreal area for over twenty years. One of her specialties is offering short-term counselling with long-term results. She offers counselling in a warm and welcoming environment.