Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to Change

Let's say a person wants to go about changing a fundamental part of themselves. Let's say they are perpetually late and their family and friends are upset with not being able to depend on them. How does one go about changing a character trait?

The first thing is to ask, is change necessary? You have likely heard the saying, 'the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result'.  You need to ask yourself, 'Can you be wrong? Is there something in your behavior that is not in harmony with your ideals? To ask oneself the question that you could possibly be wrong is a huge step. It takes insight, intuition and humility. Many people are not able to take this step.

Second, is this behavior harming yourself or others? If others are not able to depend on you, if you are lying to yourself or others, if you are not able to be intimate with others, you are likely harming yourself and others. A behavior that harms others needs to be looked at and changed.  Ask, how the behavior is harming yourself.  Do you keep others at a distance in order to protect yourself from potential pain? You are likely also keeping yourself experiencing true love and intimacy, also. Ask yourself what what great friendships and life experiences are you missing out of by pushing people away? Are you trading deep, meaningful relationships for shallow, short term ones?

Third, are you willing to step outside your comfort zone temporarily and risk greater happiness? Change is hard. Risking being vulnerable is hard. Admitting that your could be wrong is hard.  What are the possible gains by risking? What are the possible downsides?

I have been surprised and happy with most of the changes I have made in my life. Will you?

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