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Making Changes

So you want to make this change in your life. You know you need to, you want to, and yet you’re not doing it. You come up with excuse after excuse, but in your heart you know that none of them quite ring true. You think maybe I’m just a lazy person, maybe I’m all talk, you start to feel down on yourself. That might not be quite fair.

When you’re trying to make a START change – doing something you’ve not done before – you can be so focused on the thing you want to achieve that you overlook the many ways that this shift can affect the rest of your life. If you charge ahead with the change, you can destabilise other parts of your life.

Here are some ways you might be approaching change:

  • You might want to trigger a positive cascade of changes
  • You might want to change just one thing and keep the rest of your life stable
  • Or perhaps you’re dimly aware that other things will change but you’re not ready for it

You might start off all fired up, intending to change everything; then you lose confidence and decide you will only change this one thing. And perhaps as it gets closer, you start to feel the ground shifting under your feet and you realise this change might have ripples that go too far.   That can stop you in your tracks.

One way to track down what might be stopping you is to ask yourself these four question in the chart above.  What’s bad about the situation now? What’s good about making a change?  What good about where you are now?  What are the downsides of making a change? Remember to look beyond the immediate focus of the change and ask yourself about how this will affect relationships – your partner, children, parents, siblings and friends, your day-to-day life, your freedom, your security, your sense of who you are, your leisure time, your health, your other plans.

It can be difficult to think it through on your own, because sometimes we willingly hide things from ourselves.  Try asking people who know you well to see if they have insights.  Even if you uncover a conflict, that does not mean you cannot pursue your goal.  But it can help you to see why you’ve been stalling, and it can give you a chance to prepare in advance.  So ask yourself: why change, why not?

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