“How can I tell when someone is really willing to change?”
You know where the willingness is when the excuses go away. You’ll know when the negotiations stop.
This is when people are ready.
People change most when the arguing stops and the surrender begins. This is when the reservations give way and the explanations stop.
When willingness is everything and effort replaces the rationalizations, change begins here.
This is when the decision to change is at its best. This does not mean drawbacks will not happen or relapse does not occur. But nevertheless, change can be made at any given moment. Change can happen so long as the commitment to change is made with an honest decision.
When the justification stops and the work starts; change begins here. This is not easy by any means. Yet, at the same time, the math is incredibly simple.
Yes, you have to want it!
Of course this is true but sometimes intimidation spoils the idea of change with the confusion of doubt that tells us change is not possible.
I go back to the simplicity of instructions. I go back to the difficulty we have as humans to follow simple directions because to us, not everything is simple when it comes to emotional planning.
There is a connection we have in our thinking. This creates our belief system. This is where our opinions come from. This is where we form our biased predictions and the exact reason why we jump to conclusions.
We are trained this way.
We are programmed. We are a series of wired connections that associates our ideas and thoughts with feelings and behavior.
This is also where habits live and our routines come from. To change the connections here results in changing the connections elsewhere.
Since we are all comfort based creatures, the ideas of change threaten our usual terms of comfort.
This is what the mind connects with. We are always looking for an easier way. No one wants to struggle or suffer. Instead, we look for shortcuts. We look to make a pill that helps to make everything easier.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill. Nothing quick comes with long term effects. Instead, pills and shortcuts only placate the need for comfort. There is no such thing as a quick fix. Life is work and laziness takes more work than the tasks of life.
The problem with our thinking is once we find a glimpse of comfort, we connect with this idea. We hold on and refuse to let go.
Here is an example:
There are people in hospitals that have been catheterized to relieve their fluids; however, the bladder becomes lazy after a while and can become dependent. They say the longer the catheter stays in, the harder it will be for the bladder to relieve itself naturally.
The mind works this way too. When we find something that makes life easier, even if the consequences make life harder, we give in to our habits because our habits appease the concerns we have. This is our defense system that calms the worry machine for at least a little while.
We are all creatures of habit. We leave our keys in certain places. Everyone knows where they place their cell phone at night. We know which pockets we put things in.
Ever misplace something?
Ever feel that instant panic because you accidentally placed something, like say, your keys or your wallet somewhere different from the usual spot?
Often, there is a nervousness that comes over us. People will speak out loud and say, “Wait, what the hell did I do with my keys?” as they frantically look as if someone came in and burglarized their property. We put things down in spots so we know where they are, right? We do this to enjoy the comfort of “Knowing.” This is when habit comes in and the physical does not need any input from the mental to feel better.
This is all based on connections of thought.
Change your basic routines and change is possible. Change your reactions. Change your behaviors to help change your feelings. Change your connections that wire your belief system and then you will find the ability to change is more real than someone telling you, “Just don’t do that anymore.”
The word “just” does not fit when it comes to obsessive/compulsive, or addictive behavior. If change is the goal then action is the only method that can create the process.
There are three phases of movement: Preparation, execution, and follow-through. There is no emotion here. There is no consideration for feelings or ideas. There is only plan, strategy, and action. That’s it.
Reservations do not live here. Rationalizations do not come from here. There is no emotion in this. Instead, there are simple plans and movement. This is where change comes from.
The reason why change does not come easily is because of our emotional attachments to comfort. Even if the comfort is short term and the consequences are painful, the laziness of our system holds onto the ideas of ease, which is all the mind wants.
This is the same as a catheter that relieves our bodily fluid. The longer the dependency lasts, the harder it is to retrain our behavior. But in the end, this is all it is: It’s all training.
This is how change works.
Why do we quit on ourselves before the change happens you ask?
The fear of the unknown and the intimidating ideas of discomfort is incredibly uncomfortable. We are always looking for an outlet but when we make a connection to something that solves the unsolvable riddles in our mind, even if this is only temporary, it’s hard to believe that anything else will make us comfortable again. This is why most people quit before they get started.
Change your routine. Change your patterns. Change your connections and yes, you will change your life.
The rest is up to you.