When Not Changing May Be More Painful Than the Change Itself

by on December 23, 2010

When Not Changing May Be More Painful Than

the Change Itself 

In my last few blog posts, I’ve written quite a bit about the topic of change.  I’d be remiss if I did not take some time to approach this topic from the perspective of those who choose not to change.   Not changing how you approach the situations which come into your life is certainly a choice.   If certain approaches have worked for you before and in your opinion they still do, it is definitely logical to continue to use those same methods.  Your value system may indicate to you that the way you approach an issue in your life is the correct way for you.  Or perhaps you choose not to invest the time or effort to approach something differently that is now present in your life.

It is wrong for anyone to try to get you to make a change.  However, it is equally as wrong if you are not comfortable with a situation to expect another party to change just because you desire them to do so.  Ultimately, if others are forced to change to meet your feelings, resentment, frustration, anger and ultimately non-compliance are likely to follow.   If you desire someone to make a change in how they do something, and they decide to defy you immediately and do it their way, it is often you who winds up being the one who is frustrated, angry and feeling pain over that decision.   When such a reaction happens, it may be a signal to you which deserves attention.

“In spite of warnings, nothing much happens until the status quo becomes more painful than change”.  These words, attributable to Laurence J. Peter, a 20th century educator, are as true today as when he first spoke them many years ago.  While for many the prospect of taking on the task of change is painful, there is often not a weighing of that pain against the pain one may be experiencing by living things out as they are.  And, while the approach to a new reality, new viewpoint or new way of doing things may not be easy to achieve, it is almost assured no action at all will leave one with feelings of frustration, anger or remorse if they keep a troubling situation as it is.

Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  When you take a long hard look at your life do you find that the same items that were problems for you this year were also issues last year or three to five years ago?   Have you suddenly found yourself in a situation you did not expect, (loss of a job, a relationship that has gone in a different direction, dealing with an unexpected health issue), and you have tried a few approaches forward that have not worked, but are trying the exact same ones again hoping the outcome will be different?  What is the price you will pay to make even an incremental change in your approach, as opposed to just waiting for something to happen and make everything better?

In 2011, consider being open to approaches you have not tried before.  Look to take accountability for your own situation and not look to blame forces out of your control.  If there is something that you have considered trying or someone has offered a suggestion that you consider doing, why is it that you can’t do it that way?   Is there a possibility that you could do something suggested to you differently, yet still have it be enjoyable to you and have it help move your life forward?

In 2011, stop blaming others or the world for the problems in your life.  Realize that you have abilities that are uniquely your own.  In addition also come to the awareness that only you know what is right for you.  Maybe you need help to figure out what those right things are.  If that is the case, then find it.  Find books on the topic area in the library or local bookstore.  Join a support group of others facing the same issues.  Look for a trusted advisor or counselor.  And, if resources are your problem, look for services that are free or inexpensive.  There are more of them out there than you may think.

Come to the realization that many of our institutions are not going to provide the answers that are going to make every individual happy.   True enjoyment of your life is your own responsibility.  And, yes you will likely face issues, problems or concerns that you currently have or that may actually appear to you in the New Year.  However, with new found approaches, awareness and knowledge of how to tackle them, your chances of living the life you choose to enjoy are far better than just sitting back and doing nothing at all.

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