Let’s face it–change is hard. It doesn’t matter if it is a change for the better, such as committing to a healthier eating plan, or coping with change caused by external sources, such as a layoff. Adjusting to change is just not something we humans tend to do well. And initiating or maintaining change, especially self-change, can be even more difficult. It doesn’t matter if we understand the changes could be beneficial. Creating new habits and patterns is just not something that comes easily to most of us.
So what can we do if we are considering a positive change? The first way to attempt a change is to make an external change. A great example is deciding to go on a diet. We alter our eating habits, thinking that this will help us lose weight and feel healthier. And it works–for a while. But the change doesn’t last. We slowly revert to our old habits, and the weight returns. Why is it so hard to maintain healthy changes? Because so often we change the behavior, but do not make a corresponding change in how we view our world. We just don’t change our perspective.
One of the best ways to create lasting change in our lives is to change our perspective. When we can change the way we see ourselves and the world around us, changing behavior becomes much less difficult. Changing eating habits is a great strategy for weight loss, but deciding that a healthy lifestyle is more reflective of who you really are gives you a much greater chance of lasting success at achieving your goal. If you believe that you are a healthy person, it will be easier to make healthy changes that complement that perception.
One of the best ways to change our perspective is to realize that we are responsible for our own reality. Of course there are external factors that shape our world, but we are responsible for how we react to those factors. When we make that connection, a very subtle but important shift happens within. We are no longer victims of circumstance. We become the creators of the type of life we want to live. Our perception of our own worth and power changes in a very positive way. And that is a very powerful tool.
Have you ever noticed that things you worry about tend to happen? When we worry we fixate on the negative, and expending all that energy on negative thoughts tends to create a negative environment. It is true that we see what we want to see. If we shift our perception to focus on more positive aspects of our realities, we can create a more positive environment for growth and change. Glass half full or glass half empty–you decide.
Here’s a little coaching exercise to help change your perspective and make your world a more positive place. Complaining is a very negative habit, and it takes a lot of energy away from creating a positive lifestyle. So here’s the deal. Try not to complain about anything for one week. This doesn’t mean that if you receive the wrong order from Amazon you shouldn’t send it back, but don’t rant on about how awful and ineffectual the company is. Just return it and move on. Most importantly, don’t complain about the traffic, or the weather, or anything. Don’t expend that energy. It’s not easy, but you can really change your perception of yourself and your world when you become mindful of how much energy is focused on negative issues.
When you stop complaining, you can’t help but begin to see the world in a more positive light. And that more positive light is a great tool to help change your overall perspective as well.
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