So rather than the usual blog about how to drive positive change in your life, I thought it might prove useful to break with tradition and provide a quick and simple guide to the top 5 ways to almost guarantee that change is not going to happen.
1. Change To Make Other People Happy Rather Than Change To Make Yourself Happy
Over the years, I've spoken with thousands of prospective clients whose motivation to change is born out of their desire to make someone else happy. Whether it be giving something up a behaviour like stopping smoking, drinking or drug taking, or overcoming an unhelpful emotion such as anger or jealousy, the prospective client is on the phone because they want to make someone else happy. Whilst this is admirable, in my experience the motivation born out of trying to make someone else happy is seldom enough to drive genuine and long lasting change. Genuine motivation comes from within and is at its peak when we are focussed on making ourselves happier.
2. Find A Therapist Who Is Going To Do The Work For You
So there are lots of therapists out there who will tell you that they have the skills and experience to be able to change you - effectively guaranteeing change. It sounds incredibly seductive but unfortunately this is simply not possible. There are no magic wands; there is no mind control; and there are certainly no magic pills or approaches guaranteed to make you change. The only person that can affect real change within is ourselves. We have to do the work. We have to take the responsibility. There are lot's of great therapists using all sorts of techniques to help facilitate or support change, but the only thing they can do is lead you in the right direction - the ultimate responsibility for doing the work is down to you.
3. Attempt To Manifest Change Without Any Discomfort Or Pain
Authentic change requires us to step out of our comfort zone and into our learning zone. Whether this is to embrace our vulnerabilities, to start facing up to a specific fear or even to practice doing something that makes us feel a little anxious, change invariably requires us to be courageous. Indeed, if we simply keep doing that that we've always done, whilst we might be able to remain conformable, all we are going to get is more of what we've already got. So change requires us to step out of our comfort zone and to do things differently which usually brings about a little discomfort or pain. My advice is is to lean into it and try to enjoy it!
4. Try & Change Really, Really, Really Quickly
Again, thousands of calls over the years where prospective clients have been hopeful that they can come and spend an hour with me and as a direct result, be able to do cartwheels down my corridor singing 'hallelujah I'm saved'. In reality change can be very quick, like a matter of hours, but keep in mind that an epiphany is usually short lived and genuine change does require an investment in time to ensure it is literally woven into the very fabric of your life.
5. Once You Experience Some Changes, Stop Doing The Things That Facilitated You To Change In The First Place
During my time at The Therapy Lounge I have heard thousands of stories from clients who have experienced all sorts of desirable changes in life, at which point they've stopped doing the things that enabled the change in the first place and surprise, surprise, as a result they've returned back to their original status quo. Change is not a destination. Change is very much a journey that continues over the course of your life.
If you want to be pretty much guaranteed not to experience positive change in your life, either: do it for someone else rather than you; find someone who is going to change you as oppose to you taking responsibility for your own changes; at all costs, avoid any emotional pain or discomfort; try to do it very, very, very, very quickly; and finally, the second you experience any kind of positive change, stop doing the things that got you there in the first place.
Hope this helps and have a great day.