Frequently people are aware of their needs of change, say losing weight, quitting smoking, starting their own business or improving their personal relationships. They know that they should do something, but they find it difficult to put it into practice.
Our daily actions are the result of two basic needs:
- avoiding pain
- experiencing pleasure
Very many times, change seems too difficult because the desire of avoiding pain is much stronger than the desire of pleasure.
If our brain associates the change with the fear of being hurt and pain, we unconsciously keep the distance from that change, and changing will require even more efforts.
So, let’s say that you complain about your personal life, but you are not completely unhappy with it so you aren’t yet taking steps forward and change our lives. What can you do about it?
Here are 4 steps that will help you.
Point out the pain you associated with making a change
First of all, let us analyse your so called “ZERO situation”, the situation where you know you want a change, but you still find it too difficult, because of the pain you associated with changing.
- If you were to make the change happen, what pain might you experience?
- What would this task demand from you?
- What would you stand to lose?
I have myself experienced a situation where I was unhappy with my previous situation: I wanted to move to Singapore and start a new business, yet I associated this change with the following pain points:
The fear of realising I lack the necessary abilities to start a business in a new country.
Knowing that I’m investing a great deal of time and effort into the project, with no guarantee of real results.
Worrying about not being valued by my clients and, as a result, not being able to make the business a success.
Of course, these fears caused me doubt and hesitation. If I had listened to them, I would have given up before I had even begun.
Recognize the benefits of NOT making the change happen
Now, recognize the benefits you have associated with NOT making the change happen, the secondary gain of staying in the status quo.
In fact, the current state of affairs can have some positive aspects too, that’s why it might be difficult to change it.
For me, staying in a situation of stagnation, would have continued to bring me at least a bit of pleasure because I would have had:
- A secure job in Switzerland to rely on.
- Fewer worries and responsibilities.
- The security of remaining inside my comfort zone.
Even deciding not to change has it own benefits, and being aware of those, is a good point when you analyze your current situation.
Reflect on the pain you would experience if you do NOT change
Now, in order to change, turn your situation from ZERO to HERO. What does that mean? Creating a Hero scenario means to face the steps you need to take in order to change.
A good starting point is to modify the mental associations that link your actions with the respective pain and pleasure that you can obtain from them.
Take some time to reflect on what kind of pain you would experience if you would NOT work on your goal:
- What would you lose?
- What would be the price for giving up on changing?
Focus on the feeling of unhappiness and dissatisfaction you would experience if you decided not to act.
Identify the pleasure and the joy the change will bring
The next step to decide that only a change will provide you with the joy you really want. Focus on the benefits of the change:
- How would your life be when reaching your goals?
- How would you feel?
- What would be different?
Here you must focus on the feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, happiness and not pay too much attention to the reality.
It is very important to remind yourselves the benefits that the change will bring and the satisfaction you will feel.
When making the decision to move to Singapore and to set up ThreeSixtySkills, I found it important to remind myself of the advantages this change could bring, the valuable service I could provide, the people I could help, the satisfaction I could feel and what it could mean for me, for my Vision and my Mission.
At the same time, I kept in mind the feeling of failure and dissatisfaction I would experience if I decided not to act, to wait and to let events happen randomly without consciously intervening.
When you are feeling discouraged, or a new situation is making you nervous, bring awareness to the following points:
What is the pain you associated with making a change?
What is the pleasure you associated with making a change?
What is the pain you can feel if you do NOT make a change?
What is the pleasure you will feel if you finally decide to change?
Focus again on the intense pain you would feel if you had to abandon your goal and recall the great pleasure and satisfaction you will experience in becoming the hero of your life. This will give you the strength to keep pursuing your dreams.
If you wish to begin the journey to become the Hero of your life, download the FREE preview of “Master the art of Life”.
You’ll learn the 7-step strategy for transforming your dreams into reality.