Nearly every day someone asks me “Why Can’t I change my lifestyle?” As I begin to listen and ask inquiring questions, the central themes begin to take shape. Often the person has several challenges that may seem unrelated. From this conversation, it becomes apparent that there is most often a central challenge that is the root of the many manifestations of problems for the person.
Here are some possible solutions that stick out among the many causes I see in my work with people:
- Determine what the motivation to change consists of in daily life. When the person consistently looks outside of themselves, even blaming others, it is clear that I must start there; looking at responsibility and accountability for not only the consequences at hand but also for the change . An external locus of control often brings on more problems. It is important to begin to develop an internal locus of control if you want to take charge of your life and be free of victimhood and self-pity.
- Discuss any previous attempts to make the needed changes. When someone has made several attempts to change and has consistently sabotaged themselves, I know the culprit is fear of success. This is the most powerful fear that can derail your goals and plans.
Fear of success is hidden behind:
- False pride
- Simple misinformation
We then look at your operational definition of success. How does success work in your life? What does it mean to be successful? Changing your belief about what it means to be successful is the game changer as long as you maintain the change in thinking, words and actions.
- Look at change; how you view change and your attitude toward change. People change from either inspiration or desperation. Rarely do people make significant life changes from a good idea or hope. Typically, people change as a result of an intervening or breakthrough type experience. Sometimes it is a medical or legal intervention and sometimes an inspiration that seems to come out of nowhere and the person is changed. The next actions, no matter the beginning point, are essential. No action yields random results. Focused massive action toward your intended target yields solid results. You get to choose. Resisting change or holding the belief that change is difficult and hard only makes your growth more difficult and adds struggles. After all, change is inevitable.
- Now determine any resistance to change. There is conscious resistance to change. This is when you say no in any way. Some say no by inaction, avoidance or deflection. Still the response is a no. All of us have unconscious resistance to change. This is common in motivated people who keep feeling as if their goals keep moving and they are having difficulty reaching the goals. If your goals are reasonable and you cannot get there from here, the issue is most often unconscious resistance to change.
Unconscious resistance to change comes in many forms:
- Compulsive busyness
- Anxiety and Panic
Sometimes the unconscious resistance can rear its ugly head and cause real challenges even when you are focused on your goals and taking actions.
The unconscious parts of your psyche have great power and influence. If you have not been working toward insight and awareness in this area, unconscious resistance to change is often the reason why you can’t change your lifestyle. You get started and then there is resistance, known and unknown that stop your progress. You may even give up for the time being.
There are ways to determine if unconscious resistance to change is happening. Once identified and accepted for what it is, you are now in a position to take your personal power back and move forward with more flow and ease. Look for patterns in your life that have been repeating over time. You may notice the same things happening with different people yet the process is the same. This is a clue that there is unconscious resistance to change underneath these challenges. The good news is that when you identify and bring into awareness the unconscious resistance, it begins to change and your life can now move toward your goals with much less struggle and strife.
When your vision for you new lifestyle is clear; you can use these tips to identify why you can’t change your lifestyle. By taking action following gaining acceptance of your unconscious resistance, you can move into action that supports your goals. When your inner resistance to change lifts, you will experience a conspicuous absence of strife. Your Joy will rise and you will have uncovered and released the unconscious resistance and you can go about changing your lifestyle.