Do you believe change is easy or hard?
Do you believe change is enjoyable or unenjoyable?
If you're like most people, you'd say change is hard and unenjoyable.
What you believe about change influences how you approach and experience it.
If I were to suggest an "easy" and "enjoyable" approach, it would inherently conflict with your bias, and you'd very likely overlook and reject it.
This is a meaningful conversation to manage, especially if you have the privilege of helping someone (client, friend, etc.) improve their quality of life through a behavior change initiative.
Even though most people dislike diet and exercise, they continue pursuing it because it aligns with their worldview that change is hard and unenjoyable.
Of course, there are other considerations in this example, such as D&E is familiar and therefore, safe and that it doesn't ask much of you and there's little risk involved.
It ends up though, often, calling change hard and unenjoyable is a cover-up; it's a narrative that masks the answer to this question: Do you believe you can achieve and sustain your goal? To which most offer a resounding NO.
If you don't believe you can reach and maintain your goal, then it's much safer to label the initiative as hard and unenjoyable, than it is to become vulnerable, emotionally exposing yourself to failure and validating the insecurities you already have of yourself.
If the person you're trying to help doesn't believe they can get "there," physical and tactical efforts are mostly a waste of time. If they aren't successful in their Mind-First®, it'll never materialize.
They'll reach a level of abundance and then "sabotage" it all to remain aligned with their limiting beliefs--vicious cycle, exhausting reality, and sad story.
The solution here is NOT to buckle down and just do it, nor is it straightforward, or cut and dry. A comprehensive strategy may include...
- Managing expectations and reframe their relationship with change as a complex and rewarding process, so they're empowered to enjoy the ride
- Discussing the events that led to the belief that change is hard, unenjoyable, and unlikely to be achieved and sustained
- Helping them process the emotions associated with painful, limiting, and unpleasant experiences and separate them from their identity
- Exploring visualization techniques to help them embody, mentally rehearse and prepare for abundant living
- Give them permission to be creative and curious and "color outside the lines" to approach this endeavor in a way that prioritizes their happiness
Don't get hung up on the technique as your desire and intent to help someone solve an interesting problem, is far more essential, admirable, and scarce in our culture.
"Creativity is intelligence having fun." Albert Einstein