Why Is It So Difficult To Change – Even If You Know You Should Part 3
What’s Wrong (If Anything) With Being the Same Forever?
In our school of NLP we consider that nothing is wrong with anything until it becomes a problem. We don’t go around telling people how they “should” be… there are too many others out there that will be more than happy to tell you all the time how to be and what to do! As if what you are and what you do is permanently not good enough.
Our coaching philosophy is to be minimalist – in other words, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. On the other hand, we also consider that in each and every individual there is an infinite potential for expansion and growth. Not that everyone chooses to use it… nevertheless, it is there!
As long as you’re happy with yourself and everything in your life, there is no reason to change anything. Leave things exactly the way they are.
But, when what you do or how you think starts creating problems, and you experience trouble, then there are many things we can do together. In fact, this is one of the biggest strengths of NLP – assisting quick, fast and effective change.
Perhaps the most ironic thing is when people continue to do what they’ve always done and expect to get different – usually better – results.
Admittedly, one of the justifications our client had (the story of this client and his being completely stuck without options is in Part 1 and of this article), was simply that he did not know how to change anything.
He lived for more than 40 years searching only for similar things, surrounding himself only with similar things, doing similar if not the same things – you get the picture – and therefore avoiding change with any price. To change something was extremely uncomfortable – if not down right frightening to him.
Interestingly, this is where his most stress came from. Not from the danger he perceived from his job, but from the “danger” of what would happen if he changed anything. And this made him even reluctant to see a coach, because, in the way he operated there was no willingness to change anything. He was perfectly happy in the “good old ways”.
However, the conditions in his environment, his job being in jeopardy and his relationship hitting rock bottom (his wife demanded an ultimatum) pushed him to finally take a step into correcting the whole situation.
Of course, it only makes sense that in our coaching together we focused on the easiest and most beneficial technique we could apply – which was Time Line Therapy® – to assist him to let go of his fear and anxiety, and also to change his Meta-program the way he desired.
But before doing Time Line Therapy® and letting go of his negative emotions, we had a discussion about….
What Is Safe?
Here is an interesting part of the coaching session worth mentioning.
To this client, “safe” was only the world of the familiar. He hated taking vacations and going away from home. He hated going to a new restaurant, changing cosmetic products… So you can only imagine how threatened he felt now that he was pushed to change…his job!
In an interesting article Dr. Philip Bereano, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, has the following perspective on the meaning of the word safe as it is understood in most major contexts nowadays. Here is a quote:
“First of all, we need to understand what we mean by the word safe,” he says. “Actually, in terms of the academic literature, “safe” refers to “an acceptable level of risk.” It doesn’t refer to situations where there is no risk. Most of us drive in cars all the time and consider it to be safe even though we know that people are killed and injured in automobiles frequently. We have to understand that safe equals acceptable risk.”
We have to agree.
Nothing is absolutely safe, as much as we would like it to be. Therefore we need to adapt and live taking all the possible precautionary actions to stay safe. Only that in his case, this man was in a never ending loop, all of a negative nature.
If he changed something – that made him feel unsafe. If he didn’t, he also felt unsafe. In other words, it was a lose-lose loop without an exit.
This client is a testament to people’s ability to change and modify things in life, regardless of how you have been so far. After a few coaching sessions, he felt freer than ever before. He found a new job, safely taking action before he would have been fired from his old job. We also did a few sessions of couple coaching, restoring happiness, love and understanding in their relationship.
Only a few weeks later, his old corporation closed the doors of the local branch.
You would say that was lucky!
But we would say that his actions had nothing, or maybe very, very little to do with luck! They had to do mostly with his willingness to have “enough” of stress, troubles, and arguments at home. To have enough of panic and anxiety about the future and to decide to do something now.
His story, although very telling, is not unique. In fact, many of our students go through the same process. We know because they talk to us in our NLP Coaching trainings asking for advice, or simply sharing with us their personal stories.
There comes a time for many people when they simply “have enough” of the old. They look for a change – whether by choice or by force. If you are one of those people, you can rest assured you’re not alone. And if you ever join us for any of our trainings, you will have a first class experience of that change being not only possible, but also relatively easy.
In closing, I would like to remind you that you all have the power to turn things around in your life, at any point. If you don’t believe this, then you are already prisoner in a little box – the box in which you have put your mind. Everything begins there, in the mind. But it requires a steadfast willingness to do something when life presents you with challenges and problems where your old ways of doing things do not seem to work any longer.
We witness this ability in people from all walks of life, in all of our NLP Coaching trainings. In fact – if there is one thing that is quite clear –that is that all our students display a fundamental mental ability to create the change they often need desperately in their lives. This quality facilitates achievement or accomplishment for them in areas where many times they thought they were stuck. All they needed is to know HOW to do it.
About Adriana James
Adriana James M.A., Ph.D. is a Certified Master Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Master Time Line Therapy® Trainer, Hypnosis Trainer and NLPCoaching Trainer. She is the author of the book Time Line Therapy® Made Easy, an introduction to Time Line Therapy® techniques easy to master by everyone. To read more about Adriana go here.