Change is a difficult thing for me to do. My behavior is based on my belief about life, the universe and everything. Many of beliefs are kept hidden from me by me. When my current situation is intolerable, then I start to consider changing.
When I decide to change something, I must be patient and gentle with myself.
My Golf Game
I am currently struggling with my golf game and if I am going to improve, something must change. To be clear about my problem in the summer my handicap was 18 and now it is 23. That means the average of my best ten scores of the last twenty has gone up five strokes. That is alot. Over the last ten years I have worked hard to change my golf game to get from 23 to 18. Now I am back to where I was.
I have several bad habits in my swing that I have worked hard to change. However for some reason these habits or beliefs keep creeping back into my game.
My solution is to find someone who can help me change those habits. I use a golf pro to help me change. He is very careful not to make radical changes but I improve.
Similarly I have needed several times to lose weight and I have used Weight Watchers to help me change my eating habits. Again these changes often creep back.
Based on my study of psychology, I know that changing my fundemental beliefs about how the world is very difficult and impossible to do on your own. I need a coach or counsellor to help me change.
Another key in making changes is my readiness to change. How much am I willing to let go of my strongly held and hidden beliefs.
My experience tells me with lots of effort I can make some changes but I need help. So if you want to change things in your life, find a coach or therapist who can help you change. I also suggest you be kind to yourself and give yourself credit for progress.
Stages of Change
If you have set out to make a change and have made a plan. The first time the circumstance arrises, you only realize afterwards you did not change. You can berate yourself or give yourself credit and say awareness is the first stage in change. The next time the circumstance arrises, you realize the situation while you doing it but do not change, You again can berate yourself or say that is the second stage of change and encourage yourself. The next time you anticipate the situation but still do not change. That is the third stage. The next stage of change is that you do the new behavior most of the time but sometimes go back to the old ways. You can again berate yourself or give yourself credit because you have made a significant change. I think in most cases this as much of change as you can expect.
I think the key thing for me is to encourage myself and not let all that internal chatter discourage me. I must love and accept myself deeply and completely. After all, I am all I got.