Why change can be easier than problem maintenance

How often have you wanted to make a change and thought it wasn't worth the effort and your investment to do it?

Perhaps you had good intentions and even had a plan or a vision of how you would implement it but for some reason, that's as far as it gets and the change never happens.

When we're contemplating a change we weigh up the pros and cons and the more pros for a change compared to cons, and more cons for the status quo compared to pros, we start to make progress towards the desired change. This process isn't always deliberate or conscious. It can be very unconscious as we lose interest in the behaviour we're engaging i.e. lose motivation and are not sure why. 

Many people believe that change is hard and this can be a major showstopper in motivating us to make the change.

Most would no doubt agree that one of the most common facilitators or barriers regarding progress is our motivation. It’s most likely to be one of the significant factors for us in not implementing desired changes and achieving our goals. 

What if we believe change is easy and what we're currently doing to maintain the status quo is more difficult; how would that feel?

Let's take a look at an example of the radical approach to motivation where change is easy and maintenance is difficult to illustrate where we turn conventional ideas around change, on their head. 

In my field of work as a hypnotherapist, I see clients with a range of presenting issues e.g., weight, phobias, stress, anxiety, motivation, relationship issues, confidence, smoking, etc. Let's take smoking for example where a client might say:  

"Smoking relaxes me. It's so hard to stop though. I've tried patches, inhalers, you name it"

-- Maintenance Easy -     --------------- Change Hard -------------------------------------------------


The idea that continuing a problem is easy and change is hard is real only because we rehearse saying it this way. Is it really so easy to maintain a problem?

Someone who believes their smoking habit is easy, relaxing and just something they do without thinking may not be taking into account how much they invest in:

  • Irritability when they need a cigarette
  • Time wasted while smoking
  • Huge efforts by the body to expel toxins and fight infection
  • More illness, hospitalisation, and possibly a chronic illness such as cancer and heart disease
  • Special trips to the shop when they run out
  • Standing in queues at the tobacco counter in shops
  • Standing in the cold outside bars, restaurants, work and the home if smoking is banned
  • Endless talk about giving up (in their head and with others)
  • Breath fresheners & covering stale smoke odour on their person/clothes

Those who think problem maintenance is easy are not thinking the problem through in detail; they are not properly engaged with it. Change is presented as 'hard work', 'impossible', or 'needing a miracle cure'.

Far from being difficult, change can be a whole lot easier and bring endless benefits (mostly the opposite of the list above). Many people who have quit smoking or made some other significant change report suddenly deciding to change, the time was right, and without any fuss, they changed their behaviour and never looked back. Changing quickly and thinking less, prevents wasted time and energy on procrastination and re-deciding.

In sum, reframing change as being easy and reminding ourselves how much investment has been going into problem maintenance, makes the process of change far less daunting. 

Need more about making your changes? Have a chat with Karen to help you out https://calendly.com/karenbartle/hypnosis-initial-chat

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