I want to change: why can't I?

    I want to change: why can't I? I must admit that a good part of the people I have helped during my professional experience had one problem in common: they all wanted to change but did not know how to do it. Or at least they claimed this. This was their most obvious problem, because it is certain that most of us are emotionally intelligent enough to know when a change is inevitable and how to make it happen, only that ... many times we lack the courage or how to put it in terms less hard: we lack the psychological tools to deal with change. Personally, I must confess that I am a person quite resistant to change, and for this reason I strive every day to change and break with all the rules that seem absurd to me. So, let's get to work, arrange the change on the psychoanalyst's couch: Change, real change is a difficult goal to achieve. We can vary the hair cut, the way we dress, we can join the gym ... we can end a bad relationship ... but these changes are only superficial. There are deeper transformations that involve changing the way we think and understand the world and also the way we perceive ourselves. Then the change becomes painful. Why? Simply because when we are faced with the idea of ​​change, at the same time we face the need to change something that characterizes us, something that is part of our "I" and therefore many times we assume the need to change as an attack on our own. identity. Anatole France masterfully summarized this idea when he said: “all changes, including those that have lasted the most, have their share of melancholy because of what we leave behind which is a part of ourselves. We must die in the previous life before entering the other ". Ending a relationship does not only indicate that we will have to strip ourselves of the habits created in two and learn to fight with the emotional emptiness, it also implies that, in some way, we ourselves have also made mistakes, we have made mistakes at some precise point along the way. Accepting this reality can be difficult because it requires us to consider the situation from different perspectives, it implies abandoning our role as a victim and taking control of our life. Expressed in this way many may think that it is wonderful to take control of one's life and, certainly it is, but… it also carries its dose of fear with it. When we no longer have anyone to blame we suddenly feel vulnerable and the fear of failure appears and many times we feel that we bend our knees in the face of responsibilities we were not used to. Change implies learning and in addition, it is obvious to make new mistakes. When we change something we need to learn a new way of dealing with the situation and many times learning means falling, making mistakes and also making a lot of effort. Many people are terrified of the idea of ​​changing something in their life because they do not know how to face a new phase of learning and are afraid of making mistakes. At this point they prefer that things continue to go as before and close themselves in the saying: "better a known evil than the good yet to be known". There is no more immobile position than this. Let's take a look at a simple but effective experiment: Some college students were shown a full cup of coffee and asked how much they would pay for it. The average bid was around $ 2. The other half of the students were given the same cup of coffee but were told they could keep it as a gift. Just a minute later, the researchers asked the young people how much they would be willing to pay for that cup of coffee. The average offer was around $ 8! What change ?! The second group of students were not only asked to buy the cup but were also asked to change it. They considered that the cup was now their property and were therefore more likely to pay more in order not to change the status. They resisted change in the same way that we too often resist the possibility of changing our habits, ways of thinking or dealing with problems. But all is not lost, even if true change requires a new mental scheme of openness towards the unknown and acceptance and willingness to take on one's responsibilities and possible errors; the skills needed to face life with a flexible and open attitude to variations can be developed.
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