All of us have an idea as to what needs to be improved in ourselves. Based on this realization, we constantly plan to bring various small and big changes in our life. Some changes that people desperately try to bring in themselves include quitting vices such as addictions, rage, greed and envy, developing healthier habits of diet control and physical exercise, improving one’s intimate relationships, enhancing efforts to achieve desired goal and being calm in the face adversities and so on.
Usually a plan to execute change is made and carried out but success is often elusive. Even changing the smallest habit appears to be a mammoth task. Why do we fail even after the best of intentions and efforts? This is when people blame the circumstances, fate and lack of support as the main culprits. After a deep introspection, one realises that the answer lies within. How easy is it to change oneself? We understand the barriers to change that exist within and deal with it appropriately.
The first barrier to any change is our tendency to deny or downplay the problem. When we become aware of a problem in ourselves, it injures our self love and brings pain and fear. In order to restore self esteem and eradicate fear people take refuge in denial and trivialisation. Thus they convince themselves that the problem does not exist or it is not important. However, if people can understand the process of denial and face the pain and frustration, the urge and effort to change will come automatically.
The second important barrier to change is lack of self confidence. While people want to change, they don’t feel confident enough that they will be able to carry it out. Therefore, either they shy away from making an attempt or even minor setbacks devastate them. They give up easily and do not try persistently. They keep on telling themselves “you are no good”, you will not be able to do anything. If these people can constantly reassure themselves that change will come if they start believing in themselves. Their journey towards change and self growth will be miraculous.
The third crucial barrier is drift in focus of attention. Attention is the base and yet the most significant cognitive capacity to achieve anything. We are product of our attention. Our attention helps us in registering our problems, understanding it, making a plan and working through it. To solve any problem, whether big or small, our attention is needs to flow in that direction adequately. Due to information overload and excessive need to indulge in pleasure, our attention goes haywire. We acknowledge, but soon get distracted and forget the problem at hand. In order to change we need to free ourselves from unnecessary things or engagements and redirect our attention to the right direction. This will ensure that the problem is resolved.