Why of Change Part II

Last week I wrote (in the Daily Wake Up Call) about the why of change. The post was titled Change Follows “the Why,” and it highlighted the ways that people miss the “why” step of change. Specifically, before you can change, you need to figure out and understand the why underlying the behavior you want to change. I’ve learned that most change comes only after you identify why you want to change. Understanding the why unlocks the tools you’ll need to create the change you desire. While this “why of change” is an important part of creating the change you desire, there’s another even more critical why – WHY you don’t want to change!

It’s easy to fall into the trap of actually believing that you want to change. You say things like the following: “I have to change,” “I really want to change,”  or this one I heard just this week – “It’s do or die that I change.” You say these words, and you actually believe them, but the reality is that very few of us make or implement the changes we say that we need, have to, or want to see. Why (pun intended) is that? Because there’s a sneaky little “why” that we ignore or choose not to investigate—the why you don’t want to change.

No matter how vehemently you proclaim your desire or need to change, there’s compelling evidence that you don’t really mean it – you don’t change. I’m a simple person, and one thing is clear to me – IF I really want to change and have a why TO change, I WILL change. If I don’t change, then there’s something in the way of that change, and that thing is the WHY you don’t want to change.

Finding this why can be very challenging. As I said above, the why you don’t want to change can be sneaky, and you don’t want to admit it’s there. You want to believe your words (want to, have to, must) and that you are committed to change because, frankly, it feels good to believe that. It also convinces you (falsely) that you’re on the road to change, but there’s a why you don’t want to change lurking in the shadows ready to jump out and keep you from changing.

To find why you don’t want to change, you have to go inside and tell the truth. You may also need the help of other people who can see past your proclamations for change and help you see what’s in the way of change (aka blind spots). Most important to remember is this – whatever you’re doing or not doing (that you want to change) is serving you in some way. In other words, you are getting a payoff (or a win) from NOT changing, and until you recognize and own this payoff, change will likely elude you.

If you’re wondering how best to find out why you don’t want to change, ask yourself this question – What do I have to give up in order to change? The answer to that question will likely lead down the road to uncovering your personal “why you don’t want to change.”

Admittedly, uncovering why you don’t want to change may be difficult, and there’s often some fear associated with the change which will cause you to hesitate in your search for this why. This is where your why FOR change (last week’s post) comes in handy because it can be the source of the courage you need to be honest with yourself and to take a peek into parts of yourself that you don’t even want to admit exist. This is where the two whys meet – tap into your why FOR change to motivate and propel you into the discovery of your why AGAINST change.

Trust me – if your why FOR change is true and deep enough, it can defeat your why AGAINST change. The question is whether you care enough about yourself, your relationships, your business, and your mission to do the inside work (aka real leadership) it will take to own your whys (both of them). When you do, you will find your path to the changes you truly and deeply desire.

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