A lot of people find it hard to change. It is likely that many people find it hard to change simply because they do not know how to change. Adapting to change involves many elements that you will learn about here. Knowing the elements and stages can make dealing with change much easier.
Chapter 1:Learn How to Change: The Three Elements
Did you know there are three elements that can help you know how to change? These elements are readiness, barriers, and relapse.
Readiness for Change
Are you in the right state of mind? Do you need to deal with other issues before you pick up a new habit? Are you going to be able to stick to it?
These are all questions to consider when thinking about breaking a bad habit.
While changing can be a bit scary, questioning your readiness can stimulate curiosity and interest in new things. In other words, being ready to break away from old habits allows you to look inward and ask yourself key questions about your mindset and your future.
You may ask yourself whether you have the tools to successfully adapt to change. At the same time, it is important to know whether you will be tempted by cues that trigger old habits.
Barriers to Change
Barriers can also be scary to think about because they may make it seem like changing is not possible. Thinking about living a different way, and the risks that come with changing are possible barriers. They block or slow you down when it comes to changing behaviour.
When going through changing times in life, failing is not an option. Failing can cause you to lose motivation. So, it is clear why failing can be a barrier to changing behaviour. Even the thought of failing is a barrier because it stops us from even trying.
If you were to stop drinking, you would likely need to avoid liquor stores. This could become a problematic barrier to change if you walk home from work and there is a liquor store on your route home. In this case, you would overcome this barrier by taking a new way home if you were serious about changing habits.
Likelihood of Relapse
Relapse can happen—this is why changing is hard. When we get used to living a certain way, it becomes hard to try and change this because we get comfortable.
Thus, it is important to understand how likely you would be to relapse to a bad habit or behaviour. This is an important concept when learning how to change and how to adapt to change.
Things that can affect relapse are cues in the environment.
Let’s use the drinking example again. If you are trying to quit drinking, what would be cues to cause you to relapse?
Perhaps you drink most around your friends; are they big drinkers? If so, and if you are serious about quitting drinking, you could try having non-alcoholic drinks when you hang out. If the urge to drink becomes too strong, then it may be that you need to spend less time with them.
The reason why relapse is such a hard thing to overcome is that it is the last element involved in changing. Even after you have made your readiness for change plan, you have overcome barriers, and are making the changes necessary, you need to keep that plan going. Relapse is the devil and makes you go back to old habits.
This is why it is important to know cues that may trigger past behaviours, so you can continue to make positive changes in your life.