Why Can' t We Change?
Have you ever set an intention to change something about yourself -- lose weight, stop procrastinating, create more balance in your life -- and voila! Just like that, your behaviors changed and you reached your goal. You created a plan, worked the plan and saw the result you wanted.
How about the times when you were equally committed to change, but your good intentions petered out after a few days and you were back to your old habits?
According to Robert Kegan in his latest book Immunity to Change, the difference between these two scenarios can be explained by a Hidden Assumption. In the first case, there is no hidden assumption blocking the behavior change. In the latter, there is some story you are telling yourself, some belief that you have, that overrules your good intention. The power of the hidden assumption blocks the power of your will to overcome.
The Big LieI like to call these hidden assumptions the Big Lies. For most of the time, those hidden assumptions that block our growth are simply not true, or at least not the whole truth. For instance:
- If I am too vocal about my needs, others will reject me
- If I stand up for what I believe, I will be perceived as a goody two shoes
- If I do what I am called to do, I will be unable to support myself and my family
- Nobody else can lead that project as well as I can
- My feelings don't matter
- If I show my vulnerability, others will take advantage of me
- If I am too successful, I will lose my spiritual grounding
- I am not worthy of love
So What Do We Do?
If we want to get "unstuck", we must change our focus from working on our goal to uncovering our Big Lies. Only when we identify what belief is blocking our progress and begin to replace that Lie with the Truth can we liberate ourselves and continue our journey towards wholeness.
- Consider a time when you failed to achieve a goal related to your personal, professional or spiritual growth.
- What Big Lies got in your way?
- What is the truth about you? How can you integrate these truths more fully into your daily life?