Your Change is About You

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We all need to change at points in our lives. Some changes are more urgent than others.

I work with a lot of individuals that realize their health and well-being are suffering because of choices they have made and they need to make some changes, They may even have reached a point on their own where they have developed a plan of action. They often become stuck at this point though and have a difficult time moving forward.

Some of the more common roadblocks are fear (of failure and success) and feelings of being unworthy of the positive outcome. Often, “it’s too hard” comes up but that’s really just an expression of lack of confidence. The self-imposed obstacle that will most quickly bring about a challenge from me, however, is “It’s too late for me to change.” I’m learning this argument is often raised when there is another person involved. Sometimes people are afraid that their change will alienate their spouse or partner and make them feel left behind. Others feel they need and don’t have their full support.

If you have a spouse or partner that isn’t as supportive as you’d like, here are a few pointers:

  • Clearly explain how the change you’re pursuing will make your life better. Convey how that will positively impact the relationship too.
  • Explain that you’d really like their support and how they can best provide it.
  • Invite them to join you to make the change together, if it makes sense. If they want to join you, great, but you’re not expecting or demanding any change of them.
  • Involve them as much as possible if they’re not participating with you. For example, ask them to hold you accountable for your diet, workout, etc.
  • Celebrate small milestones and goals together.
  • If this is something for which they truly can’t provide their support, then acknowledge that but ask them to at least respect your desires and not detract from your efforts. Find someone that can provide support but make sure that this person isn’t someone your partner would find threatening.
  • Should your partner ever resort to sabotaging your efforts, then consider taking a serious look at the relationship.

The most obvious solution is to work on the change together. If you both smoke, quit together. If you both want to get in shape, workout and improve your diet together. Of course, you can’t force someone else to change. Trying that can cause a rift in the relationship. You also can’t make your success dependent on their level of participation. If you’re making a positive change for yourself, then you’re the only one that can be truly accountable for your success.

Photo credit: jef safi \ ‘pictosophizing / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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