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Recognizing Change Stoppers

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Recognizing Change Stoppers

Each one of us has the unique and incredible ability to create change in out own lives. On the other side of the coin, you may also be aware of how unlimited you are in your ability to stop change from occurring. For instance, take the phrase, "I'm my own worst enemy." Notice how it applies to your efforts to reach your goal. If you are not yet living your dream, it may be that somehow you are preventing yourself from getting there. Check and see if perhaps one or more of these change stoppers resonates within you.

False Belief System

Your personal belief system may include an underlying certainty that you will be able to successfully achieve your goal. Or perhaps your belief is that you will ultimately fail. If we are harboring limiting belief systems about our ability to move forward, we are doomed before we even begin. Lasting change does not occur using willpower alone to alter our habits. We must also address what we believe.

Our false beliefs may tell us that we have failed before. Therefore, why should this time be any different? If this is the case, you will begin to look at all the little challenges along the path as proof of your inability to succeed. Since your beliefs determine the interpretation of your reality, you will begin to see evidence of your failure everywhere. Believe in yourself and in your dreams. See the glass as half full. Addressing and altering your belief systems will allow you to have new learning experiences without labeling them as failures or setbacks.

Fear of Awareness

A good start to creating permanent change is to be willing to be completely honest with yourself. First we seek to understand. Then change occurs. Many of us attempt this the other way around by changing actions without understanding what the former patterns were all about. Go to a high place within yourself and be willing to see the situation differently. Become your own investigative reporter. Leave the self-criticism behind and compassionately open your eyes to what is. By doing so, you can uncover the positive intent (or the "What's the payoff?") of the action.


Perfectionism can be a double-edged sword. It has the capacity to provide either great joy and personal growth . . . or misery. Perfectionism can be a gift which offers with it a driving force, determination, and the ability to achieve success. Used as a gift, it has the capacity to motivate an individual to achieve dreams. However, if perfectionism is combined with a self-punishing attitude, it can drive a person into despair. This second type of perfectionism involves excessively high and unrealistic self-imposed rules. The inability to achieve unattainable expectations results in negative self-talk, feelings of failure, and sometimes worthlessness. Realize no one is perfect. Count on the fact that your journey through change will be filled with highs and lows. There will be challenges and obstacles. A key to perfectionism is not to eliminate this gift, but to harness its energy as a positive force. The reality is, whenever we start something new, we have to do it poorly first. Be not afraid of failing - be afraid of standing still.

Harsh Inner Voices

Our own critical inner voices often bring our attempts at change to a dead halt. It is worthwhile to take note of how you talk to yourself. What do you say when you achieved a small success? Do you recognize and celebrate your small successes, or blow them off as too small to be meaningful. What do you say to yourself when you haven't done such a good job? Begin to notice your inner voices and question whether you really agree with what they are saying. Learn to accept that these voices will come up, and that it is your responsibility to say, "Hello, I hear you. Thanks for trying to help." And then follow through by adding a more real, more meaningful, and more positive thought. Create a kinder, gentler, compassionate voice that supports your efforts towards positive growth.

No Inner Balance

Life is a balance. We need doing time and being time. Learn to find balance between the action oriented, success driven side of you, and the more introspective, creative, feeling side. Achieving balance allows us be both strong and wise. Balance allows us to think outside of the box, and then follow through with our ideas. Take a moment to notice if you are leaning more towards the action, achievement oriented side or more towards the intuitive, dreaming, thoughtful side. Are you in balance? If not, what part of yourself have you forgotten to spend time with?


Achieving a peaceful state requires that you check in with your body on a regular basis and becoming aware of what kind of feelings it is producing. It means asking, "How do I feel? What do I need?" To get answers from our bodies, we need to feel relaxed and be open to listening. Begin creating moments of stillness in your everyday world, just to stop and listen to yourself.


People often say they can't change because they are too lazy. Rubbish. I don't buy it. Certainly, there are people who have become defeated by their own thought systems. People who may be fearful. Those who may have become resigned. Others who are clinically depressed. But there are few people who are truly lazy. If you're convinced you are just to lazy to do things differently, take a closer look. Is there something else that may account for your lack of ambition? Calling yourself lazy is an easy copout that allows you to both put yourself down, and maintain your old habits. Calling yourself lazy does nothing to help you enjoy your life and it certainly does nothing to help you move forward. If you're not ready to change - admit it freely. Be kind to yourself with both your words and your actions. If you are ready to change, explore the purpose or positive intent of calling yourself lazy.


The many faces of fear - fear of success, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of pain - all act as blocks. We are all afraid that if we have a bad outcome, it will be evidence of our unworthiness. It seems much easier to live with the ongoing belief that something is inherently wrong with us, than to try something and fail. Failing would be outward proof of what we try so desperately to keep hidden. Yet defining and facing our fear is how we obtain courage, strength and a sense of self.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
~ Ambrose Redmoon

Lack of Self Love

While there are many, many miles we must travel along this journey to creating inner peace, one of the most important is self-love. Without self-love, there will be no hope of ever changing our relationship with anything or anyone. No one would nourish a body that is despised and condemned on a daily basis. Only through warmth, compassion, and caring for yourself will you be able to move and feed your body in pleasing ways. Dare to love yourself. It's your journey. And without your support, you're not going to get anywhere at all.

Copyright 1999, Dr. Annette Colby, all rights reserved.

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