sustaining change

Sustaining long-lasting Efforts

Recently I wrote about Power and Motivation for Change.  I’ve worked with and currently work with plenty of clients who have made major changes in their lives because of a new romance, new child, or new career.  It’s amazing to see someone turn their life around and deal with their limiting beliefs, addictions, and co-dependency because they want to be a better person for their family, community, or career.  It’s such a privilege to play a small role in transformation of people. One particular man I worked with left his addiction to substance abuse and pornography because of the birth of his beautiful daughter.  But what he, like all of us, found out quickly was that changing for other people, even little loved ones that we helped create, cannot sustain lasting change.

Loving someone else so much that we make changes for the better can be a powerful initial motivation for transformation.  It’s like a rocket launch.  It takes so much initial power and fuel to lift that rocket off the ground that we can and should use every possible motivation initially.   And once that rocket hits the edge of the stratosphere and beyond, it takes less and less energy to keep that rocket off the ground.  Eventually, momentum continues to carry that rocket as long as it stays the course and doesn’t get pulled into the gravitational field of any planets or objects in space.  However, the space between the ground and the outer atmosphere requires an extreme amount of power and fuel.

So it is with major life changes and changing of your habits, thought patterns, and belief systems.  Making changes for others is absolutely great fuel in the short term.  But in the long term, we must make these changes and stick to them for the love of ourselves.  If we aren’t making these changes because of the love we have for ourselves, then they won’t be long term differences.  Eventually our true belief systems will take over and ground most of the changes made, if not all.  If you really don’t think that you’re worth caring for yourself and if you don’t value yourself enough, you will stop your new behavior patterns and return to your old ones.  Because changing our habits is difficult.  It does require a large amount of energy.  And our life can be a long haul.

So what do you think about yourself?  Are you worth the changes you’re making or want to make?  Could you let yourself believe for even a moment that you are worth it?  Can you LEARN to love yourself more?