Why making change is so hard.

Why is it so hard to make change? Let me give you some insight from a psychology perspective.

We have a protection mode when we are attacked both physically and psychologically. Without question we can switch on our defence mode at any time. We have automatic things that our body does to protect us. We shiver when it gets cold so we go and find a jumper. We smell something like smoke and we automatically think there is fire and move to safer ground. If we get a sore throat our immune system kicks in and fight the infection. It we cut ourselves the autopilot of the body fixes it up.

The psychological brain is no different. Our brain is designed to protect our body so it is no surprise that the brain extends its defences for protecting our psychological brain as well. It’s like the immune system for uncomfortable thoughts.

Our brain is working against us when we want to do something unfamiliar. If it is uncomfortable, our brain will try to take us away from that situation, thought or environment. But in order to grow we need to embrace the idea of being uncomfortable. Change is not good according to our brain, which is why it is so hard to make changes. Our brain likes to stick to the familiar, to the known patterns that it is used to. If we find ourselves in a situation that is not good for us, it is hard sometimes to break those patterns because our brain doesn’t really want us to. and we will find excuses and explanations to not break those patterns. We will continue to behave in a way that is not good for use because it has become habit.

These bad habits can be small simple things. But they can also be big complicated things. Ultimately the only way we can stop our brain from trying to get us to stick to the road well-travelled is to embrace the uncomfortable feelings and consciously decide to make the change.

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