Before we decide to do something, we consider the benefits, because there’s always a benefit to anything we do. So if you’re finding it difficult to do something you think you want to do, the benefits of avoiding it must outweigh the benefits of doing it.
Even if you’re on a path towards self-destruction, there will be some very compelling benefits which are keeping you on that path – and until you can convince yourself that there’s a greater benefit in changing your life than keeping it the way it is, you’ll remain stuck.
The greatest perceived benefit is comfort. Even if you’re in an apparently hopeless situation, you may feel more secure staying where you are. It may be painful, but it’s what you’re used to. We fear ‘the unknown’, because it challenges us to believe in ourselves and in the possibility that things will get better if we commit to taking a step away from where we are now.
Taking a step forward, getting scared and running back to the life we ‘know’ isn’t commitment. Commitment requires you to be prepared to keep taking as many steps as are required to get to where you want to be, remembering that ‘where you want to be’ might be a temporary stopover on your way to somewhere else.
It’s not compulsory to know exactly where you want to be from the outset. You just need to have a general direction in mind and set off along that path. By taking the first step, the path becomes clearer.
In order to make the choice to take the first step, you have to be prepared to leave behind the perceived benefits of your present life. Even if, on the outside, it looks like you have nothing to lose, don’t be fooled. Deep down, you’ll be feeling like you have everything to lose. Otherwise you wouldn’t have chosen to stay where you are until now.
Someone told me a wonderful story, which illustrates this point perfectly.
A man went to his friend’s house. His friend was sitting on the porch with his dog, and the dog was howling.
The man asked: “What’s wrong with your dog?”
His friend replied: “He’s sitting on a nail.”
The man asked again: “Why doesn’t he move, then?”
His friend replied: “It doesn’t hurt him enough to make him move. It only hurts him enough to make him howl.”
Now ask yourself: How committed are you really to change?
Are you moving? Or are you just howling?
If you would like some help to get moving, instead of just howling, get in touch with me via the Contact form.