Change is Painful or Pain is Needed to Change?

newI’ve been thinking a lot about the changes I want to make in my life: one change is physical, one is emotional and one is spiritual.

I know a lot of the steps that need to be taken to make these changes, but I’m having a hard time making the commitment to put forth the effort. Even though I really. really, really want the results, I’m having a hard time deciding to put in the work needed to achieve those results.

Recently, a co-worker reminded me of how much she hates change. Really, I’ve never met anyone who despises change more than she! Change is painful for her.

But for me, and most people, pain is required to achieve change. In other words, people don’t change until the PAIN of staying the same is greater than the PAIN of change.

Al-Anon principles teach family members of alcoholics to stop enabling their loved ones by helping them function and minimizing the consequences of their destructive actions. Why? Because an alcoholic will never want to change until (hopefully) the consequences of drinking outweigh the pleasure — until the pain of staying a drunk is greater than the pain involved in becoming and staying sober.

The dieter doesn’t diet until the pain of being overweight (physical pain, emotional pain) is greater than the pain of diet and exercise.

So, I find myself DESIRING PAIN to motivate me to commit to the changes I need to make to reach my desired goals.  How screwed up is that?!

Speaking of making changes, remember that I have two copies of Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight to give awway this week. To enter the random drawing for a free copy of this book by Karen Scalf Linamen, please e-mail your name and mailing address to I’ll double your chances to win if you tell me your #1 New Year’s Resolution — the one thing you really WANT to change; I’ll post the answers I receive anonymously. The drawing will take place this Friday, January 2, 2009. Good luck!


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