The Inconvenience of Change: We Are Creatures of Habit [Grace Boyle]

Creatures of Habit

We are creatures of habit. We find comfort in regularity. When something out of the ordinary comes along, forces us to dig deep and make a U-Turn instead of keep going straight, it’s jarring. All of a sudden the comfort and familiarity are gone and we’re alone-not quite sure what to do next.

Why is change so inconvenient? I think it is connected to our brains and psyche. James Gordon, M.D. says, “It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” Change is inconvenient because people are afraid of the unknown. Our society has conditioned us to believe that the unknown in life is like walking the plank, harrowing and dangerous. Does it have to be dangerous? Without the unknown being conquered, no inventions would be made, no entrepreneurs would take leaps and the list continues on. Think about the psychological affect our brain has to go through. It impacts the human mind and if we’re scared of it, we think that level of change and unknown might get worse or cause us more pain. The very anatomy of change is determined not by ones surroundings, but one’s inherent mindset.

While sometimes our brain finds it hard to mentally morph and glide with change, it is inevitably happening around us, even if we’re not conscious of it. I believe that change, is for us to use to We Are Creatures of Habitmove forward.

So, how can we move forward with change?

Embrace change, head on. Focus on the power of thought and intention. Baby steps are still steps in the right direction and recognize it may take time. Then find others to help and support you in your plight. Think about when you hear a story about someone who overcame great adversity and change. You’re quite often inspired and moved, ready to take a leap of faith yourself. If change is uncomfortable (let’s face it, it usually is) surround yourself with the goodness of others and their action to make change happen.

Nicholas Christakis, a professor of medical sociology at Harvard University says, “People are better able to make changes in their lives-lose weight, quit smoking, become happy-when they do this with a large number of other people.” Here we are, collaborating and sharing ideas, participating through blogging and social networks (on and offline).  We’re already part of a change revolution. Christakis believes, “social networks have this interesting property of magnifying whatever they are seeded with, and so taking advantage of your social network ties can result in a magnification of your own efforts.”

Readiness for change and embracing the unknown comes at a different pace for each person. Each person has a varying readiness level, depending on their situation but it only takes one step and the recognition to make change. Then by taking the step forward, we can, as a force, be a catalyst for change.

Photo Credit: Oprah.com

Grace BoyleBio: Grace Boyle is a 23 year-old adventurista who loves to travel, give back and take risks in her career and life. Currently, she lives in Boulder, Colorado and does Business Development for Lijit, a tech startup providing a customized search tool, stats and advertising network for bloggers. Her own blog is Small Hands, Big Ideas and when she’s not writing or working, she can be found volunteering with Ladies Who Launch, snowboarding, or enjoying happy hour with her friends. Grace is ALWAYS willing to reach out and lend a hand, share some words of wisdom, and her blog is a continuous source of inspiration.


64 Responses
  • Lisa Reply

    “Without the unknown being conquered, no inventions would be made, no entrepreneurs would take leaps and the list continues on”. SO TRUE. I really enjoyed reading this post, Grace.

    Change is extremely difficult no matter which way you slice it. We are all creatures of habit, and for many of us, our lives go completely haywire at the first sight of change or something that is unfamiliar. The thing I have noticed is that we always tend to come up with excuses for failing to stimulate change within our lives…work, family, friends, stress, money, responsibilities. The truth is, there will never be a perfect or ideal moment for change. Life isn’t designed that way. There will always be obstacles in your way or tiny little barriers trying to prevent you from instigating some form of change within your life. The key is to break through these barriers and face change head-on. It can be utterly frightening and definitely inconvenient, but I feel it is an essential process that we all must experience at one point or another.

    ANY step forward is a step in the right direction, even if you are stepping in the direction of the unknown. It takes courage and requires all of us to face our utmost fears and shed our protective armor. It can be a struggle, but it is completely worth it. Great post!

    • Grace Reply

      @Lisa You’re very right, there usually isn’t a right time for change, that’s why we’re dubbing it traditionally “inconvenient.” I like your belief that any step forward is a step in the right direction. Like I said, baby steps are okay and internally that actually might be quite monumental for each individual. Thanks for your kind words on the post, Lisa!

    • Matt Reply

      @Lisa – As long as your moving, taking baby steps, learning, and growing – your living. It’s when we stop and become apathetic to where we are that we typically find ourselves to be the most unhappy. That’s why it’s so important to realize your inner potential, figure out some things you are passionate about, and go for it – it can be volunteering at the local homeless shelter, or becoming the best amongst you friends at Halo on XBOX. Figure out the things you love, and pursue them, no matter how useless or uninteresting they may seem to other people.

      Change is NEVER easy. Yes, at times, it may be more convenient than others, depending on your own life situation, but it is always going to require you to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t stand still – keep moving, keep LIVING life.

  • Lisa Reply

    “Without the unknown being conquered, no inventions would be made, no entrepreneurs would take leaps and the list continues on”. SO TRUE. I really enjoyed reading this post, Grace.

    Change is extremely difficult no matter which way you slice it. We are all creatures of habit, and for many of us, our lives go completely haywire at the first sight of change or something that is unfamiliar. The thing I have noticed is that we always tend to come up with excuses for failing to stimulate change within our lives…work, family, friends, stress, money, responsibilities. The truth is, there will never be a perfect or ideal moment for change. Life isn’t designed that way. There will always be obstacles in your way or tiny little barriers trying to prevent you from instigating some form of change within your life. The key is to break through these barriers and face change head-on. It can be utterly frightening and definitely inconvenient, but I feel it is an essential process that we all must experience at one point or another.

    ANY step forward is a step in the right direction, even if you are stepping in the direction of the unknown. It takes courage and requires all of us to face our utmost fears and shed our protective armor. It can be a struggle, but it is completely worth it. Great post!

    • Grace Reply

      @Lisa You’re very right, there usually isn’t a right time for change, that’s why we’re dubbing it traditionally “inconvenient.” I like your belief that any step forward is a step in the right direction. Like I said, baby steps are okay and internally that actually might be quite monumental for each individual. Thanks for your kind words on the post, Lisa!

    • Matt Reply

      @Lisa – As long as your moving, taking baby steps, learning, and growing – your living. It’s when we stop and become apathetic to where we are that we typically find ourselves to be the most unhappy. That’s why it’s so important to realize your inner potential, figure out some things you are passionate about, and go for it – it can be volunteering at the local homeless shelter, or becoming the best amongst you friends at Halo on XBOX. Figure out the things you love, and pursue them, no matter how useless or uninteresting they may seem to other people.

      Change is NEVER easy. Yes, at times, it may be more convenient than others, depending on your own life situation, but it is always going to require you to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t stand still – keep moving, keep LIVING life.

  • Akhila Reply

    Great post, Grace, and great writing as always. I especially love that idea that change is easier when you see so many other people embracing change alongside you. It’s a group mentality, and it is how movements are formed. Slowly, a concept or an idea requiring change picks up speed and gains popularity; some people begin advocating for that cause/concept and then slowly it spreads. As more and more people realize that something is important, it forms a movement. For instance the environmental movement was really not prominent a few decades ago, and now it is so mainstream. More and more people are willing to take steps to change their lives to become environmental friendly. When you see EVERYONE around you doing something, it’s a lot easier to embrace it.

    • Grace Reply

      @Akhila I know when I started reading scientific research about groups bringing about change the light-bulb when on. It’s so obvious. Even if it’s something small, like me going to the gym, when I have a friend or two planning on coming with me I am so much more motivated. Two heads is better than one, is kind of the idea.

      I also wanted to address that sometimes, people are relatively “alone” in their plight for change. That doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, but I do think that it’s a lot more challenging. Thanks for the comment!

    • Matt Reply

      @Akhila + @Grace – It’s tough to change and put yourself out there when no one else around you is – but it takes a spark to start a fire. I think so often we sit back and wait for someone else to initiate, THEN we’ll follow. But if more of us were initiators instead of followers, the world would be a more productive and forward-thinking place. I guess the challenge for each of us is to become an initiator and accept the role of inspiring those around us. It’s clear to me that the people involved with this are more than capable. Now it’s about getting out there in your own communities and doing something, starting a mini-revolution in your own lives and surroundings. Change is ALWAYS easier to embrace when it’s the ‘cool thing to do’.

  • Akhila Reply

    Great post, Grace, and great writing as always. I especially love that idea that change is easier when you see so many other people embracing change alongside you. It’s a group mentality, and it is how movements are formed. Slowly, a concept or an idea requiring change picks up speed and gains popularity; some people begin advocating for that cause/concept and then slowly it spreads. As more and more people realize that something is important, it forms a movement. For instance the environmental movement was really not prominent a few decades ago, and now it is so mainstream. More and more people are willing to take steps to change their lives to become environmental friendly. When you see EVERYONE around you doing something, it’s a lot easier to embrace it.

    • Grace Reply

      @Akhila I know when I started reading scientific research about groups bringing about change the light-bulb when on. It’s so obvious. Even if it’s something small, like me going to the gym, when I have a friend or two planning on coming with me I am so much more motivated. Two heads is better than one, is kind of the idea.

      I also wanted to address that sometimes, people are relatively “alone” in their plight for change. That doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, but I do think that it’s a lot more challenging. Thanks for the comment!

    • Matt Reply

      @Akhila + @Grace – It’s tough to change and put yourself out there when no one else around you is – but it takes a spark to start a fire. I think so often we sit back and wait for someone else to initiate, THEN we’ll follow. But if more of us were initiators instead of followers, the world would be a more productive and forward-thinking place. I guess the challenge for each of us is to become an initiator and accept the role of inspiring those around us. It’s clear to me that the people involved with this are more than capable. Now it’s about getting out there in your own communities and doing something, starting a mini-revolution in your own lives and surroundings. Change is ALWAYS easier to embrace when it’s the ‘cool thing to do’.

  • Morgan Ives Reply

    I agree with Akhila. I think that it is profound how much change and progress can be made when more than one person joins in. Not necessarily to the point of succumbing to groupthing, but enough to lift one another up and support each other in their efforts and ideas. Like how it is easier to start a workout routine with a workout buddy.

    I did my senior honors thesis on stereotype threat and how people behave and react when they feel they are being negatively stereotyped. We also then looked at ways in which people can overcome stereotype threat – specifically dissociating and trivializing their environment. I think it is important to note that often change comes in small gradual steps, and there are social boundaries and limitations at work that we do not even know of that could beholding us back. But, as you said, just the first step can act as the catalyst – and in those situations, could have provided the groundwork for the group to change and overcome adversity.

    • Matt Reply

      @Morgan – Your perspective here is very interesting. I think, as with almost any decision making process, there is a tipping point, that “AHA!” moment where you actually believe you are capable of making a difference, once you have the intent and realize the ability is there, the sky is the limit. You then become a catalyst for the change you seek. What follows are several more “AHA!” moments – where people realize what one person can do, and the impact a person can have on others – and so begins a chain reaction of innovative thinking. It only takes on person to start making a difference.

      What do I hope this series provides as a take-away? An “AHA!” moment for a few of you all, the readers, the participators, to realize that me, a relative no-name blogger, has been able to bring together a group of this caliber through old fashioned communication and networking – and what’s developed is a social-media inspired ‘change’ revolution.

  • Morgan Ives Reply

    I agree with Akhila. I think that it is profound how much change and progress can be made when more than one person joins in. Not necessarily to the point of succumbing to groupthing, but enough to lift one another up and support each other in their efforts and ideas. Like how it is easier to start a workout routine with a workout buddy.

    I did my senior honors thesis on stereotype threat and how people behave and react when they feel they are being negatively stereotyped. We also then looked at ways in which people can overcome stereotype threat – specifically dissociating and trivializing their environment. I think it is important to note that often change comes in small gradual steps, and there are social boundaries and limitations at work that we do not even know of that could beholding us back. But, as you said, just the first step can act as the catalyst – and in those situations, could have provided the groundwork for the group to change and overcome adversity.

    • Matt Reply

      @Morgan – Your perspective here is very interesting. I think, as with almost any decision making process, there is a tipping point, that “AHA!” moment where you actually believe you are capable of making a difference, once you have the intent and realize the ability is there, the sky is the limit. You then become a catalyst for the change you seek. What follows are several more “AHA!” moments – where people realize what one person can do, and the impact a person can have on others – and so begins a chain reaction of innovative thinking. It only takes on person to start making a difference.

      What do I hope this series provides as a take-away? An “AHA!” moment for a few of you all, the readers, the participators, to realize that me, a relative no-name blogger, has been able to bring together a group of this caliber through old fashioned communication and networking – and what’s developed is a social-media inspired ‘change’ revolution.

  • Sam Reply

    Grace, you make a lot of important points. There are so many factors that influence our ability to change, and yet we don’t often recognize them. Our mindset is major. If we have convinced ourselves that change is a difficult, challenging, and insurmountable obstacle, we will only be standing in our own way. “Embrace change, head on,” is something I advised in my post as well. You’re totally right, baby steps are still steps, and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask our loved ones to support us on our path to change. Great post!

  • Sam Reply

    Grace, you make a lot of important points. There are so many factors that influence our ability to change, and yet we don’t often recognize them. Our mindset is major. If we have convinced ourselves that change is a difficult, challenging, and insurmountable obstacle, we will only be standing in our own way. “Embrace change, head on,” is something I advised in my post as well. You’re totally right, baby steps are still steps, and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask our loved ones to support us on our path to change. Great post!

  • Benjamin Reply

    I love the idea about finding like minded people who are also looking to create change. Together we can create much more change than we can by ourselves. That is why I love this blog series so much, it is doing part of the work for us.

    I feel this could go the other way as well. Whenever we attempt to change something that affects more than one person, there will always be someone who resists it. I have read a lot about how much more can be achieved once you remove of negative relationships or at least when you quit “listening to the haters.” When recognizing the power of having someone encourage and share your dreams of change, it is also interesting to examine the power of negative influences and how they affect your ability to change.

    Great post! The type of post that I have come to expect from this series. Matt, you have a lot of work to do in June, this is a hard act to follow!

    • Matt Reply

      @Ben – I know man – I don’t know how I am going to follow this! I’ve been feverishly coming up with ideas for the day I reclaim the blog as my own. It’s been taken over by awesomeness from all over. Really, who am I to complain? The foundation has been laid – I have been able to organize an outstanding group of like-minded forward-thinkers. And hopefully, good things will continue after the dust settles here, hopefully it will make every single one of us that we CAN make a big difference through our words. That writing and raising awareness is a big step in the process of getting people to look within themselves and change who they are for the better. Following a series like this will be tough, but that sounds like a pretty good problem to have if you ask me!

  • Benjamin Reply

    I love the idea about finding like minded people who are also looking to create change. Together we can create much more change than we can by ourselves. That is why I love this blog series so much, it is doing part of the work for us.

    I feel this could go the other way as well. Whenever we attempt to change something that affects more than one person, there will always be someone who resists it. I have read a lot about how much more can be achieved once you remove of negative relationships or at least when you quit “listening to the haters.” When recognizing the power of having someone encourage and share your dreams of change, it is also interesting to examine the power of negative influences and how they affect your ability to change.

    Great post! The type of post that I have come to expect from this series. Matt, you have a lot of work to do in June, this is a hard act to follow!

    • Matt Reply

      @Ben – I know man – I don’t know how I am going to follow this! I’ve been feverishly coming up with ideas for the day I reclaim the blog as my own. It’s been taken over by awesomeness from all over. Really, who am I to complain? The foundation has been laid – I have been able to organize an outstanding group of like-minded forward-thinkers. And hopefully, good things will continue after the dust settles here, hopefully it will make every single one of us that we CAN make a big difference through our words. That writing and raising awareness is a big step in the process of getting people to look within themselves and change who they are for the better. Following a series like this will be tough, but that sounds like a pretty good problem to have if you ask me!

  • Grace Reply

    @Morgan Very interesting studies on stereotype threat. The small pieces and issues that may hold us back from change are often inevitable. I also think that it’s okay to have road blocks, change isn’t always effortless and that’s why having people around helps. Thanks for your insight, Morgan.

    @Sam Loved ones supporting us in our plight usually can be very helpful. I also think it’s important to not let other people stand in the way of change. I know there’s a lot of indirect pressure (ie: a parent not wanting you to move far away from home, even though you want to spread your wings) so that’s important to find the distinction between the two. We’re always on the same wavelength :)

    @Benjamin Thanks for your encouragement. This series is spectacular and I’m loving each one. Like Matt mentioned, each one is really different!

    You also bring up a great point that someone, somewhere is going to resist or disagree with your idea and plight for change. There are always naysayers. Learning to focus your attention elsewhere, away from the “haters” and still staying positive can be hard, but I think it’s very important.

  • Grace Reply

    @Morgan Very interesting studies on stereotype threat. The small pieces and issues that may hold us back from change are often inevitable. I also think that it’s okay to have road blocks, change isn’t always effortless and that’s why having people around helps. Thanks for your insight, Morgan.

    @Sam Loved ones supporting us in our plight usually can be very helpful. I also think it’s important to not let other people stand in the way of change. I know there’s a lot of indirect pressure (ie: a parent not wanting you to move far away from home, even though you want to spread your wings) so that’s important to find the distinction between the two. We’re always on the same wavelength :)

    @Benjamin Thanks for your encouragement. This series is spectacular and I’m loving each one. Like Matt mentioned, each one is really different!

    You also bring up a great point that someone, somewhere is going to resist or disagree with your idea and plight for change. There are always naysayers. Learning to focus your attention elsewhere, away from the “haters” and still staying positive can be hard, but I think it’s very important.

  • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

    Grace: Such a beautiful post! As I said earlier, this whole series is so inspirational and moving because change affects each and every single one of us.

    I agree that it’s so much easier to change with a group because there’s comfort in the company — you can judge other people’s reactions, see how they handle the situation, and act accordingly. Change is so much more difficult on your own because, in theory, the stakes are higher. It’s aimed at you, you have to face it, you can’t really hide behind a group, a movement, a name. It’s personal. Which also makes it a lot more frightening.

    I also love how you say that “each person has a varying readiness level.” I think if more people embraced this idea, understood that change is highly personal and thus not everyone assimilates so easily, it might make it that much easier to accept that change is happening.

    Thanks, Grace — this post is filled with a lot of insight that really got my own wheels turning, forcing me to examine how I relate personally to change. A wonderful job!

  • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

    Grace: Such a beautiful post! As I said earlier, this whole series is so inspirational and moving because change affects each and every single one of us.

    I agree that it’s so much easier to change with a group because there’s comfort in the company — you can judge other people’s reactions, see how they handle the situation, and act accordingly. Change is so much more difficult on your own because, in theory, the stakes are higher. It’s aimed at you, you have to face it, you can’t really hide behind a group, a movement, a name. It’s personal. Which also makes it a lot more frightening.

    I also love how you say that “each person has a varying readiness level.” I think if more people embraced this idea, understood that change is highly personal and thus not everyone assimilates so easily, it might make it that much easier to accept that change is happening.

    Thanks, Grace — this post is filled with a lot of insight that really got my own wheels turning, forcing me to examine how I relate personally to change. A wonderful job!

  • Grace Reply

    @Susan That’s so fulfilling to hear. I hope that through my writing and this series there is a level of insight for everyone.

    When I read about brain patterns and functionality I strongly feel that we have certain readiness levels. I know there have been times when I knew I had to change (whatever it was) and there was a distinct time that I knew I was ready. Sometimes, I’m not so ready and I know there are other aspects still thwarting my action. Just like @Morgan said, “there are social boundaries and limitations at work that we do not even know of that could be holding us back.” Maybe this let’s us not be so hard on ourselves?

    • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

      I agree with you and actually can see/understand the idea behind the readiness levels. I think there are times when I actively look for change, when I want something to happen so that it can move me forward, in a new direction, and because I know that it would mean positive things. And then there are times when I don’t want it to come and I fight it off, despite knowing that it’s inevitable.

      I do wonder what factors play into those levels — are they outside influences? Or is it something more personal? I’m curious to see what science has to say on the matter and would love to do more research…

      Thanks again!

      • Grace Reply

        @Susan Without being a scientist, I would have to say there are internal factors in our brain that affect change (moving forward or not) and there are influences such as: social groups, beliefs, values and the people in your life. What other aspects do you think affect you personally (externally) with change?

  • Grace Reply

    @Susan That’s so fulfilling to hear. I hope that through my writing and this series there is a level of insight for everyone.

    When I read about brain patterns and functionality I strongly feel that we have certain readiness levels. I know there have been times when I knew I had to change (whatever it was) and there was a distinct time that I knew I was ready. Sometimes, I’m not so ready and I know there are other aspects still thwarting my action. Just like @Morgan said, “there are social boundaries and limitations at work that we do not even know of that could be holding us back.” Maybe this let’s us not be so hard on ourselves?

    • Susan Pogorzelski Reply

      I agree with you and actually can see/understand the idea behind the readiness levels. I think there are times when I actively look for change, when I want something to happen so that it can move me forward, in a new direction, and because I know that it would mean positive things. And then there are times when I don’t want it to come and I fight it off, despite knowing that it’s inevitable.

      I do wonder what factors play into those levels — are they outside influences? Or is it something more personal? I’m curious to see what science has to say on the matter and would love to do more research…

      Thanks again!

      • Grace Reply

        @Susan Without being a scientist, I would have to say there are internal factors in our brain that affect change (moving forward or not) and there are influences such as: social groups, beliefs, values and the people in your life. What other aspects do you think affect you personally (externally) with change?

  • Shereen Reply

    Loved the post Grace. It’s really great to see similar concepts and themes portrayed in different styles. Very refreshing.

    I absolutely agree. Our “association” with change is very much linked to our mindset around it.

    In a coaching exercise I attended, we were asked to group in pairs and take a few minutes to study the person standing in front of us and memorize everything about them. Then person was asked to “change” 5 things about them and we’d have to guess what they were. 9 out of 10 would almost always “remove” something as a “change” – remove their glasses, belt, earrings, shoes etc … and rarely would someone “add” something – like carry a pen, put on a jacket etc. The exercise demonstrated clearly how we generally associate “change” with “loss” and not “gain”.

    A great piece of advice I got recently around change was “Feel the fear and charge like a rhino!”. Ill-wishers (or haters) and nay-sayers will always rain on any change-parade but once we decide that there is no option but to change we must “charge ahead”.

    • Grace Reply

      @Shereen That is so interesting! Change is often associated with “loss” instead of “gain.” In my mind, I definitely like to think of change as something gained, new and different but I totally see how people associate change with loss and pain. Thanks for sharing this story and thank you for your supportive words!

    • Matt Reply

      @Shereen – this is fascinating. It brings to light an entirely new perspective when we look at ‘change’. I think we tend to focus on the ‘loss’ because, in the short term, change requires sacrifice, it requires loss. Often times when we change something about our routine, it’s uncomfortable, it’s not normal, it’s INCONVENIENT. Change typically requires taking step backs to move forward – so our immediate focus is on the loss, it’s centered around what we have to give up.

      This mindset is exactly what holds us back time and time again, we can’t get past the loss, we can’t get pass that initial investment, the initial sacrifice – even though it can and probably will to great things over the long run. It’s when we are able to embrace the inconvenience of change and move forward ‘like a rhino’ that we see results, achieve success, and become catalysts for change.

      Great thoughts Shereen – thanks so much for adding a whole new perspective to this discussion!

  • Shereen Reply

    Loved the post Grace. It’s really great to see similar concepts and themes portrayed in different styles. Very refreshing.

    I absolutely agree. Our “association” with change is very much linked to our mindset around it.

    In a coaching exercise I attended, we were asked to group in pairs and take a few minutes to study the person standing in front of us and memorize everything about them. Then person was asked to “change” 5 things about them and we’d have to guess what they were. 9 out of 10 would almost always “remove” something as a “change” – remove their glasses, belt, earrings, shoes etc … and rarely would someone “add” something – like carry a pen, put on a jacket etc. The exercise demonstrated clearly how we generally associate “change” with “loss” and not “gain”.

    A great piece of advice I got recently around change was “Feel the fear and charge like a rhino!”. Ill-wishers (or haters) and nay-sayers will always rain on any change-parade but once we decide that there is no option but to change we must “charge ahead”.

    • Grace Reply

      @Shereen That is so interesting! Change is often associated with “loss” instead of “gain.” In my mind, I definitely like to think of change as something gained, new and different but I totally see how people associate change with loss and pain. Thanks for sharing this story and thank you for your supportive words!

    • Matt Reply

      @Shereen – this is fascinating. It brings to light an entirely new perspective when we look at ‘change’. I think we tend to focus on the ‘loss’ because, in the short term, change requires sacrifice, it requires loss. Often times when we change something about our routine, it’s uncomfortable, it’s not normal, it’s INCONVENIENT. Change typically requires taking step backs to move forward – so our immediate focus is on the loss, it’s centered around what we have to give up.

      This mindset is exactly what holds us back time and time again, we can’t get past the loss, we can’t get pass that initial investment, the initial sacrifice – even though it can and probably will to great things over the long run. It’s when we are able to embrace the inconvenience of change and move forward ‘like a rhino’ that we see results, achieve success, and become catalysts for change.

      Great thoughts Shereen – thanks so much for adding a whole new perspective to this discussion!

  • Eva Reply

    I JUST read an article about this recently … not only is the change mental and psychological… but change requires physiological adaptation (structural change in the brain) as well.

    • Grace Reply

      @Eva Definitely! Do you happen to remember the article or where you found it? I would be interested in reading it.

      I figured I could write about the challenges of change, but then I wanted to figure out the root of the issue. The scientific facts and psychology of it all made so much sense, just like you said.

      • Matt Reply

        Grace – You have clearly opened up Pandora’s box to a whole new level of thinking when it comes to the ‘change’ thought process! Thank you for bringing a new perspective to the table, you have clearly sparked some great discussion here already.

        Eva – I would be interesting in learning what you read on this as well. I think tying in scientific evidence for why we do/don’t change is fascinating. You already laid some groundwork as to the process we go through, but where does it all come from, where does the intent originate from? The mysteries of life are never-ending, eh?

        • Eva Reply

          I read so much each day I don’t even know where I came across it! All I remember is that it was an abstract. (Sorry!) Now I’m interested too though… maybe I’ll have to dig up some info on this, Psychology of Change Part II: Neurology of Change??

  • Eva Reply

    I JUST read an article about this recently … not only is the change mental and psychological… but change requires physiological adaptation (structural change in the brain) as well.

    • Grace Reply

      @Eva Definitely! Do you happen to remember the article or where you found it? I would be interested in reading it.

      I figured I could write about the challenges of change, but then I wanted to figure out the root of the issue. The scientific facts and psychology of it all made so much sense, just like you said.

      • Matt Reply

        Grace – You have clearly opened up Pandora’s box to a whole new level of thinking when it comes to the ‘change’ thought process! Thank you for bringing a new perspective to the table, you have clearly sparked some great discussion here already.

        Eva – I would be interesting in learning what you read on this as well. I think tying in scientific evidence for why we do/don’t change is fascinating. You already laid some groundwork as to the process we go through, but where does it all come from, where does the intent originate from? The mysteries of life are never-ending, eh?

        • Eva Reply

          I read so much each day I don’t even know where I came across it! All I remember is that it was an abstract. (Sorry!) Now I’m interested too though… maybe I’ll have to dig up some info on this, Psychology of Change Part II: Neurology of Change??

  • Carlos Miceli Reply

    You touch so many different points. This is an awesome post, no doubt, which once again proves your writing skills.

    It’s tough to disagree, which I’d love to do! I may just write about this some other time, but for now, this post says it all.

    Great work Grace, kudos!

    • Grace Reply

      @Carlos We agree to agree this time then :) I’m glad I stumped you, but if you find some aspect to disagree on, then please come back as opposing and varying viewpoints always add to the conversation. Thanks for your kind words, as well!

  • Carlos Miceli Reply

    You touch so many different points. This is an awesome post, no doubt, which once again proves your writing skills.

    It’s tough to disagree, which I’d love to do! I may just write about this some other time, but for now, this post says it all.

    Great work Grace, kudos!

    • Grace Reply

      @Carlos We agree to agree this time then :) I’m glad I stumped you, but if you find some aspect to disagree on, then please come back as opposing and varying viewpoints always add to the conversation. Thanks for your kind words, as well!

  • Lenora Boyle Reply

    Love this post and all the comments. My life’s work is about helping myself and others change their limiting beliefs. Our thoughts create neurological pathways. It’s important to first become conscious that we want to change in some way,then it helps to question the truth of our old way of thinking (believing). The old neurological pathways created by our beliefs or conditioning, begin to atrophy, that in turn affects our physiology, and the decisions we make in life. We often fear change because we fear the unknown, thinking it’s probably going to be bad. Why don’t we think it’s probably going to be good? Neurobiologist, Bruce Lipton, has stated in his book, The Biology of Belief, that our thoughts can actually change our DNA! I have found that when we resist change, we become more numb to life. When we open the door to change, we open the door to evolution and transformation.

    • Grace Reply

      @Lenora (AKA Mom) I’m so glad you were able to offer your perspective, especially as you work with change and helping others everyday.

      I especially love the part about Neurobiologist, Bruce Lipton in which he found that thoughts can actually change our DNA. The power of thought and intention are amazing! Thanks for sharing, Mom :)

    • Matt Reply

      Now you’ve got to love this! Uniting mother and daughter for the common good, so awesome! The Boyle clan is taking things over apparently! Lenora, I completely agree with your point, in that when we resist change, when we become too content and overly comfortable with where we’re at, when we stop learning and growing, we become numb. We view life through an apathetic lens and, well, that’s just no way to live. (I’m channeling American Beauty once again here).

      Once we realize that life is ours to live, when we continually step outside our own ‘box’, challenging ourselves to try new things, THAT’S when life can really be appreciated.

      Thanks so much for adding some more ‘Boyle wisdom’ to this ongoing discussion on change.

  • Lenora Boyle Reply

    Love this post and all the comments. My life’s work is about helping myself and others change their limiting beliefs. Our thoughts create neurological pathways. It’s important to first become conscious that we want to change in some way,then it helps to question the truth of our old way of thinking (believing). The old neurological pathways created by our beliefs or conditioning, begin to atrophy, that in turn affects our physiology, and the decisions we make in life. We often fear change because we fear the unknown, thinking it’s probably going to be bad. Why don’t we think it’s probably going to be good? Neurobiologist, Bruce Lipton, has stated in his book, The Biology of Belief, that our thoughts can actually change our DNA! I have found that when we resist change, we become more numb to life. When we open the door to change, we open the door to evolution and transformation.

    • Grace Reply

      @Lenora (AKA Mom) I’m so glad you were able to offer your perspective, especially as you work with change and helping others everyday.

      I especially love the part about Neurobiologist, Bruce Lipton in which he found that thoughts can actually change our DNA. The power of thought and intention are amazing! Thanks for sharing, Mom :)

    • Matt Reply

      Now you’ve got to love this! Uniting mother and daughter for the common good, so awesome! The Boyle clan is taking things over apparently! Lenora, I completely agree with your point, in that when we resist change, when we become too content and overly comfortable with where we’re at, when we stop learning and growing, we become numb. We view life through an apathetic lens and, well, that’s just no way to live. (I’m channeling American Beauty once again here).

      Once we realize that life is ours to live, when we continually step outside our own ‘box’, challenging ourselves to try new things, THAT’S when life can really be appreciated.

      Thanks so much for adding some more ‘Boyle wisdom’ to this ongoing discussion on change.

  • Elisa Reply

    If only you could have been in my Jeep yesterday morning! This is such a little thing, but I’ve been taking a new way to work over the past two weeks cause it’s a little quicker, though totally the “road not taken.” It goes up a little access road beside the Portland-Westbrook Municipal Airport, and most of the time I forget it’s there.

    Enter yesterday, running late to meet someone at my office for a seminar we were supposed to drive to together. I’m running late, not paying attention to what I’m doing, trying to get everything together…so what do I do to save time? By habit, I take a right out of my road to go the old (longer) way than a left to go the new (shorter) way.

    *sigh* Those habits, they’re hard to break!

    • Grace Reply

      @Elisa I know, it’s really true. Your story is a perfect example of change and the imprint of old habits that are on our mind. Thanks for sharing this story, albeit small, I think it lets us know that change doesn’t always have to be monumental.

      • Matt Reply

        Old habits die hard. My example: I go to the McCafe (ehem, McDonalds) almost every morning. Why? One morning I decided to try their iced coffee and now I’m hooked. I think it’s an addiction – it’s sick really, but something about the vanilla-goodness and $2 price just seems so…right. I tell myself I shouldn’t go, but by the time I pass the 3rd one on the way to work in the morning, I cave, time and time again. There are worse habits, of course, but it’s a habit nonetheless, and a hard one to break. Our stories illustrate our reluctance to break routine and leave our comfort zones. It isn’t easy – change never is.

  • Elisa Reply

    If only you could have been in my Jeep yesterday morning! This is such a little thing, but I’ve been taking a new way to work over the past two weeks cause it’s a little quicker, though totally the “road not taken.” It goes up a little access road beside the Portland-Westbrook Municipal Airport, and most of the time I forget it’s there.

    Enter yesterday, running late to meet someone at my office for a seminar we were supposed to drive to together. I’m running late, not paying attention to what I’m doing, trying to get everything together…so what do I do to save time? By habit, I take a right out of my road to go the old (longer) way than a left to go the new (shorter) way.

    *sigh* Those habits, they’re hard to break!

    • Grace Reply

      @Elisa I know, it’s really true. Your story is a perfect example of change and the imprint of old habits that are on our mind. Thanks for sharing this story, albeit small, I think it lets us know that change doesn’t always have to be monumental.

      • Matt Reply

        Old habits die hard. My example: I go to the McCafe (ehem, McDonalds) almost every morning. Why? One morning I decided to try their iced coffee and now I’m hooked. I think it’s an addiction – it’s sick really, but something about the vanilla-goodness and $2 price just seems so…right. I tell myself I shouldn’t go, but by the time I pass the 3rd one on the way to work in the morning, I cave, time and time again. There are worse habits, of course, but it’s a habit nonetheless, and a hard one to break. Our stories illustrate our reluctance to break routine and leave our comfort zones. It isn’t easy – change never is.

  • Puppies for Sale Reply

    Change is extremely difficult no matter which way you slice it. We are all creatures of habit, and for many of us, our lives go completely haywire at the first sight of change or something that is unfamiliar.

  • puffandpie Reply

    @ Lenora Boyle
    Your words are remarkable.
    I quote your words – “When we open the door to change, we open the door to evolution and transformation.”

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