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What Gets in the Way of Change

Posted byWritten by David

We have a lot of change or desired change happening around us. But whether the change is personal, professional, cultural, political, or something else, we want change to be meaningful and sustained.

Change in a cultural realm isn’t much different than change at the individual level. Both scenarios need acceptance.

So what gets in the way of seeing change materialize?

Two things: 1) Seeking perfection; 2) Focusing on a final outcome. Say you start running everyday — just a couple miles. But your time is bad and you don’t like your form and aren’t happy with your shoes, etc. These desires for perfection overtake the most important element of changing our behavior — doing the good behavior repeatedly.

In this case — running everyday. That’s what we want. The form and time will come. We may even buy better shoes. But if we stop the activity all together, then none of it is possible.

Then let’s say you start running because you want to lose weight — 10 pounds. You’re 2 weeks in and you haven’t lost a pound. If fact, you’ve gained 2 pounds and decide to quit.

This is focusing on the outcome over the process.

When we put these types of burdens on our behavior change, we are deliberately placing hurdles in our path.

Same thing happens for social or cultural change. If the process isn’t perfect or the outcome isn’t exact, we give up. If the best we can do is even a radically incremental change, some say it’s not enough and nothing further transpires.

We want small, consistent actions. If we miss one day, that’s okay. Good change requires a commitment to small, repeated actions that, over time, give us a transformation we can be proud of.


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