You Don’t Have to Believe in Order to Change

Changing something we don’t like about ourselves isn’t easy. In fact, it can be quite difficult because there’s nothing simpler than continuing to do what we’re already doing.

A common pitfall that interferes with successful change occurs when we either give up too soon or fail to even start making change because we think we lack the qualities required to be different. A person who tells himself, “I’ll be more confident after I’ve lost this weight” might conclude it’s pointless to even start an exercise regimen. In the same way, an anxious person who is afraid to try something new might continue to feel stuck if she believes that she can’t do it until her fear goes away. It’s easy to lose hope, stop trying new things, and conclude that change is impossible when those future, better versions of ourselves fail to appear.

Change is a process that occurs in steps and it begins exactly where you are right now. A great example of this appeared in a Fibre One cereal commercial a few years ago. The TV spot opened with a scene of an expert surfer riding the biggest wave you can imagine. The words “Step 10,436” gradually appeared in the top corner of the screen. The next scene was of a bright, suburban kitchen, featuring a breakfast table set with a bowl of Fibre One cereal, milk, juice, toast, etc., and the words “Step One.”

Making changes in our lives doesn’t require a belief that we can do it; it just requires that we take action, one single step. From there, we can take another and then another, and before you know it, you’ve gotten somewhere.

Wherever you are right now is just fine because it’s only from there that can get anywhere else.