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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jill King

Why is Change so Hard?

It could be another attempt at weight loss, a new relationship, or getting the job you really want. All of it is creating a change of the current version of yourself. Change means that it is different from what we have right now. Change is hard on purpose. It is where we meet resistance and have to push through. If you want your body to physically change you have to increase your muscle and decrease fat. The best way to do that is to do some sort of resistance training.

Sometimes we go to the gym, lift the weights, and look in the mirror before we leave and see no change. It takes about 6 weeks for the average person to have some sort of physical transformation. Most of us won't wait that long. You're like, what is the point of doing this heavy thing that makes me uncomfortable, doesn't make me look any better, and now I wonder how long I can hold my pee because bending to sit on the toilet is not fun for the next three days? That doesn't make any sense. We don't want to be uncomfortable long enough to see the change so we go back to what feels natural to us, even if we hate it.

But the more you embrace the discomfort of it, the more you know that it's part of the deal, then it's almost like you start looking forward to that hard workout that's going to hurt oh so good. Once you get into shape, you're like, "I'm going to go lift heavy today. I'm going to be sore tomorrow." And there's a bit of pleasure in it, even though it's hard. And that's what life is like when you start focusing the value of your life on becoming the next version of yourself, on becoming someone who grows and takes your potential to where it can go.

Showing yourself what you're capable of is the biggest thrill in the world. But there's a price to pay, of course. You have to pay the price of discomfort. So it's just like the workout. You know that run's going to be hard, you know it's going to be hard to pay attention to what you eat, you know it's going to be hard to lift those weights, but you look forward to the discomfort because you love what's on the other side of that, and that becomes your new thrill in life.

Our brain loves what's familiar because what is familiar is safe. We like to rinse and repeat the things that work are safe. That's when we feel comfortable. Familiarity feels comfortable to us. We love the instant gratification. Our brain is wired for a reward. It's wired to avoid pain. So we have all these pleasures, all these rewards around us all the time. Of course, we want them, that's what we're wired for. That's so much more compelling in the moment than the long-term goal. It's so much more compelling to lay on the couch right now than it is to lift a weight because lifting that weight's not going to give us anything good until about six weeks from now.

And if you're willing to go through the process of change, which is very difficult, you can proceed with your life from your future possibility, and that's what will blow your own mind.

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