Friday, May 25, 2012

Motivation to make positive changes

         What does it take for a person to decide to make a change? People are naturally resistant to change, even those we want in our life. Why is it so hard for us to embrace something that could positively affect us? Is it simply a matter of motivation?  
          Making changes comes with a whole assortment of emotional issues that most of us would rather not deal with. It means that we would have to disrupt our routine. It also means that we must exert some sort of effort. If we already have too much to do, and more than enough to think about, the last thing we want is to have one more demand put on us.
        I think we all know when change is due, but as people who want to be able to improve our lives by making changes in our behavior; we need to know how to change our behavior.  According to Dr. Bj Fogg (the founder of Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University and creator of FBM Behavior Model ) Three things must all be present at the same time in order for real change to take place: motivation, ability and a trigger. We understand what motivation is. It's our desire for a different, better result. Motivation is something that we need to renew regularly. Regular self reflection is a commonly suggested method to maintain motivation.
        A lot of us have had defining moments, moments where we have had enough. We have these moments, but we don’t have the ability in one way or the other to carry these changes out. The ability would be your support, the tools and the system- which can be the most vital part. The biggest thing that holds us back, is fear.  Fear destroys our ability, so we decline into our comfort zone, and long for change.
        I always fear the unknown. I have lived my life rather content; have lots of friends, a great family but I felt unfulfilled. After completing high school, I went on to cosmetology school and for many years I had a successful career as a stylist. But I stopped being challenged; I hit my ceiling in my career by the age of 25 and had always regretted not going to college. I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a teacher, but I was SO SCARED. I didn’t think I could do it, how could I start over now? I already had a successful career, what if I am not a success in school, or worse yet; what if I go to school and am unsuccessful in my chosen career? These thoughts plagued me for years until one day; I met someone who was a school teacher during the school year and a stylist in the summer in a beach community. BINGO! Found my trigger. That not only was my trigger, but it gave me comfort in knowing I could balance both careers and maintain what I have built -while satisfying personal growth. It was on this day that my trigger, motivation, and ability all took place at once. It has been a long road, but after 6.5 years of balancing, I will be graduating in December. The reward will far outweigh the challenge. Change is good.