When the time comes in our life when a change must made, the first thing that must be done is to raise our standards. Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
Unless a fundamental change is made in our way of thinking, no lasting change is possible. To affect changes, first we must raise our standards. We must decide what will no longer be acceptable in our life. Fundamental beliefs must be changed. The way we perceive ourselves must be changed.
So long as a person sees himself as being powerless in front of a situation, that situation will persist. A timid person who sees himself as being timid will remain timid so as long as that belief is held. Same for overeating, smoking, alcohol or drug addiction etc…
In order to be able to change a belief, first we must understand what a belief is. A belief is noting but a notion supported by evidences. A timid person has had occurrences in his past where he acted and reacted in a timid way. Today, those occurrences serve as evidences that he is a timid person.
However, if that person puts his mind to it, he can find many instances when he reacted with exemplar self-assuredness. It could have been while playing sport, while he was angry or with friends. But in anyone’s life there were ample instances where timidity was out of the picture that a solid bank of references can be accumulated to create the belief that, indeed, that person is not fundamentally timid but only reacted this way in certain occasions.
With some modest efforts, new beliefs can be created to replace old and disempowering ones. That is what raising personal standards is all about. It’s changing the way that a person sees himself.
We always react as we perceive ourselves to be. There is no more powerful mechanism to control the behavior than identity. Acting contrary to what we perceive ourselves to be is extremely difficult and painful. We always seek to maintain our identity at all cost.
So, to affect a lasting change, we must change our identity or how we perceive ourselves to be. At first it could be seen as an impossible task but if we look around us we see evidences that it is being done all the time.
It usually happens when someone has had enough and really decides to change. We see it when someone decides to end a bad relationship. At one point that person decided he or she was no longer the type of person who would stand the abuses. That person raised its standard, changed beliefs and identity and finally left.
Same process with the person who quit a dead end job, goes back to school and gets a new beginning or the person who decided that he would no longer be bullied, starts to assert himself and wins the respect of others.
It is very possible to affect major changes in our life is we are ready to raise our standards, change our beliefs and adopt a new self-image.
Is it easy? It is as hard or as easy as we want to make it out to be. It depends on our level of determination. If change is something that we “should” do, chances are that it will not happen. But, if it’s something that we “must” do, change is inevitable and best of all, it will be easier than we ever thought possible.