Making Changes in Small Psychological Steps
Many of us can read forever about the many ways we should make
changes, but they are often particularly difficult to enact. How
much easier it is to be a couch potato wolfing down unhealthy
foods and beverages than to find the discipline to make some
changes for our bodies' sake! More often than not, we are prone
to make a grand gesture of change such as: "tomorrow I'll give
up all alcohol forever and exercise for 90 minutes every day"
without the awareness that those two major changes would take
many months or years for even a highly disciplined person to
accomplish. A few hours after we enact such an impossible
program, we discard it like last New Year's resolutions. We can
then blame (Stage II) our failure on advertising, agribusiness,
the white male patriarchy, a hated political party, our abusive
parents, etc. Or we can reinforce our own lack of self-esteem by
considering ourselves a failure. Instead of blaming ourselves or
others, it would be far healthier and more effective to
self-talk along the lines of "I tried that and it didn't work -
now I'll try something different" (Stage IV).
|The average two-year-old is a great beacon for emotional health, displaying a full range of emotions and moving beyond them once they are expressed.|
What works best in effecting personal changes is most often a
series of small steps instead of a grand gesture attempting
major sudden transformation. Remember how a baby starts to walk?
A baby takes one very shaky step at a time accompanied by a big
wide grin. One reason for the success of 12-Step programs like
AA, Al-Anon and Overeater's Anonymous is that they emphasize
one-day-at-a-time rather than a goal of "sobriety forever."
Therefore, when you use this book, I suggest small steps, also
the necessity for patience, self-compassion and small amounts of
|Assertiveness not aggressiveness is the way to change others. Do you know the difference?
More Excerpts This Chapter
STAGES OF HEALING
MAKING CHANGES IN SMALL STEPS (Stage IVa above)
A PERSONAL EXAMPLE
CHANGING OTHERS EFFECTIVELY
A LOUSY WAY OF MAKING CHANGES = SELF CRITICISM
This Chapter's Quiz
Book Table of Contents
Sexual Education Psychology
MAKING CHANGES IN SMALL STEPS © 1995-2004