The First And Most Important Question To Changing Anything!
Let’s face it, changing can be a real hassle. As many wise people say: Change is the only constant in life.
Anyone who has tried to eat better, lose some weight, or change any other personal trait can probably relate to this.
Why is it so hard to change though?
You are probably expecting me to talk about how to form habits now but actually I’d like to take a different approach in this article.
You see, to me habits are actually part of an even bigger cycle and I want to focus on the very first step in change.
Curious? Well, let’s dive in right away!
Have you skipped the first step of change?
To me, anything we try to change in any way or form, starts within. You see, forming a habit is already the application of change. What if you missed something before that though?
Like, why do you want that change in the first place? What do you picture that change to look like?
I believe that looking more closely into what we would like to change can give us some great underlying answers on why it is so hard to change.
The truth is, that we all are totally able to change. Sometimes even with a lot of ease, within seconds. We make a decision to stop something and that decision is so powerful, that we actually change right there and then.
So why is it sometimes hard and sometimes not?
If you have an inner resistance towards something you try to change, it is going to take tons of willpower to achieve that. On the other hand, if you are convinced that you want to change that same thing, you just change.
There are people who quit smoking within split seconds. Others try and try and try and just don’t succeed.
So, I believe that if you do not genuinely want to change something, it is nearly impossible to do just that.
This is another way of saying the same as above: If you are in resistance to the very change, it is going to be a bumpy road.
This is what’s leading me to the first step in changing anything: Ourselves.
Sorry for calling us out like that but what I am really trying to say is, that we need to understand and know ourselves better.
We want to know the why’s before the how’s.
The shear fact that you are in resistance means that you don’t really understand why you “should” change in the first place. Maybe another thing it says is that you are not changing for yourself?
Ever tried to be someone you are not? Exhausting, isn’t it? Also, you can’t uphold it forever. At some point, your “false” identity will crumble down. Even towards yourself!
Be that curious 4 year old kid
So, finding the why is crucial. And in this case, you can’t ask it enough.
Be like your 4-year-old self that never stops asking why!
A: Why do you want to lose weight?
B: I don’t know, I guess I would feel better
A: But why do you want to feel better?
B: Mhh, so I have more energies
A: Why do you need more energies?
B: Well I’d like to be able to play with my kids
A: And why would you like to be able to play with your kids?
B: I enjoy being with them and I’d like to have a stronger bond with them
You get the drill. “Feeling better” might not be strong enough to change. Seeing that you want to be able to play longer with your kids might be.
What I am saying is the following: You need to find your own, strongest reason why you want to bring about that change in your life. Because sometimes you will find that you are trying to change for someone else or because of expectations others might have.
That is a noble intention but if it is not sincere you are going to fail sooner or later.
The clarity you can gain with the right question is incredible. Suddenly you have a different force behind what you would like to change. You pair it with a more powerful emotion than just “feeling good” and that totally helps your subconscious mind to understand better what you are trying to achieve.
Again: Clear Statements don’t just help you but also your subconscious!
So why is “why” (see what I did there?) so important and powerful?
Well, "Why" is the question that really exposes purpose (the reason why something exists or is done). How many times do you set off to do something, and if you aren't stopped and asked, "Why are you doing this?" you don't really know the answer. We are reactive by nature and often don’t consider the question of "why" before taking an action.
The moment you start asking why again, is the moment you find more purpose in what you do again.
So, awareness is the first step to change. Awareness is another word for understanding and it also means consciousness.
Do you see what we did there before with the questions? We brought something into our awareness, that we were unconscious to before.
Now that it is “visible” to us, we can actually change it. We have gained powerful insight we can use to optimize our lives. It might tell us more about what we really would like to change. It might show us a different way we could change or that there is in fact multiple ways to get to our desired result.
Trust me, being curious like a kid, can do a lot in your life. Try it!
We want to know the why’s before the how’s...
I hope you found this “different” approach to change useful and interesting.
What I love about this is, that we learn something more about us in the process.
That to me is personal growth right there.
This idea of asking good questions and going deeper applies to any area of our lives. The better we understand ourselves, the more awareness we have for what is working and what is not. It tells us how and who we are being. What is important to us and what is not.
Look at it this way: Every question represents a layer of your consciousness. The better the question the deeper you can go. Mostly, as I found, one question leads to another one, which really means you start looking beyond that first layer.
It is my biggest desire to help people to ask better questions in their lives. The empowerment that comes from that can truly have life changing impacts.
That is why I have created Souletters, where you receive a Question from within every day. The Messages will make you think, reflect, personally grow and therefore create a life-changing habit of knowing yourself better.