Small changes always win the day - and add up to something much larger
Posted on 3rd November 2021 at 07:32
It’s so easy to dismiss the power of making small changes, with many people preferring to focus on the big – potentially transformative – changes in their lives. The really BIG things. THE BIGGER THE BETTER!
However, this overlooks the simple fact that every BIG thing is made up of lots of small things. All the tiny steps along the way which come together to magically produce the BIG end result.
This is the reason why we always emphasise the importance of taking small steps as well as being 100% clear on the end result you desire. After all, how can you expect to achieve anything if you don’t know where you’re going?
Not only does this approach make the whole process much more manageable – and so a lot less scary – but also helps build up momentum much more easily and quickly. However, there’s another very good reason for this approach. It stops the Little Monster in our heads from taking charge and sabotaging our best efforts, usually before we’ve hardly started. And we’ve all experienced this. Sadly, on many different occasions…
Why is this?
For the simple reason that the Little Monster in our heads only has past experience to call upon. Added to this, he much prefers things to remain as they are, for the simple reason that they’re predictable. Even if they’re not remotely what we desire.
Which means he’s no help at all when we want to do something new – or differently. Instead, all he can do is recycle our past experiences. Perhaps reminding us of all the times we tried something similar in the past and weren’t successful. Then using them to come up with all sorts of reasons why the same will happen this time. And, from there, it’s only a short step to the inevitable “Why even bother” or “I knew that wouldn’t work” conclusions and failure before we’ve hardly started.
But this isn’t the only trick he has up his sleeve to sabotage our best efforts. Here are some more that can just as easily stop us in our tracks.
The first is one that’s all too easy to fall for. That tomorrow – or some unspecified date in the future – will be a much better time to make the change. And we’ve all fallen for this one many times, with weight loss diets being a classic example of this.
Well, for some reason, the Little Monster in our heads convinces us that it’ll be much easier to make the change we desire at another time. However it ignores the simple fact that, regardless of when we make the change it will be NOW, so why not just get on with it in this NOW? Despite this simple truth, the usual end result is that nothing happens and we remain stuck where we are.
The next one is equally illogical and, yet, so easy to fall for. That we should be able to do whatever it is perfectly first time. Now, if you stop and think about it for a moment, this is completely unrealistic. How can a complete beginner be as skilled as someone who has done whatever it is for years?
Perhaps, if it’s similar to something we’ve done before, then we may find it easier than a complete beginner. However, this isn’t automatically the case. Or, maybe we’re fortunate and helped along by a dose of beginner’s luck (!).
However, for most people, it’s going to be a case of trial and error. Practising until we can do it easily without requiring any conscious thought.
For the simple reason there are many different ways to do the same thing, even a very small or simple thing. So, it’s always a case of experimenting with different approaches to see which one suits us best. Or, perhaps, inventing one of our own. Practice till it doesn’t feel like practice. And this can take a little while…
Which leads us neatly on to another favourite tactic. Telling us that it’s going to be hard, really HARD. That doing anything new is inherently difficult. Requires much more thought and effort. However, once again, this doesn’t stand up to closer scrutiny. It’s just that doing anything new means we have to consciously think about what we’re doing, rather than it happening unconsciously on autopilot. And it’s this switch from unconscious autopilot to conscious manual which can make it feel like hard work.
The simple truth is that it’s not more work. We’re just having to concentrate on what we’re doing which, in turn, makes it feel as though more effort is required. The good news is that each time we do it, it feels more familiar and less like hard work until, like magic, it becomes easy to do and autopilot kicks in. A small change has been cemented in place, just waiting for the next one and the next one.
Oh, and before we close for today here’s one little tip to help speed things along. Don’t forget to stop from time to time and see just how far you’ve come. Notice how quickly small changes build up into something much larger. Give yourself a pat on the back. Dance a happy dance. For some reason, we find it easy to do it for other people, but never think about doing the same for ourselves…
Life really isn’t complicated, we just make it so, aided in no small part by the Little Monster in our heads.
As always, the choice is yours.
Picture by unknown author
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