Something I've encountered again and again both from others (and myself) is the unwillingness or difficulty people have with taking the first step to changing some aspect of themselves.

As Lao Tzu said "The longest journey begins with a single step", yet that first step seems so hard to take sometimes.

There seems to be a mental phase people go through where they will do almost anything to cling onto existing behavior patterns even if they are proving harmful.

What do you think causes this tendency to self-destructiveness, and what can you do to counter it?

asked 15 Oct '09, 14:19

Stingray's gravatar image


edited 02 Sep '12, 18:36

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

There was some old saying my Grandmother had, "The Devil you know is better that the Devil you don't"...something like that. Anything we are already familiar with and accustomed to us more comfortable and effortless to us that something new and that will take work. Even when the "old us" is full of flaws and suffering, we still resist change and effort many times because of the work involved and the fear of the unknown. Also there is fear of losing some part of ourselves, even if it's a bad part. And we can also fear losing friends or family through changing ourselves. The remedy is to continue telling oneself that change has to occur because of -----(whatever the reason)------ and that even though it will mean a reordering, that life will be much better. Persistence has helped many to make lasting changes.


answered 15 Oct '09, 14:50

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1

Here are some of the reasons:

  1. There is some payoff or motivation for the old behavior
  2. It takes time before the new behavior becomes habit
  3. People around you sometimes resist the change
  4. You haven't given yourself a compelling reason to change
  5. It can be easy to forget, or get distracted

answered 15 Oct '09, 14:57

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 22 Jan '10, 02:51

Usually it is as simply as we don't know which way to go or what to do or what we do when we take those first few step we are at a lost. What do we do after we take that step. Confussion, self doubt, fustration, impeding thoughts of disaster, we are alone an know one to guide us step by step or at least those first steps, to put it simple or say it plainly there usually is no support group or team, or friends or family to cheer or help you along the way when you are weak, unsure or just simply afraid or scared.

You can even know what to do but are simply afraid to do. Fear is an factor that keep us from doing a lot of things that will help us succeed along the way of life. The lack of knowledge of how too, the postive thinking and the balls of steel to do, and maybe the lack of finances; but that fear factor is an wham thank you mama knock you out of many of life good experiences.


answered 15 Oct '09, 15:12

flowingwater's gravatar image


edited 15 Oct '09, 15:18

Complacency. Comfort. It takes enormous dedication and commitment to create the life you really want. Just like the people who choose to eat right and exercise and enjoy good health, they just do it. It's difficult and takes discipline.

Usually, people have to crash and burn before they change. That's what happened to me and why I finally threw my arms in the air and realized I had no idea what I was doing. Once I became completely open to my good, it appeared.

It is true that when your world is falling apart it is really coming together and what that means is that you are being forced to let go of the lesser in order to attract the greater. Tough while you're going through it, but it DOES get better so hang in there!


answered 18 Oct '09, 00:16

jane's gravatar image


Change is scary. Even when you say you want it!

It's not just the change itself but all the things that go with it. For instance I am in the middle of moving. While I wanted this change... in fact I created it I have to say there are days I wonder why the heck I did this to myself!

There are so many details, things and people to line up. There is a ton of chaos as stuff gets packed to go. And there are times I get scared that people won't show, things won't get moved and I won't get out in time and have to scramble at the last minute.

And this is just an event that will be over in a couple weeks. Imagine how scary changing something huge and "permanent" is!

Like if you want to lose 50 pounds. Yeah you really really want to have that great body but WOW! it's a lot of work. Will you ever be able to eat your favorite foods again? Will you gain back 10 pounds just looking at a piece of cheesecake? Will you ever be able to just relax and enjoy life again? Or is are you condemning yourself to a lifetime of deprivation and exercise you hate?

It's no wonder a lot of people talk about change but never quite do it.

Maria ~ Manifesting Muse


answered 15 Oct '09, 15:55

user-157%20%28yahoo%29's gravatar image

user-157 (yahoo)

don't do what you hate. do something you like it will be more easy. to achive you goal. you do not believe me people that do diet become twice as fat when they stop. do some excersice find a sport or activity you like. you will eat of what you like and eat alot. so eat that thing that will help you and that you like.

(26 Mar '12, 04:44) white tiger

Good question and lots of good answers here. I think there's a sort of inertia that sets in that makes us wait until we get enough motivation to actually change. some people never get that, some don't think they CAN change anything either themselves or their circumstances, believing that their problems are caused by external circumstances.

So the first step is understanding that they CAN change. The next step can be the other toughie - taking action. Comfort zones, fear of success or failure, apathy, not enough motivation, lack of support from others, (though I think it's best to keep these changes to oneself as other people can make it harder, whether they support the change or not!), insecure grounding in whatever method chosen to help that change come about, relapses into old thinking habits ... the list doesn't stop here!


answered 15 Oct '09, 18:35

Rebecca's gravatar image


Ignorance....most often people do not know when, where,and how to take that first step. Moral support and guidance from family, relatives or friends is important. Sometimes we need encouragement and a little push from the people around us to take that first step. It makes us feel good to know that we are on the right track knowing that someone or somebody cares.

Also, at times we get stuck in the 'denial stage'. We refuse to face reality and accept the situation.


answered 15 Oct '09, 22:30

Celine's gravatar image


edited 16 Oct '09, 12:51

For me I can only say that taking the first step was fairly easy but maintaining the practice was the hard part. I think we first have to make the decision to change and then be willing to persist in that way of thinking and doing no matter what. I know, easier said than done, but I guess persistence is the key.


answered 16 Nov '09, 00:32

Michaela's gravatar image


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