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Why is Change so Hard? Reasons and How to Make Change Easier and Less Painful

Why is Change so Hard? 10 Reasons and Ways to Make Changes in Your Life Easier

Why is change so difficult - and how can we allow it and accept it more easily? If you're looking for answers to these questions, you've come to the right place!

We've all wanted to change something in our lives at some point. Be it spending more time in nature, the Quit smokingchange jobs, drop 10 kilos, produce less plastic waste or get out of an unsatisfactory relationship.

However, ultimately accepting and successfully implementing change involves numerous obstacles and overcoming obstacles. But why is change often so difficult to cope with? Why does change require overcoming? Why do we often relapse into old habits? And how can I learn to accept change or master it in a focused way?

In this article, I would like to provide clarity! I'll introduce you to factors that make change difficult from a psychological perspective - and then give you practical tips on how to counteract them. Let's go!

4 factors: Why is it so difficult to change habits?

Allow and accept change

We are often driven either by Deep inner desire (intrinsic motivation) or also the Great fear of somethingthat could await us in the future to initiate changes in our lives. With such strong motives, personal change may naturally happen a little faster for many of us - and we are also aware that a process of change usually requires willpower, patience and courage.

But even then, there are still mental hurdles that can slow down and even stop progress. That is why, as promised, we are starting directly with the things that often make change in life so incredibly difficult. The following psychological reasons are decisive in most cases.

1. change means destabilization

In order to understand change, we must first internalize what the opposite of change is: habit. Circumstances or behaviors to which we are accustomed give us a feeling of security and stability. We interpret every change as destabilization and therefore as negative, even if the habit is to our own disadvantage.

You've probably already experienced it yourself: just thinking about the change or at the beginning of the change process, you can think of all sorts of rational reasonswhy the change is not a good idea after all. You may even feel this physically and feel stressed or insecure.

However, the reasons you tell yourself are usually not real, they are simply natural reactions of your bodytrying to maintain a stable system.

Tip: You sometimes hear people say that too: "I alone can't change anything" - In the linked article you can find out why this assumption is not true!

2. fear of the unknown and the new

Fear of the unknown or the new is particularly common when you are still at the beginning of the change process and have not yet dealt with the topic at all or only superficially. The so-called Neophobia can ensure that you don't even start the change or rule it out straight away, even if you know it would be good for you.

This can be a fear of a new phase of life or also Fear of new tasks act.

3. your social environment

Whether we like it or not, we humans are influenced to a large extent by our environment. Particularly close relationships with other people, such as your Family, your friends and your partner have an influence on your change process. In practice, this point is often difficult to manage.

It can therefore be very difficult, for example, to To renounce meat. If you are in an environment where meat in the form of sausages and steaks is part of everyday eating, by giving up meat you are putting yourself in a Situation of exclusionwhich your body interprets as an evolutionary danger.

In addition, people could start, stop you from changingbecause it doesn't match their own beliefs. For example, they will argue that it is healthier to eat meat or they will make fun of you so that you are constantly tempted to eat meat after all.

Be aware that people are not trying to stop you from changing out of malice. For them, your ambition to change simply means changing their stable system as wellwhich they instinctively try to avoid.

Frequently is also the fear of looking worse offfor example, if you decide to exercise outdoors every day, but your environment is made up of convinced couch potatoes.

Tip: Take a look at the article about vegan prejudicesto find out more about the example of giving up meat.

4. the lack of foresight

You may have an inkling that certain things are "not good" for you or the environment - the However, you are not even aware of the exact consequences in the long term. Many older people who have not done any sport all their lives feel this painfully when their bodies deteriorate all the more quickly in old age and the decades of lack of exercise make themselves felt.

The lack of images and emotions with regard to the consequences ensure a Only low motivation, so that the change often does not even begin. And so a lack of foresight can also contribute to the fact that we find change so difficult.

Excursus on the psychology of change (sustainability)

Processes of change in society as a whole can also be linked to the Principle of lack of foresight explain, for example on the subject of sustainability.

The development of the The term "sustainability". This comes from from forestry and was built in the early 18th century against the backdrop of an increasing national timber shortage (see also Deforestation of the forests) is defined.

Most trees take a very long time to reach maturity, i.e. until they are fully grown and can be processed into timber. A spruce, for example, has to grow for 80-120 years before it is ready. Foresters who plant a spruce themselves will therefore generally not be able to use it during their lifetime. And Many people find it difficult to think beyond the span of their own lives.

This is also the reason why limited resources so wastefully in many places and the transformation of society as a whole towards more sustainable action difficult and surrounded by conflicting opinions.

6 tips: How can you better allow and accept change in your life?

Leaves as a symbol of change

We now know why we find change so difficult. But what can we do to make them easier for us in the future? Of course, I have also put together a few tips to help you strengthen your subconscious and mindset and allow and accept change.

1. have a target image in your head

You should first get a clear picture of this, what you want to achieve with the change. What will change positively? And how will you feel then? If you know where you want to go, you can take a much more focused approach to getting there.

You also stay highly motivated and focused even in difficult phases. Therefore, remind yourself regularly of your target image and why it is worth achieving it.

Book Tip: As good support I can warmly recommend the book "The 1 percent method" by James Clear! It gives you exactly the knowledge you need to get rid of old habits and embrace new ones. If you like, get it here*.

2. take smaller intermediate steps

The fear of the unknown is often huge. As a result, the change is almost unattainable, so you don't even start or keep putting it off. For example, you decide, spend more time in nature. But now you might think that you'd have to block out several hours a week, move other people and completely bend over backwards to make it happen.

However, the most important thing is the very first, smallest step! In this case, it would be a good idea, for example, to go for ten minutes after work. go for a walk. So you really only go out into nature for ten minutes and then drive home again. This first step should be really extremely light so that you can perform it without any problems.

Once you have taken the first step, think about the next tiny stepfor example, to stay outside for 12 minutes this time. With this method, you take away your fear of the unknown and develop a new habit step by step. These are subgoals, so to speakthat confirm your progress, give you additional motivation and bring you closer to your big picture.

3. find a mentor and make a social commitment

There may well be something take time for new habits to become established. One of the most effective ways to speed up the process is to find a mentor, learning from this person and thereby also making a social commitment.

This role can be taken on by someone close to you or an external person. Ideally, it should be a human being, who has already successfully made the change that you also wish for.

The learning effect happens much faster than if you try to master everything yourself. After all, you have a direct role model who supports you mentally and motivates you. At the same time, you are also "committed" and your Goal clearly expressed to another person your motivation to change will increase immeasurably.

4. recognize the right moment

In order to successfully make a change in life, it is important to ideal time by actually changing your behavior. You have probably already resolutions But then you broke it and reflected on your actions afterwards, this time with the intention of doing it differently next time.

However, change does not happen while you are making resolutions or reflecting on your actions. The moment of change can only occur during the action.

In practice, there is always a certain moment when you are struggling to do or not to do the thing. This is the moment when you can change your behavior. Be aware of this psychological functioning and use it to make it easier for you to change.

5. provide the right environment

The right environment can Security, support and also the decisive motivation to go through with the change and reach your goal.

But it is also possible that your immediate surroundings, on the other hand is that you are changing. If these are particularly close friends, your partner, your parents or other people close to you, it can be very difficult for you to make the change.

The decision has to be made here: How important is change to you? How much are you influenced by your environment? Will you be able to get people to support you or is the only way you can change your environment?

Making profound changes in your environment is never easy. As a rule, people are more likely to accept the change if you are already on your way. Therefore, do not ask for permission and do not make any announcementsInstead, start with your new behavior and observe how those around you react to it.

6. use the power of painful images

It can be a very effective method for changing your trade, realize the painful consequences that would occur if the change in your life did not happen.

Only through emotional stimulationfor example, by seeing images on television of children swimming in a river full of plastic waste or of Chicks that are shreddedan emotional reaction is triggered in us that can prompt us to act.

This is also the reason, for example, why the EU decided to print disgusting and shocking images of smokers' legs, lung tubes and the like on cigarette packets. The images create a Shock emotion Since then, the number of smokers in Germany has fallen steadily.1

So if you want to change your behavior, consciously introduce yourself to the painful consequences of the lack of change before our eyes. You can, for example vegan documentaries view, in which the consequences of the Factory farming be described with vivid images. You can engage with people who have been at the same point as you but have not made the change.

Perhaps you still have the impulse to suppress the process of change. By taking this step, the Dealing with the negative image of the future "ideally" so much pain that it gives you a boost to complete the change process.

Tip: The Dominion film is very effective, for example, when it comes to eating less meat or no meat at all in future. The scenes from factory farming and slaughterhouses were so effective that I decided to follow them, to become vegan.

Allow and accept changes in life - now!

Why is change so hard? Accept them

Change is often difficult, that's true! Real change usually takes time and requires discipline and self-reflection. But there are definitely no reason to be afraid of new things. On the contrary! It's usually worth it in the end, as a new quality of life awaits you.

Ideally, you already have some ideas on how you can implement your desired change. You are aware of the pitfalls, such as the emergence of false, rational objections or the role of your environment, and can bring about the change despite this.

"The purest form of insanity is to leave everything as it is and hope that something will change."

Albert Einstein (more under Change Quotes)

The psychology of change can be quite complex. But one desired change always has its good reasons!

After reading this article, you will hopefully be able to better explain why change in life is often so difficult. Do you have any questions, suggestions or tips from your own experience that we can all use to make life change easier? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay optimistic, motivated and open to new things,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: I have also sent you a List of quotes about positive change put together for you. It's sure to give you an extra boost of motivation.

  1. Statista GmbH: Number of smokers in Germany in the years 2000 to 2025, available at [24.01.2024]. ↩︎
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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

1 thought on “Warum sind Veränderungen im Leben so schwer? 10 Gründe und Tipps, um sie zu meistern”

  1. Dear Simon,
    I agree with you in all written points! Only if we change ourselves, we can still protect the environment and prevent e.g. climate change.
    I go into the woods every week and clean up other people's trash so Mother Nature can find her way back.
    In my opinion, everyone can make a contribution to the environment.
    Keep up the good work, love reading your posts!

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