The Five Stages to Changing One’s Behavior

Two articles to help you make positive change in your life.

Coastpath south of Treyarnon (4) - geograph.org.uk - 1473712 How often have you watched someone struggling with a problem that would be easily resolved if only they did things differently? Probably lots of times.

Why don’t they see what needs to be done? Why don’t they enter therapy or in some other way actively work to resolve their problems, reduce their symptoms and retool their lives?

Well, it seems that everyone needs to go through five stages before they are able to actually change their behavior, and to maintain those changes by having insight into how their behavior affects their work and relationships.

Read more about these stages in Transformation Now (or maybe later).

Knowing this is a common process for all of us may make you more tolerant of a spouse, child, friend, etc. who seems stuck in behavior that is getting him nowhere.

Does Your Nose Fit Your Face?

January 10, 2013
To what extent are we defined by our physical selves?

Red roseTo write posts that I can schedule for when while I’m writing the second edition of Letting Go of Our Adult Children, I’ve been doing a little research on the Internet for various topics. And I have made a very interesting discovery.

On a wide variety of websites I have come across an inordinate number of ads for a Dr. John Hilinski, Facial Plastic Surgery. A banner with lovely blue background and the side view of a woman’s face carries this statement: “The Nose Defines Our Face. The Proper Approach Creates Facial Harmony.”

Then I went to his website, where I found pictures of extraordinarily beautiful women with “perfect” noses, unblemished skin and white teeth. The pictures of women who had had procedures done looked to me like perfectly fine “ordinary” people in both before and after shots. Not an “ugly” one among them. I would even consider some of them beautiful before the operation.

As I went through the site, I wondered three things.

Is he doing a special ad campaign on lots of websites for his services? Or did I just happen to stumble across his ads on the particular sites I saw today?

Here are at least three I remember: Barnes and Noble, World of Christmas, and Freelang. Actually, there were more, but at first I didn’t think to keep track. And when I returned I noticed the ad was switched on some of them, which is something I do with banners on my own site. So if you want to check the ads they may not be there.

Since Dr. Hilinski practices in San Diego and I am in Los Angeles county, do the websites know that?

Do you agree that our noses define our faces? What about our eyes, mouths, cheekbones, necks, ears, or the combination of all of them?

I have often heard it said that the individual features of Sophia Loren’s face were not classical, but put together the way they were, the result was stunning.

Okay, the truth is that I don’t like my nose, but I am not about to change it for the sake of “facial harmony.” It’s too bad we are told that we aren’t okay if we don’t have the perfect nose, mouth, etc.

 Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

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Are You a Thermometer or a Thermostat?

January 3, 2013
How do you respond to events around you?

Do you know the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat? A thermometer simply measures the temperature. It doesn’t do anything about it.

A thermostat measures the temperature and then responds. If the temperature is too high, a thermostat may shut off the heat. If the temperature is too low, a thermostat may trigger heat to turn on. It measures temperature and it does something about it.

While a thermometer is a passive tool, a thermostat is an active tool.

They both experience the temperature, but a thermostat responds.

Some people are like thermometers – they passively allow what may harm them to just happen. They have problems and difficulties and they believe there isn’t anything that can be done about it. They feel helpless as they watch life happen. They feel as if they have no power.

Others are more like thermostats. When they are faced with difficulty, they kick into action. They believe that something can be done; a solution can be found; a hurt can be healed. They respond; they make decisions; they go into motion.

Advice columnist Ann Landers said, “If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: expect trouble as an inevitable part of life. When it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye, and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.’ ” In other words, respond courageously and creatively.

Do you know that you can be bigger than any trouble that comes your way? If you have become stuck because you feel frightened or helpless, it is time to respond. It is time to go into motion. It is time to activate your faith. When you become bigger than your problem, it cannot defeat you.

Today — will you be a thermometer or a thermostat?

— Anonymous

 Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

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How Does Your Philosophy of Life Affect Your Relationships?

April 15, 2010
Discover how your philosophy of life has an impact on your relationships.

The Thinker StatueThe focus of much that I write can be summed up in the following, “to change your relationships, you do well to understand yourself and see what you need to change before you turn to the task of changing someone else.”

Fortunately, asking yourself questions is a very good way to better understand yourself and periodically I have offered questions on a wide variety of topics.

The one today is simple, but nuanced, and can be filed under the subcategory of “exploring your philosophy of life.” Actually, it is the last of a series on understanding how your personality affects your relationships, especially those that are strained or broken.

Ordinarily I’ve used a picture of the run rising over the mountains as  logo of sorts for the series, but I couldn’t resist this photo from Wikimedia.

Exploring Your Personality #18: Philosophy of Life

ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION

  • How would I state my philosophy of life?

If you are like me, you are probably too busy to sit down with paper and pencil, or to open a Word document, and start writing. But if you are seriously interested in healing a friendship, in having a satisfactory relationship with others at work, or in finding greater peace of mind around other people who often annoy you, I suggest you begin by simply thinking about your philosophy of life.

Tomorrow I’ll remind you again of the question. So notice what progress you can make in thinking this through before you read the blog again. You may not want to be as serious as Rodin’s Thinker appears to be, but give it a try.

To explore other questions and related material see Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life and Healing Relationships is an Inside Job.

How Does Humility Affect Your Relationships?

March 29, 2010
Ask yourself questions about humility to help you better understand why a relationship between you and another person may be strained or broken.

sun with question markThese questions are part of a series on understanding how your personality affects your relationships, especially those that are strained or broken. Since humility is tied in to many other personality traits, it deserves its own category of questions.

Exploring Your Personality #17: Humility

ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS

  • In the old Aramaic language, I have been told, humility is “the willingness to see the needs of others and to meet those needs if possible.” Using that definition, would I consider myself humble? Is so, why? If not, why not?
  • Do some people consider me too humble, always deferring to others and even allowing people to walk on me?
  • Do people claim I have a superior attitude and always seem to look down on others? If I reject this description of me, what is it that people see in me that may cause them to feel that way?
  • What do the answers to these questions say about my relationship with others?

To explore other questions and related material see Ask Yourself Questions and Change Your Life and Healing Relationships is an Inside Job.