Managing personal change is inherently tricky.
We usually make the flawed assumption that it is skills based, in other words that we can read about it, go to seminars, watch videos and be taught to change.
Whilst it is true that we can be taught, generally we won't change.
For background reading [free download]: "Managing Personal Change"
 Immunity to change
We can't change because of what Professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey have referred to as: "Immunity to Change" or inner resistance.
So what is the source of our inner personal resistance that lies beneath and sabotages our best attempts at managing personal change?
Research undertaken by Kegan and Lahey has led them to define inner personal resistance to change as a "hidden commitment", with a hidden underlying root cause, and this "hidden (or unconscious) commitment" is in direct opposition and conflict with our stated commitment to change.
So what this means in practise is that our best intentions, for example a New Year resolution, to lose weight or stop smoking is sabotaged from the outset by another unconscious part of us that actually likes and wants to smoke and over eat.
Your failure to achieve a personal change goal isn’t the result of a lack of will-power, it’s your "emotional immune system" trying to protect you.
Here's how to deal with it:
 The knowing doing gap
So quite clearly, any attempt at managing personal change starts with a clear understanding of what our unconscious or hidden commitments really are.
This is often referred to as the "knowing doing gap", or as Kegan puts it:
"... how to close the gap between our intentions, things we actually want to carry out, and what we are actually able to do".
 Your inner map of reality
As we are all the product of our own ethnic, national, social and religious backgrounds we quite naturally have an inbuilt inner map that see life from the perspective of that background and that has a tremendous effect on our attempts at managing personal change.
This inner map applies a whole range of filters related to the profile and characteristics of our environmental background. We develop our own personal beliefs that are based on this inner map of reality, to navigate us through life and primarily to keep us safe. For most of us, most of the time, this is largely an unconscious process.
These inner beliefs are very strong and have a very strong emotional (or energy) element and it is this unconscious feeling, based on an inner belief, that is the root cause of our resistance to our best attempts at managing personal change. The inevitable outcome is that it is this unconscious belief and associated powerful feeling that causes us to not do things we commit to doing.
These inner beliefs also act as very strong filters and stop us seeing or hearing anything that conflicts with those beliefs.
 How you build your own personal (and unconscious) inner map of reality
Here’s the big picture of how your internal map of reality operates to generate your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours:
It is these sequences of internal representations and associations all strung together that create your experience of life, internally in terms of how you interpret it and how you feel about it, and externally in terms of how you experience it.
The problem is that this internal representation that you have created, and that shapes your thoughts feelings and behaviours and all of your attempts at managing personal change is a very poor copy of reality, and it interferes with your all of your attempts at managing personal change.
This is because so much of what came in through your senses has been deleted, distorted and generalized in a number of ways.
You’ve made a map that represents your perception of reality, but that perception isn’t reality, and it isn’t really very accurate.
If you change the internal representations and associations that you make, if you change the meaning that you attribute to them, and if you change how you string them together you get a different outcome – i.e. you feel differently and behave differently.
Also, this works on reverse, if you change your behaviour you change how you think and feel, so:
 A summary of how inner your inner resistance to change occurs
Based on the descriptions we have just examined, here is a summary of how inner resistance to managing personal change develops and why, and how it manifests:
 And here's how we all get stuck in the mud with all this
Part of the way our minds work is that:
This is the tragedy of the "natural" human condition and why we fail at managing personal change.
If you can take charge of these things, you CAN succeed at managing personal change as you choose how you do them instead of having them just run on automatic pilot.
By taking charge, you can make huge changes in how you experience life and the kind of outcomes you get.
You can waste years of your life (as I have done) and spend a fortune in various forms of introspection, analysis and therapy digging and delving into how and why you think and feel as you do - and becoming very well informed.
Please don’t get me wrong, there can be value in doing this – for a while. But ultimately there comes a point when we want to move beyond all the information about why we think and feel as we do and we just want a practical solution - we want to change.
Practical solutions to change the way you think
Some of these solutions are free of charge and some are paid for.
I have no commercial relationship with any vendor and I do not receive any commission or financial payment if you purchase any of their services.
I recommend them because I believe them to be of benefit and value.
Each of the links below will take you to another page on this site that provides a full context and review of the solution offered.
In most cases I have also provided you with a write up of my own experiences with the solution.
Then, and only then, if you wish to take it any further you can either download the free material that I have provided, or connect with the third party solution provider via the links shown on that page.
Personal Development Tools
Meditation Programme + Relaxation Music
Personal Development + Spiritual Growth Programmes
Understanding your personality type and thinking style is important.
I have wasted an awful lot of time both in business and in my personal life by not understanding this, and by wrongly assuming that we all think in fundamentally thinking in the same way.
It is true that as human beings, and regardless of ethnicity, culture and demographics, we have so much in common, and our basic values, needs and aspirations are very similar. But, and this is a very big but:
The way we receive and process experiences and information is very different.
This is partly to do with the "hardware" of our brains - the physiological structure of our brains - and partly to do with the "software" of our brains - the conditioning our brains have been exposed to by our primary care-givers and ethnic, cultural and societal influences.
The articles below will provide you with the basis of helping you form your own mental model for:
It is also helpful to understand models of change for providing a proven route map through the stages of change and learning.
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