Is it possible to change your behavior? Is it a matter of will power and discipline? Or is your personality set after a certain amount of time?
A study done by Nathan Hudson and R. Chris Fraley of the University of Illinois conducted a “personality study” on a group of participants over six weeks.
The exercises included techniques where participants envisioned the specific changes they wanted to make, brief writing tasks and adopting new daily behaviors.
The researchers found all participants made significant personality changes over the course of the six-week study.
This was not surprising to me. As a long time self-development student, change is a constant part of my life.
My Personal Story Of Change
In my early 20s I honestly I didn’t like myself. I saw myself a loser. I was failing at University. I was unemployed. Although my then boyfriend thought I was beautiful, I thought I was ugly and he probably just needed glasses. I had a string of negative adjectives for myself, among my favourite were stupid, boring and unworthy.
Fun times right? Needless to say I was miserable.
When my suffering became too great I decided to change. Not because it was the “right” thing to do but because I was out of options; either stay miserable for the rest of my life or change.
When your back is to the wall you do what you must.
So I did.
I decided I was tired of having social anxiety and no friends, so I bought an ebook on “how to make friends”. Read it from front to back, took action and in a month I had friends.
I decided I wanted to get fit and tone up. I had always been slim but with zero muscle mass, I looked like a fish flopping around. I started hitting the gym once a week and within a few months I became lean.
I decided I didn’t like my current relationship so I got out of it and into a new one.
I decided I was no longer going to be broke, so I hustled and landed a job. At one point I had three jobs before the end of my time at University.
I decided I was tired of getting barely passing grades at University so I studied my ass off and had the best grades I’d ever had at the school.
When people tell me they can’t change, I want to say, “Bullshit, it’s not that you can’t change, it’s you don’t WANT to change.” Or at least you don’t want it bad enough.
I was a complete loser. I thought for years I couldn’t change. But the pain of not changing became too much.
If you’re not making real, consistent and explosive changes in your life, it’s probably because you believe making changes is more painful than not doing anything.
To make big changes in your life requires a massive amount of effort. You can’t expect to go to the gym for a week and have results that will last for the rest of your life. You can’t study for a month, stop for another month and expect to get top marks forever. You can’t look for a job for a month and expect to land the job of your dreams.
I changed my life because I made a decision. That decision took all of about, oh I don’t know, five minutes? But it was years in the making – years of pain from not doing anything.
Why ‘Change’ Can Be The Best Thing For You
There are so many people unhappy in an area of their life. Women in particular are often so caught up in the “blame game”.
“All the good guys are taken.”
“All men care about is sex.”
“I’m a great person so why are guys not interested in more than sex?”
“I’m too smart and I must intimidate men.”
What these women are really saying is, “I don’t want to put in the effort to go out and make the first move.”
The ugly truth is most decent men who want a relationship will NOT approach a woman – especially if she’s good looking with a great personality. Not because they don’t want to but because they fear being rejected.
But you know the kind of man who will approach? Men who don’t care if they’re rejected because it’s about quantity over quality. The more women they approach, the higher their chance of getting laid.
You could simply sit passively on the side and complain about it. Like I did for so many years. Or you can do something about it.
A great guy will not just fall on your lap.
I had to “do the work” to find my guy. He didn’t fall on my lap. I didn’t and still don’t have a normal job. I was never going to meet him at work. I wasn’t going to meet him just walking down the street or grocery shopping either. How often does that really happen? (Check out top places to meet men where I talk about my experience of meeting men “outside the internet”.)
It wasn’t like I was a hermit. I went out nearly every week to events, social gatherings, outdoor activities, classes etc… talk about putting myself out there. I really “put myself out there”.
And you know what? It still took nearly three years of being single and putting myself out there to find him!
I could have shortened that time significantly if I knew then what I know now, but the point is, you must put in the effort if you want to reap the reward.
I wasn’t going to sit around hoping to be approached by the “right” guy. I know statistically out of every ten men who approach me, three might ask me on a proper date, two will flake on me, and only one I’ll actually go on a date with.
And yes, I AM picky (and I think you should be too regardless of your age, looks, whether you’re divorced with kids or without). I’ll talk about why in another article.
One out of ten is probably good odds for being a passive bystander. But if you only get approached once every two weeks, that’s one date every five months! If you factor in that it may take you ten to twenty dates to meet someone you want a relationship with, you could be dating for the next five to ten years!
If you’re less social you might only get approached once a month or once every three months. That means you could be waiting for up to thirty years or more!
But if you approach men you can dramatically increase your chances of a happier relationship. Studies have shown that women who approach men first are more likely to get into relationships and have more satisfying relationships overall.
This isn’t that surprising considering a woman will only approach a man she already know is “her type”. Women are also more intuitive and can read body language better than men can. The odds are if you like a guy, he isn’t only physically attractive to you; he also has the right personality for you too.
Why Your Previous Attempts May Have Failed
There are times when we make decisions to change an aspect of our life. But do these decisions really stick? How long do you try before you give up? How many yo-yo dieters diet for one week and put back the pounds the next? Too many I fathom.
What is the difference between a decision that sticks and one that doesn’t?
Tony Robbins talks about two controlling forces of our lives, Pain and Pleasure. When you take action, consciously or subconsciously, you believe taking action will give you pleasure and help you avoid pain.
Some women drink coffee each morning because they love the smell and taste of coffee (pleasure) and it gives them extra energy (pleasure). The consequence of not drinking the coffee is negative (pain) ie. cravings, irritability and inability to concentrate.
When you fail to take action (in other words procrastinate), you believe taking action will bring more pain than not taking action.
Some women would rather chill on the couch than go jogging. In their mind exercise is more painful. To take action would mean getting their exercise gear on, stepping out into the cold and feeling discomfort for thirty minutes. Even though these women would agree that exercising is more beneficial, nine times out of ten the couch will win out.
Your emotions will override logic every time. You can’t rationalize yourself into taking action. If you do, it’s often unsustainable and uninspiring.
But by associating more pleasure to doing the action and pain to not doing it, you can get surprisingly amazing results. For a lot of people, hitting rock bottom creates the perfect storm that propels lasting change.
The Secret To Designing Your Dream Life
Let me tell you a secret. Designing a dream life with a dream relationship requires the conscious effort to say to yourself, “I’m fed up with this s***y relationship. I need to change it NOW.” Or “I’m fed up with this area of my life. I need to change it NOW.”
The death sentence to an unfulfilling life is surprisingly the middle of the road, “Well it’s not great but it’s not that bad either.”
“…it’s not that bad” is getting yourself off the hook conveniently. It’s a crutch people use to be passive. It’s what people say to live a life they’re not excited about or stay in relationships that’s far from fulfilling.
I’m all for being grateful for what you have but you should never be satisfied. Being satisfied will rob you of an extraordinary life that is truly worth living.
What makes a decision stick is leverage to take action; using both positive association to taking action AND negative association to not taking action.
Anyone can change almost any aspect of their life and behavior with the right motivation and the right tools.
Tired of dating duds? Sick of non-committal men and lackluster dates? It’s time to change that for good.
I’ve spent the last several years analyzing human psychology and the secret to relationship success. Success leaves clues and if you want a great relationship all you need is the correct road-map to get there.
Let me take you by the hand and show you the best way to land your dream man and have the relationship you’ve always wanted.