Why do people wait until a crisis hits before taking action? Often people assume the problem will go away or get better with time. Sometimes denial overpowers any effort to make a change and people live more comfortably in a state of repression. In other cases people are too lazy to change or feel incapable of making the necessary changes. Other times individuals test the limits and see how far they can go before change is required. Change is scary and can be challenging for most of us. We are creatures of habit and many prefer to live with the status quo until they are pushed by circumstances to do something different.
Maybe your job situation has become tenuous or your marriage rocky due to some poor decisions. People often choose to make unhealthy choices which leads to destructive behaviors until they are forced into change by their partner. Sometimes a trip to the ER due to some medical problem that you’ve been ignoring has intensified and denial is no longer an option. We tend to respond reactively instead of proactively. Although a crisis can be a motivator for change, fear or guilt cannot be the long-term sustainers of change. Fear and guilt tend to be external motivators rather than internal drivers and their power fades over time, unless an internal buy-in occurs. At some point, the person making the changes has to make the conscious choice to modify their behavior for their own well-being, not because others want them to change. Change is difficult for most of us, but it’s tougher when you’re doing it only for someone else and you’re not convinced that the change is necessary.
If you are impacted by a crisis or relationship issue, does your partner acknowledge the problem and agree to do something about it? If not, change may initially have to come from you. Ideally we recognize problems before they cause significant damage and address them right away. Let’s assume we don’t, now what? The first step is to identify the problem areas and assess the damage. People can change their thinking, feelings, and behaviors when they take responsibility for their actions. When you find yourself in the same situation over and over or have a recurring argument with your partner this may be an indication that change needs to happen. Stop ignoring the obvious, take action and believe that change is possible.