The 5 Myths of Change

You may have heard about Steve Vaught, a 400-pound man who, several months ago, could not walk from one end of a department store to the other without sitting down to rest. Steve finally had enough. He was sick and tired of being sick and tired, so he started walking. In April, he left his kids and his wife at home to walk across the US. Three days ago, due to the kindness of a local physician, he weighed himself and so far he has lost 48 lbs. He has only gotten as far as Arizona but he has gone so much farther in terms of the change that has taken place within him.

According to the Johns Hopkins study on change that I spoke about last week. Here are the 5 myths of change:

Myth #1 Crisis is a powerful impetus for change.

Truth: Crisis is a moment in time and we tend to have very short memories. Life is about day-to-day choices, and it is in these choices that we need to make sustainable change.

Myth #2 Change is motivated by fear.

Truth: Fear often causes us to go into denial mode and convince ourselves that it won’t happen again. We do much better with a positive vision of what change could do for us.

Myth #3 The facts will set us free.

Truth: This makes sense in theory, but the reality is that we think in stories and emotions, and generally not in facts, so when the facts don’t fit the story or emotion we tend to ignore them.

Myth #4 Small gradual changes are always easier to make and sustain.

Truth: We are impatient beings and we should be more like Steve-choose a big goal and start walking. Larger changes yield larger benefits.

Myth #5 We can’t change because our brains become hardwired early in life.

Truth: New research shows how elastic our brain really is, it truly is a sponge and very capable of change.

Now if 10,000 people start walking across the country tomorrow we will know why!

Along the road with you…