It is best to change your behaviour for yourself than for another person. This seems to be common sense. In theory, at least, self-initiated growth lasts longer and has a deeper impact.
Unfortunately, it’s the first step [into rehab or out of the nest] that is often the most difficult, and no changes will occur until you make that initial decision and take action.
This is where being inspired by another—whether it be a loving spouse or a judge—can make the difference between making your life work and always wondering what’s wrong with the world because you just can’t seem to catch a break.
The kick helps
If your boss is going to fire you if you don’t start showing up on time, or your mate is going to leave if you don’t start controlling your temper, it’s likely to give you the kick in the butt you need. Changing because someone in your life has set a boundary may not feel good to you at the moment, but millions of individuals are happier because they took the advice of someone who cared enough to give them a warning and point out a healthier way of behaving.
If your behaviour is ripping your life apart, and you don’t want to lose what’s most important to you, changing your ways makes a lot of sense. Initially, you may resent your family throwing you an intervention when you thought you were going to a party, but after a few months, you will feel grateful for the support and the opportunity to change. There’ll be many who’ll tell you that.
At your core, you too probably want to let the offending behaviours go. And it’s natural to get defensive when someone else points out your shortcomings. Feeling annoyed that another is pointing out your flaws is actually a sign. It means you need to take a serious look at what the person is trying to show you.
Putting aside your pride will help you see what’s best for all concerned. If you can get some perspective on yourself, you may find that you’re more ready to change than you might have thought. Striving to be a better human being is never a mistake. Yes, it will be hard in the beginning, but you will build the strength you need to make permanent changes in your life and the lives of those you love, not to mention all the other people you affect every day.
Remember, it doesn’t really matter where the inspiration to change your life for the better comes from. The results are what counts. You may be able to change the dynamic of your relationship and perhaps your entire life.
So drop your bravado, consider the big picture and do everything you can to listen with your heart instead of your head. Truth is, most people aren’t so fortunate to have someone who cares enough about them to help them grow.