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Can You Change Your Circumstances?

By: Ken Austin

Change is very much possible, in fact, one can change in an instant if he or she so desires. The problem is not with the change itself but with maintaining the new behavior, i.e., such that one does not revert back to the old behavior.

The question of change is not one of whether or not change is in fact possible but rather how to best go about it.

Now some argue that you can’t change your circumstances and that one ought to focus only upon changing his or her actions. This isn’t necessarily the best advice. One often (perhaps more often than not) has the power to change both his or her actions and his or her circumstances (granting circumstantial change may in fact be more limited).

When you have set a goal for change, you are seeking a certain result or set of results. Change is results oriented (again, others claim otherwise). As most changes are not instantaneous but rather cumulative, progress can be noted by the presence of results. Results demonstrate progress and progress stokes the fire of motivation. When one sees him or herself making progress this incites enthusiasm and the result is that more energy is available and this energy can be channeled into attaining the final goal with all the more passion and fervor.

Action is the primary catalyst for change. Once you have clarified your desires into goals, you are then better able to lay out the path to achieving them. You then begin to make choices and take actions conducive to attaining the goal or goals. The key to success, however, is to be persistent in action such that action becomes habitual.

Who is so bold as to say that we can’t change our circumstances? Granted, changing circumstances may in fact be harder than changing our behaviors, but nonetheless, it can be done. For example, there are countless women who have been subjected to abusive relationships. Who has the brass to tell those in such circumstances that simply changing their behavior alone will help them? No, they need a change of circumstance as well and they can do so once empowered to take action (i.e., once they know that a change of circumstance is indeed possible). (I know this is a drastic, and very sad, example but it drives the point home.)

Of course it is clear that a change of circumstance itself requires action on the part of the individual. Again, action is the mother of all factors related to change and without it, there is, ultimately, no change. Regardless, action with regard to behavior coupled with environmental change (circumstantial change) go hand in hand with respect to changing one’s life.

One must make choices that are acted upon consistently such that they become habitual. As well, one must make environmental changes such that one’s circumstances provide structure and support for the actions he or she is taking toward the attainment of a given goal. Even if action is present, without a circumstantial support structure, goal attainment and, subsequently, life change is often unfulfilled.

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