You Can’t Change People, But You can Change Yourself

Paper Kite Butterfly Perching on Red Flower in Close-up Photography
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People change because they want to change, not because they are threatened to change. It is difficult to change yourself, let alone to even think of changing other people. It is good to try, but you are unlikely to succeed.

Change is not comfortable. People don’t like to change, because it is not easy. It makes them nervous. It makes them uncomfortable. They will resist it. Since you know how hard it it to convince people to change, why bother?

It is good to try. Remember, no matter what you do, no matter the strategy you use to convince them to change, there are people who will never change. They love what they are doing. They are comfortable with where they are and with what they are doing. They will change when they are ready.

In order to succeed in convincing people to change, give them valid reasons why they should change. Give them valid reasons why they should leave their comfort zones for something they don’t understand. Let them know that changing is coming. Don’t surprise them. If you do that, they will resent and resist your project. Make them understand that where they are going will be better than where they are coming from. Give them hope. Coach them. Make them comfortable. Don’t exclude those who are not in support of your change process. Listen to them. They have something valuable to add to your change project.

Don’t get frustrated if people are not ready to change. They will change when they are ready. It will not happen if they don’t believe in you. Before they even listen to you, they have to believe in what you are selling. So be honest when dealing with people. Thomas A. Kempis said, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” If you can’t change yourself, don’t even bother to change others. Change starts with you. People will change when they see you change.

Change is personal. If you want people to change, be honest, and give them time to process it. Don’t rush them, and they will consider it.

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