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Why Can't I Change My Life For The Better And What Can I Really Influence? - Self-development
Why Can't I Change My Life For The Better And What Can I Really Influence? - Self-development

Video: Why Can't I Change My Life For The Better And What Can I Really Influence? - Self-development

Video: Why Can't I Change My Life For The Better And What Can I Really Influence? - Self-development
Video: Why self improvement is ruining your life 2023, June

I regularly watch webinars “how to be successful”, try to learn English, participate in weight loss marathons, try to change my life for the better. make up wish maps and so on. Coaches promise that if you do an activity regularly for 21 days, it will become a habit. However, it doesn't work with me

Paradoxically, there are examples in front of my eyes, ready-made tools in my hands, in my head a visualized picture of myself successful on the islands, and we are not there even now. I continue to look at those who have achieved results and envy them. Is my will weak?

There is good and bad news. The ability to "control oneself" and achieve something is influenced by genetics and psychological factors (lifestyle, thinking, behavior). It is difficult to do something with genetics, but with the second part it is quite possible.

Genetic factors. What are we given from birth?

Conflict of interests

The brain fights against itself and always comes out victorious.

Modern research shows that among people there is a difference in the work of the anterior cingulate cortex (PPC) - the structure of the brain responsible for the choice of a leading motive and suppression of impulses. They are regularly supplied by an older structure, the limbic system, which is responsible for emotions. Man is the only living being able to postpone pleasure for a long-term goal. And the brain must deal with conflicting motives.

In simple terms: I want to become rich and I want to lie on the couch at the same time. Get praise, but don't strain.

Both are fun. Only from lying on the couch right now, and from a successful life - in an uncertain future. And if the limbic system works more actively than the anterior cingulate cortex, then the choice in favor of the sofa is obvious.

The workings of the brain are too complex and not as linear as we would like. For example, a lack of RAM will lead to the fact that a person simply forgets "why not." Doesn't keep in mind all the arguments against a pleasant, but unnecessary action. Research shows that some people experience physical distress when giving up on immediate pleasure.

Why do these systems work differently for people? Someone easily "pulls himself together" and is sure that the rest are just weaklings.


The activity of neurotransmitters - "brain chemistry" - is given to us at birth. Dopamine is produced as a positive reinforcement. Did something well - you are great - get dopamine and a feeling of pleasure. A bowl of sugar-coated donuts is much easier and faster than running or completing a project. Breakdowns in the genes responsible for the production and breakdown of dopamine lead to the fact that human behavior changes. If dopamine is not enough, then the craving for quick and easy pleasures is stronger. It is difficult for such people to get simple joys from life, walking, traveling, pleasant communication. You need stronger emotions or stimulants in the form of food, sex or psychoactive substances.

When the dopamine is “used up,” it breaks down. Therefore, the feeling, "I am done," does not last forever, but this experience is remembered. If the degeneration (breakdown) of dopamine is slowed down, then the behavior becomes impulsive and even dangerous. The same applies to serotonin, a lack of which leads to depression.

Due to the lack of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter responsible for inhibiting the nervous system), anxiety increases, and sleep is disturbed. What makes it difficult to make volitional decisions.

If you have the strength to finish reading to this point, chances are your anterior cingulate cortex is capable of inhibiting the impulse to quit reading for useful information at the end of the article

Psychological factors

Throughout life, we acquire a “lifestyle” that consists of thoughts, habitual behavior, beliefs. We ourselves create obstacles to changing life for the better, without noticing it.

What's in the way?

1. Multitasking and time pressure. The theory that the brain can do multiple things efficiently is a myth. The need to process a large amount of information, prioritize and keep all this in memory leads to a weakening of the work of the cortex and a decrease in the ability to make choices. Reflexive thoughts about the meaning of life also overload the brain with unsolved problems. Hence the state "I plan changes, but do not proceed with them." Starting a new life on Monday is also multitasking.

2. If we do not sleep enough, are hungry, tired, the brain will react more strongly to impulses and control them worse.

3. Stress and lack of resources. We do not notice that we are in a state of chronic dissatisfaction. "Everyone lives like that." "I'm an adult." Trying to change, we only whip up the driven horse. We hire a trainer to beat the horse, forcing himself to enjoy overcoming difficulties and pumping a "new version of himself." Diligently ignoring the signs of prolonged stress.

4. Destructive beliefs about their strengths and capabilities. "I'm worthless." "I have no talent." We do not notice our strengths, we justify rare successes by saying that "just lucky."

5. External locus of control. The habit of expecting resources, advice, guidance for action from the environment. And, as a consequence, shifting responsibility to others. “I don’t go to the gym, because I agreed with a friend, but she left.” "I cannot cook separately for myself and my husband, and he does not agree to a healthy diet."

Psychological factors are the answer to the question "why can't I change my life for the better." Habits and beliefs are so strong that it’s easier not to start. We forget that we created them ourselves and under the influence of upbringing. They are not issued at birth. It helps a lot to master the art of taking small but regular steps at your own pace.

What can I influence, how can I change my life for the better?

1. Sleep, regular food and fresh air. Analyze what is preventing basic needs from being met. TV series in the middle of the night, because you want to be alone in silence? How else can you organize this time for yourself without harming your health?

2. Revision of daily activities and resources. Some part will have to be abandoned or delegated to other people. Dealing with beliefs that I am "just trying hard", "I would like to add hours a day." Recognition of oneself not as omnipotent, but as an ordinary person with limitations is one of the signs of adulthood.

3. Analysis of goals. An honest answer to the question: do I want to do this? Listen carefully to yourself and the feelings that arise. Do I want sports and English or am I driven by the fear of not being fit?

4. Choosing one feasible goal and moving towards it instead of multitasking. Reach, get positive reinforcement and move on to the next one. Perhaps more complex.

5. Search for "your" way. The exercise helps here: what would I do if there was no need to earn money? It is possible with bitterness to discover that there is no life of your own yet, even in thoughts.

6. Work with the appropriation of their strengths and awareness of limitations. Taking responsibility for what happens in life. “Most likely, I will not become the CEO of an oil company. But that was not my real goal. I can unleash my potential and be realized in my own unique way."

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