When Lasting Change Isn’t Possible – Practical Insights

Living in modern society, it’s hard to overlook the pervasive unhappiness. Most people want to change a thing or two and struggle miserably. Willpower seems to work here and there, but often times we find ourselves slipping back into old behaviors. We start to question whether we’ve changed at all.

Can fundamental, permanent change really happen?

Perhaps. Here’s how I perceive the issue and it might as well improve your life.

Defining Change

Seeing other people struggle reminds me of my own imperfections and how I am constantly trying to cope with personal problems and issues. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all issues as most are easily overcome, but there seems to be the odd behavior that we can’t get rid of.

Some people struggle for years, others their entire lives.

Lasting, permanent change often has a ripple effect on a variety of behaviors which usually is an indication that things have shifted. Take the guy that finally got over his insecurities and now gets laid regularly. At the same time, he stops talking about his sexual exploits because it became normal and is nothing special anymore.

Fair enough, I also know guys that get laid a ton and still brag about it, but it’s not the norm.

In the arena of dating, often times, when guys start getting results, they drop a lot of the “proving something to themselves”-behavior. They become calm, super nice and friendly  – now that they realized they’re liked and desired for who they are, it seems absurd to continue playing a role.

Issue of Perspective

Who knows, perhaps some issues can never be overcome. Anxiety around approaching women is such an example. Yes, you can temporarily reduce your response to specific situations by conditioning yourself and using momentum, but it will come back eventually.

It’s a totally natural reaction.

You wouldn’t build your dream physique, stop working out and expect it to stay the same. Conditioning needs to take place.

If that doesn’t work, it might be valuable to use self knowledge to find ways of coping with the issue.

Finally, a pervasive issue or behavior could also indicate that there’s a deeper, unexplored pattern below it all. Tackling the surface problem won’t change anything. To fundamentally make progress happen, it’s important to understand the pattern – there’s a certain need driving it and that must be replaced with a sustainable, healthier alternative.

Just stopping a behavior is what most people do already and it doesn’t work. After all, if a human need is driving the behavior, simply ceasing to take action creates a vacuum and eventually causes you to revert back to the status quo.

For illustration purposes, here’s 2 very close friends and their issues. I don’t claim to have solutions – I won’t even make suggestions – but these accounts clearly show how certain patterns just seem to stick.

First-Hand Accounts

Friend A, well, he tries hard but doesn’t get laid at all. The social skills are in place, talking to strangers seems easy yet he just can’t close the deal. Also, he has the need to show off his people skills and always wants to be the guy talking to everyone. Sex is something special and whenever he’s close to achieving it, in-depth stories are shared with friends.

That alone is a red flag, an indication that he’s taking sex to seriously, which could either be part or the cause of his issue.

Over the years, he has gotten pretty got at talking to strangers, but still doesn’t get laid much to this day. Clearly, he’s mistaking movement for progress.

Friend B has a tendency to worship every other girl – despite having banged more than a dozen of them, taken part in a variety of workshops, seminars and coaching around dating and self improvement.

So-called “Oneitis” used to be an issue before he started out, after he had gotten laid regularly and still seems to be troubling him to this day. In practice, laying the girl doesn’t change much, he’s still so attached and distracted that her going hot and cold suddenly seems like acceptable behavior

Total focus on the girl, at these times he can’t do anything else. Big heartbreak.

Good Lord, what kind of friends do I have?

Just kidding, love you all.