Too old to change?
“I’m not going to change now, I’m too old to change my ways.” Have you ever heard someone say that? Is it something that you have possibly thought to yourself? People say it to me all the time in that defeatist kind of way. “Maybe I’d like to change this about myself, because I recognise that it is not the best way to behave for me, but it’s too late, I’m too old to change.”
Its almost like they are saying that change has a sell by date! So, what age does this sell by date come into effect? 20, 30, 40, 50, 60? It’s is a crazy concept that you can only change up until a certain age, surely isn’t it?
“I’ve been biting my nails for forty years, I’m going to have to put up with doing it for the rest of my life because I’m not going to change after this length of time.”
“I’ve been worrying about little things every day for the last thirty years, I know that there is no point to it, but its too late for me to try to change now.”
Now, call me stupid but I cannot relate the ability to decide to bite your nails or not, or the capacity to worry or not to age.
So, what is behind people saying these things? At some point in time in life people seem to resign themselves to their life being what it is at that time. “This is my lot.” “I’ve made my bed and now I have to lie in it.”
“I’ve got a husband, two kids, we have a three bed semi and two cars, we both work and we are going to retire at 65 assuming the kids are not still costing us a fortune! We’ll never move, as we have steady jobs but they only just cover our outgoings. I am slightly overweight, I know that I am but that’s just the way that it is, I’ve never been one for exercising, and anyway I never have time.”
So, that is her lot, a husband, two kids, a three bed semi, a steady job, retiring at 65, slightly overweight. Now, obviously there are certain things that she may not like to change about her life, eg her kids. She may also love her husband to bits and be very happy with their relationship. There are also things in her life that she may secretly wish were different, she may prefer to retire before 65, she may prefer to lose some weight and exercise more, she may prefer a different career.
If there are things in her life that she would prefer to change what is stopping her? Is it her age? We do not know how old she is but her age is not going to stop her going for walks, or looking for better paid employment opportunities. She might think that her age is a barrier to these things but is it really? No it isn’t. The problem therefore is down to her thinking.
If you think you can do something, or you think that you can’t, either way you are right!
At some stage in life people make decisions, mostly unconsciously about what is possible for them in their lives going forward. Once these decisions have been made, then that is normally it for people. “I can’t do it because I’m too old.” Decision made, that’s it!
How often do we think about and challenge these unconscious decisions that we make? That is the problem, we don’t! And that is one of the areas that NLP Training can help people.
At NLP Trainings we encourage people to discover more about the unconscious programmes that they run in their thinking so that they can identify non supportive decisions behind their unwanted habits. Once they have done this, then they can challenge these decisions and change their behaviours to get more of what they want out of life.