Change is hard

This simple trick will help

Jeff Valdivia
7 min readMay 11, 2019


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

“Although difficult, change is always possible. What holds us back from making the changes we desire are our own limiting thoughts and actions.”

~ Satsuki Shibuya

Have you ever wished you were different, but felt stuck with what you had?

I have. Thousands of times.

I’ve wished that I wasn’t so shy. I’ve wished that I wasn’t so socially awkward. I’ve wished that I was funnier. I’ve wished that I wasn’t so nervous speaking in front of large groups of people. I’ve wished that I was more athletic, more interesting, a better writer.

Have you noticed there are some ways we think we can change and there are other ways we think we can’t?

When I first started my current job about a year ago, I didn’t know anything about the business, but I was reasonably confident that one day I would better understand what was going on. Lo and behold, today I very slightly better understand what is going on! Yay!

Then, there are other things. Things that we tell ourselves we are, things we decide define our sense of self. I’m an angry person. I’m not good a math. I’m terrified of speaking in front of large groups of people.

And we mean these things in a much more fundamental sense than I did when I was talking about my job.

We are saying something about our capacities. Our potentials. Our possibilities.

We think these things are intrinsic to who we are as people, as individuals, and that they cannot be changed or altered. In fact, it might not even occur to many of us that they could be any different.

In this way, we come to look at aspects of ourselves in two different ways: one part of us is fixed, permanent, and unchanging, while the other is fluid, temporary, and constantly changing.

Have you ever stopped to consider that where you draw that line is arbitrary?

I’m not one of those people who is going to say that any of us can do absolutely anything.

But what I am saying is that where we happen to draw that line is probably holding us back.



Jeff Valdivia

Following my curiosity and hoping it will lead me to wisdom. I write about psychology, meditation, self-development, and spirituality.