“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.”
— The Bipolar Project
It may seem obvious, but there is nothing more important when we are trying to create the impetus for change: lasting change is what we need, and consistency is the key to all.
There could hardly be anything more obvious in the minds of those who have tried to change, whether they have failed and failed and ultimately succeeded or whether they simply failed and failed and ultimately gave up.
But consistency is the key to any great thing; consistency is the secret to lasting change. Again, what couldn’t be more obvious is, however, never more vital to understand. If we can establish consistency we will create the change we so hungrily desire and need.
Steps Toward Consistency
One of the best things I have learned about consistency is the benefit of taking life, or any part of life, one day at a time.
The one day at a time method, as pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous, does not assume change is easy; indeed, it assumes the change is hard, and it is hard. Perhaps nothing (besides God himself) commands our respect more than what is required for change.
What we need most of all regarding consistency, initially at least, is confidence, which is faith in ourselves that we are able to succeed. We need to be able to believe we can sustain the change, even if for just one more day, or even for the day itself. We need to believe within ourselves that the white knuckle ride will be worth it.
What comes next, having mastered sufficient confidence that we are on the right track, is avoiding complacency.
Complacency is the nemesis of anything good as it tries to establish itself permanently. It is that attitude that creeps up and threatens what ground has already been gained. So we need to stay on a guard, not forgetting where we have come from, and how much energy it’s taken to have the capability for sustained change.
The ultimate endpoint as far as change is concerned is credibility. With credibility we have a platform for anything that will be required of us. With credibility we no longer need to defend ourselves against attacks to revert back to the old way. Credibility is a fully matured confidence to know that it's not just us that sees us having changed for the good; it is apparent to others as well.
Consistency is the secret to lasting change. Steps to consistency include developing confidence that we can live a new way, guarding against complacency, and finally the establishment of credibility, that others see our resolve and respect us for what we have achieved.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.