It’s interesting how stubborn the human psyche can be. We want to be happier, healthier, more connected to others and, ideally, have a purpose that jazzes us. Why is it, then, that we don’t like doing anything different to get out of the bad places we find ourselves in? It has been said that insanity is “doing the same behaviors over and over again, expecting different results.” For example, women all around the world continue to stay with men who are serial cheaters. With each affair the women respond as they always have — and continue to get the same outcome. The men swear they’ll never do it again, the women trust the men each time, the men cheat again and then somehow the women are shocked and devastated by the next affair. Other women throughout the world may be married to men who speak to them harshly or dismissively and frequently treat them meanly. In response to the poor treatment, the women try to be ultra-nice, over-accommodating and as pleasing as possible to not upset the men in any way. The more the women try to please these men, the worse these men treat them. The women continue to be kind, hoping that the men will see the light and will somehow realize the error of their ways and become loving and kind to their wives. When the men do not become kinder, the women are at a loss as to what to do — so they become even more kind and continue to walk on eggshells to avoid upsetting the men. What’s going on with these choices? Are these women stubborn? Is this just part of the human condition? Is there insanity?
We do what we do time and again for many reasons, some of which include fear, habit, lack of energy, lack of knowledge and hopelessness about our ability to effect change.
Here’s the thing though: Continuing to do what you’ve always done, will get you what you’ve always got. Our lives won’t change unless we change the way we’re living them. Constantly shrinking to rage will result in more rage. Steadily procrastinating about getting jobs done will result in more stress and, likely, more unfinished jobs. Regardless of what ineffective move it is you’re doing, if it’s not getting you more of what you want, then it’s time to change your move. You wouldn’t continue to speak Spanish to someone who only speaks French in an effort to somehow get them to understand what you’re saying. That would be silly. So don’t continue to do what you’ve always done and expect a different outcome. Look at the situation, get clarity on your piece of the equation and have the courage to consistently change that move. If, after a while, your new response produces different — and positive — results, continue the new behavior. If there is no positive change with that change, find yet another approach. Whatever you do, though, stop thinking that doing the same thing again and again will somehow produce a new outcome. If you are unhappy, change how you are showing up. Don’t get locked into insanity thinking — it’s zapping your chances of real change and a great life.
Challenge: Choose an area in your life where you are dissatisfied and take an honest look at how you have been approaching this situation. If you’ve been doing the same moves for years and expecting new results, it’s time to change those moves. There’s no room for insanity thinking in great relationships and rewarding lives.