wavy pattern

why can’t I seem to change? 🤷🏻‍♀️

a simple equation that might help you

- Posted byHannah Miller

Hello reader,

Sometimes, my lack of ability to change drives me crazy.

I know what I want to be, I know what I want to achieve, I know what needs to change, but I don’t.

Or I do change, but it lasts five minutes. Or five days, on a good run. And then we start over, feeling quickly deflated that we lost any ground that we had previously made, and so we give up again.


Maybe some of you are really good at sticking to things. But I reckon a lot of us suffer from a real frustration as to why we don’t do the things we want to do.

I’ve read a lot about this, from a lot of experts, and so I reckon we could revisit the topic of change together quite a few times over the coming weeks. But there was one simple diagram that a friend showed me a few years ago that got me thinking as to one of the reasons WHY we don’t change. No, it doesn’t give all the answers, but might help us diagnose what is at the root.

d must be lesser than a, b and c all added together.  

  1. You’ve got to be thoroughly fed up with how it actually is. I mean, for more than a fleeting moment. You have got to get to a place where life as is (whatever the thing may be) is genuinely not good enough. You are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs.
  2. You have got to be able to see a different future. If you can’t visualise what change might look like, what a new improved you/ situation might be, change won’t begin to take place. The vision, the hope has to be there.
  3. You need to have a plan. You need to know what to do to make that change. Knowing that you lose your cool too much or knowing that you don’t open up enough isn’t enough – you need to know what to do to make a meaningful change.

The above, a, b and c, need to trump d.

d is the perceived cost of change. Nobody knows exactly what the cost of changing might involve, but we have a perception. If, to change, I know I need more sleep, let’s say, which will mean saying no to other things (such as less tv, less social time, less phone time, etc) I need to count that cost, and come to the conclusion that the way things are, the potential for a better future, and the plan I am making outweighs this perceived cost.

And this profound little equation might show you and I why we don’t change. Why we stay stuck. It’s going to cost us too much, and we are not yet willing to count that cost and do it. Or we don’t have a vision of how things could be, or, we don’t actually care enough to change, we quite like how it is, actually, or, we don’t have a plan that we can work with.

I wonder where you want to change.

Which of those factors is holding you back?

One final point – I am learning to be kinder to myself. I don’t always need to be changing, improving. Sometimes we need to regroup and rest and stay as is. If we’re not ready, we’re not ready. And the world has slung a whole lot of junk our way these past couple of years. So, stay put a while longer if that’s actually what you need.

I hope this simple little equation helps you as you ponder.


Hannah x



P.S. The equation began life as D X V X F > R and is formally known as the Beckhard-Harris Formula for change. But that’s not how my friend explained it to me, and so I have shared my version. You can read more about the original here.

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