Do you ever feel like you are forever stuck in the viscous cycle of repeating the same mistake again and again? We all know what Nietzsche said about that, insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome.
To truly change we must understand the difference in only focusing on a specific behavior vs. changing our belief system .
A first order change looks like this , a woman who marries the same kind of abusive partner three times. She has changed husbands , but she has not changed. She is still the same person and still thinking the same way. Which obviously is not helping her.
Each time she remarried she consciously wanted to do better and yet the next husband was worse than the last. She shakes her head, how does this keeping happening to me? The harder she tries it seems the worse her life gets.
The more things changed , the more they stayed the same.
For successful and lasting change, she must change the system she is in. We call this a paradigm shift. She must change her belief system .
Second order change occurs when the programming is altered. When the change occurs in her rather than her making the external change in husbands.
Her belief system must be reconstructed . Dismantled and rebuilt. Only then will she experience the happy life she is looking for.
She will need to let go of unhealthy beliefs she most likely learned early in life . All painfully learned rules about protection, perfectionism , safety and control will have to be put aside. We call this a paradoxical intervention. It looks like this :
Replacing beliefs that she is unloveable and unworthy with newly created beliefs that she is lovable and precious .
Genuine nurturing of herself and by loved ones can tremendously contribute to making up for past neglect and abuse for this woman. This can encourage her to make the changes in faulty thinking which has kept her on a destructive path.
Without these elements , the second order change will not occur and if nothing changes, well , nothing changes.