Why Slow Change Is Better Than Fast Change

Have you ever been frustrated about a situation that seems to be changing too slowly? You wish things would just get done already. Fast change isn’t usually the best change. When you let change come slowly, it’s more likely to stick.

snail-368763_1280 Why slow change is better than fast change: Photo of a snail

How many times have you made resolutions to change your life, only to feel as though you wound up failing? You start out with good intentions, but you don’t stick with them. There’s a simple reason we tend to fail at big-change resolutions. It’s simple:

The Faster The Change, The Harder The Resistance

Consider following:

  • A sudden change in the weather
  • A sudden change in the economy
  • A sudden change in the performance of your car

In each case, sudden change is usually not a good sign. It precludes a pending problem or a disaster. Attempting to change ourselves quickly leads to a crash or a breakdown.

I prefer to walk rather than run. I’ve practiced running in the past. If I were to take up running again, I’d be foolish to run ten miles on my first run. I’d hurt myself. I’d likely say, “running sucks,” and give up. If I start out in small increments, say a half mile per week, and build up endurance, I’m more likely to succeed. That’s the power of slow change.

Change Is A Process

The process of change must be respected. We often try to rush things due to our own impatience, insecurities and fears. In my post, The Root To All Your Problems In Four Fears, I discuss four prominent fears that we all deal with:

  • The fear of not being good enough
  • The fear of not having enough
  • The fear of what others think
  • The fear of losing everything

Are your motivations based on one or several of these fears? If you are overweight, you may decide to diet because you feel socially unacceptable. Or you may fear your overall health will suffer if you don’t lose weight. Can you see the fear of not being good enough, the fear of what others think, and the fear of losing everything, hidden in your motivations?

If you’re trying to succeed as a writer or a blogger because you feel you must prove your worth, you’ll only become frustrated when change does not come quickly. Why? Because trying to prove your worth is based on fear. It’s based on the fear that you’re not good enough.

This is how certain entrepreneurs are able to make millions of dollars in self-help programs. They focus on your fears. They promise you that they can help you succeed. Your desire for success is based on your fear of failure. They know that, and they use that premise to sell you their programs. 

But when you learn to write, simply to write, you’ll no longer care about success or failure. You become at peace through the act of writing itself. You no longer place your self-worth on your level of success. If you keep working, change will come. It may be slow, but slow change will bring you longer-lasting results in the end. 

Being Motivated By Fear Is Not Bad In Itself

Here’s the problem. Trying to overcome a problem that is emotionally-based, without dealing with the emotions first, doesn’t work. You must get to the root cause of your fear. 

Think of fear as a road that you’ve been traveling for years. When you try to change too quickly, you gain speed. You drive faster down the road called fear. You’ll likely lose control and crash. After a short recovery time, you return to your usual pace on the same road: fear. 

You need to get off the road called fear, first. Longterm change comes with slow lifestyle changes, not crash diets or sudden bursts of energy. You won’t find writing success by joining a five-week course to become a better writer. It may help, but it’s continual writing that gets you to where you want to be. 

You must find a new path. Let’s call the new path, hope. You need to have a new mindset. Success must not be based on comparisons to others, but only on your own improvements. When you begin to travel on the path of hope, you’ll still deal with fear. We all do. It will call you back. You’ll be tempted. After all, you’ve been partners for years. Don’t go back.

Walk slowly on the path of hope and you’ll be more likely to find lasting change. There is less resistance to change when you take it slowly, and in small increments. You just need to do two things:

  1. You must address the underlying causes to the problem.
  2. You must have the self-discipline to continue walking.

It’s not always easy to do this alone. There are books and programs that can help. I’ll be starting the Keepin’ it Simple program next year. In the meantime, read my book, The Happiness of Simple, it’s free with no signup required.

Or simply sign up for the newsletter to get healthy tips on simple living, and receive access to my free book Get Back To Where You Are.

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4 Comments

    1. In most cases I think slow is best. I have made a few fast changes, too. I quit smoking, drinking, and a few other things all on the same day more than 15 years ago. Thanks for commenting Charlene.

  1. Hi, Thank you for sharing this very, very, great post filled with sound advice. I am going through the ‘sudden cold feet syndrome’ about my book of Blessings coming out in a couple weeks. I don’t know why, probably the realization of sharing so many personal details are going public. Anyways, I love your path of hope theory & keep walking on the path ahead. I am making the changes slowly even if I cannot keep up with the ‘tech’ stuff & not learning it with the pace of others. I will be reading this several times. Thank you, Friend.

    1. I’m glad you find what I’m doing helpful, Marlane. Putting our personal writing out there can be hard. But as long as the writing is good and speaks to people, I think we owe it to ourselves and others to get it seen. Even then, it’s a continual road of sharing and improvement.

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