Some concrete examples will help here.
The Power of "No"
- Tells you that people don't change.
- Keeps you trapped in rigid habits.
- Clutters the mind in obsessive thoughts.
- Makes you believe you are wrong.
- Creates cravings that cannot be appeased.
- Uses fear as a threat if you try to break free.
- Forbids you to have certain thoughts.
- Makes natural urges seem illicit or dangerous.
People don't change. This familiar assertion seems reasonable in moments of discouragement and frustration, but if you look more closely, it has the effect of shutting down change in yourself. When you assume that nobody is going to change, you have closed the box and locked them in. At the same time, you get locked in too. It's easy to miss that implication, because in our heart of hearts, we secretly believe that we can change; it's only other people who stop us.
In reality, others feel the same about you, and so a system of mutual discouragement is set up. Anyone who stands up and says, "We need to change" is bucking the status quo. And anyone who breaks away and actually does change is viewed with suspicion, or outright rejected.
Why it's important to accept—and encourage—change