Everyone can recognize the change in color in a room when it’s both familiar and has been painted. Changing hairstyles or dyeing your hair can easily be noticed. So can an abrupt change in the style of clothes you wear.
What is difficult for us to notice is changes in behavior in others or changes in situations around us. Very, very difficult. Why?
We tend to jump to conclusions. To stereotype someone quickly. To pick sides in a situation by creating a story in our minds that makes the most sense to us without any research. This behavior is efficient as we don’t have to invest a great deal of time to learn about another person or a situation in depth before forming our opinion.
What then happens to us is that we cement our view of a person or situation and then stop watching for changes. Our ego (the enemy again) is so certain that we are right that it spends its time trying to get us to amplify our quickly developed wrong view of a situation or person and won’t let go of it.
Then the other person or situation begins to change and we just don’t see it. When we do see something different, our ego makes us say that the change was disingenuous. It was fake. They didn’t mean it. They can’t keep it up. The change in a situation is an anomaly. It won’t last.
On top of all this, we stay close to friends who only hold our same view of a situation or person. We don’t seek out different viewpoints. When we do we say that they are wrong. They have agendas.
Spending our time quietly looking for change in either a person or situation can be so productive. Reinforcing small changes in a good direction can lead to the breakthrough we were looking for initially. It not only helps us, but more importantly, when you begin to affirm the changes that others have made they will slowly become more confident in the changes and then become more consistent in keeping them going forward.
Observing change is not as hard as it sounds. You just have to commit to looking for it.