Life Planning    Helping people live by choice instead of chance
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Most of us have a love-hate relationship with change.

We love it when we freely choose it, when we don't have to give up some cherished behavior and when it's easy to incorporate the change into our lives.

We hate it when it's forced on us, when we have to give up something we love to do and when it requires time and effort to achieve.

The latter is particularly true when we're talking about changing long-established habits, attitudes and beliefs that are integral to our self-image. You've been constructing your self-image ever since you were born. It's probably the most important construction project you'll ever undertake. The reason is simple. What you think of yourself determines what you will try and what you can do.

If you think you're "no good with numbers" you may not even try to balance your checkbook and even if you try you may not give yourself a fair chance to succeed.

If you think you're not likable, you probably won't try to initiate friendships. And when others invite you, you have difficulty accepting their invitations at face value. You suspect they feel sorry for you or they want something particular in return.

A lot of people have helped you in the construction of your self-image. The problem is, they didn't always have your interest at heart. Every interaction you've had with others and every experience you've had with your environment has provided you with raw material for your picture of yourself.

Unfortunately, the foundation for this most important construction was laid during the first six years of your life-before you had the breadth of experience and judgment to make a realistic assessment of the raw materials others were giving you. You used what you were given. You had no way of knowing that the stuff you got often had a lot more to do with the self-images of your parents than with your potential. When you're 3 feet tall in a world of 6 footers, you don't question what they give you-you just take it.

Now you're a grownup and you have the power to change your self-image and your life for the better.

No matter what others may tell you, you're not stuck with your self-image. It is modifiable. You can replace habits, attitudes and beliefs that don't reflect your true potential with new ones that are more in tune with who you are and who you're becoming. The Life-Planning Workbook respects your innate ability to do this and was designed to facilitate the process.

It's always easier to change before we have to.