It is incredible how this simple thought keeps recurring in every read. If you have followed my other blog posts, you must have noticed that we spoke about change multiple times. It is such a pivotal fact, as there cannot be growth without changing our current situation, thoughts and behaviours. Because…if you keep doing what you are doing now, you cannot expect any change at all.
“Our thoughts and emotions often prevent us from creating behavioral change, even when it will improve our lives”, and this only happens due to fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of judgement. Change will likely bring up some uncomfortable emotions. “We try to make change based on a date or not because we are really ready. And if you aren’t ready to create change, you likely won’t be successful at maintaining it…as even the smallest of changes requires a certain level of commitment”.
Fear, avoiding discomfort and grief are all emotions associated with change. While the first 2 are commonly understood, greif is probably the one that is not discussed often: “doing something different means giving something up”. Change means leaving something behind, means altering habits, having maybe a different circle of friends, so all the choices we make while we change, have the effect of leaving something behind. And this often is strong enough from stopping us from making that first step.
But we need to keep strong, focused and with our eyes on the prize.
Shying away from change can have consequences:
- you will get stuck
- you won’t learn anything new
- your life won’t get better
- you won’t challenge yourself to develop healthier habits
- other people will outgrow you
- the longer you wait, the harder it gets
To avoid this from happening, a good way of overcoming the fear of that first step, could be writing a list of pros and cons. “There is no need to change for the sake of change” “It’s important to pay close attention to the reasons why you want to change so you can determine whether the decision you are about to make it’s what’s best for you”.
Another way of assessing change, is to pay attention to the emotions that you feel when thinking about making a change? Observe how the process makes you feel but be careful not to allow your emotions to make the final decision: balance it with rational thinking. Just because you think it will be difficult, stressful or hard, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, and rational thinking will help you remind yourself that some of the best things in life come from our ability to conquer challenge through hard work.
To ensure your efforts are successful, a good method can be to prepare for the change and create a plan on how you will implement it and stick to it. This will help you also to space out your efforts and create an incremental steps approach:
- create a goal
- establish concrete behavioural change you can make to reach that goal each day
- anticipate obstacles along the way
- establish accountability
- monitor your progress
Your life will change no matter what. If you start practicing adapting to the small changes, you will be better prepared to deal with the large inevitable changes that will come your way.
“Although change can feel uncomfortable, you won’t be able to increase your mental strength unless you are willing to grow and improve”. So start now, clearly identify the type of person you would like to be, and than be proactive about becoming that person.