Changing Your Change
How we go about making changes in our lives is just as important as making the decision to change.
“To exist is to change, to change is to mature; to mature is to create oneself endlessly.”
– Henri Bergson
Why do we view change as a scary proposition? Is it that we fear the change will not yield the results we are hoping for? Are we afraid of defeat? Attempting something only to fail? Being unsuccessful? Left questioning and wondering why we put ourselves through a change only to not get where we were wanting to go. These are thoughts that play in everyone’s mind. These supposed valid concerns or fears are, in truth, simply excuses we tell ourselves to remain safe. There is a point where we have to call ourselves out on the bullshit we put in our minds and then agree to. The crap thoughts we use to talk ourselves out of the necessary changes we need to make in our lives. The changes we know will move us towards an enriched and fulfilled life.
As I have said in a number of my previous posts; change is not easy, but that’s the point, it’s not meant to be. It is only after we have overcome our fear of change do we realize our inner strength. We discover our true power. Our ability to make a choice and make a change. Only through change do we increase our self-belief and develop a stronger understanding of what it takes to make meaningful changes in our lives. Changes we desire. Which leads me to propose this personal truism; your desire to change must outweigh your need to stay the same.
Another reason I believe people avoid change is that of their view of the concept of change. Many people see change as painful and regard the process in a negative light. If I change, I won’t be me anymore. So, then who am I? Will others accept this new me? The point for me is that in order to continue to grow as a person and move further down the path of life we must change, otherwise, we become stagnant, stunted, and bored.
However, I do realize there are times we want to change, attempt to change, and fall flat on our faces. We are left questioning, wondering why we can’t seem to sustain the change. This is because we are not building on change but rather introducing wholesale changes that are so far removed from our daily existence that we are essentially setting ourselves up to fail. We stop believing we can change because it “never works out.” We are not building upon our changes.
We can be left thinking we need to find the one change. That one ingredient that has eluded us. Like discovering the combination to life’s happiness lock. The one thing we have overlooked. An element we feel has been missing from our lives. The thing is, it is not one thing, and at the same time, it is. That one thing is you. The other thing is your ability to consistently create change for yourself. How do you do this? I am glad you asked.
STOP MAKING EXCUSES
We all have creative minds. Just look at all the excuses we are able to create in order to keep ourselves safe. Safe from the uncertainty of change. I make plenty of excuses for not getting up early, not working out, not eating healthy, not having difficult conversations. They all have one thing in common, they are excuses. Tricking ourselves into believing the excuse is reasonable. I am able to justify to myself why I shouldn’t take action. I worked out yesterday. I was good all week with what I ate. I don’t want to rock the boat by upsetting someone. I need my rest. It is so much easier to make excuses to ourselves than anyone else in the world. So how can we get out of our “EXCUSE STORYTELLING?” I read a great article by Rhett Power Co-founder, Wild Creations and have incorporated this into my life when I start making excuses.
- Ask “Is This True?” – Catch yourself by asking whether or not what you are telling yourself is true. Or, have you simply created a story that supports your excuse?
- Reflect On Your Excuses – At the end of each day, take a few minutes to look back on the excuses you made during your day, and think about why you made them. What were you trying to avoid? Look at a better way of approaching what you might have been avoiding. By noticing when you make excuses you will begin to notice why you could be making them in the first place.
- Find People To Push You – Try to surround yourself with people who will call you out on your excuses. Holding yourself accountable is one thing, but it is much more effective if you have other people holding you responsible as well. Find a workout partner or someone who will check in on you each day to ensure you met your goals and didn’t find excuses.
”Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.”
– Don Wilder
PIGGYBACK ON POSITIVE HABITS
Behavior guru BJ Fogg suggests that instead of starting a new habit out of the blue, stack it on top of another habit you already have. For example, I wanted to get into better shape. I liked swimming but was finding it difficult to get up and get in the pool. I wanted to swim 1km every morning, but the task just seemed too daunting. To add to my potential excuses was the fact my partner was out of the country and I was left with the daily dog-walking duties. I decided to change my mindset and piggyback off the dog-walking activity in the morning. After all, I had to get up and walk the dog anyways, so I would be awake. As a reward, I got to go for my morning swim. This proved to be a winning formula for me. I would awake with a sense of purpose. I would enjoy my walk with my dog and looked forward to my time in the pool. I also began to look at my time in the pool as the part of the day I could clear my mind and reset.
”Begin each day as if it were on purpose.”
– Mary Anne Radmacher
MAKE MICRO DECISIONS TO SUPPORT MACRO CHANGE
The daily decisions we make, from moment to moment should be looked upon as building blocks. Choices we make will either move us closer to our goals or move us further away. It is simple as that. When we want to make a change, it requires us to truthfully look at how we are approaching the change. Are we looking at it as a “quick fix” or something more meaningful? I believe incorporating a change we want to sustain must be viewed as a lifestyle adjustment. By shifting our mindset away from viewing our change as a short-term gain, but rather a decision to improve our overall well-being. The likelihood for a successful change to take place is dramatically increased. Ultimately the goal is to create a positive change that will have both short-term benefits as well as benefits for years to come. Once we shift our views around the long-term goal, we will begin to make daily decisions that support that overall goal.
”When was the last time you did something for the first time?”
– John C. Maxwell
It is not only important to make the decision to change, but it is equally important to build a gameplan to build towards the successful implementation of the changes you want to make in your life. Be honest with yourself and stop making excuses when it comes to making a change. Piggyback off a pre-existing healthy habit that will assist with implementing this new aspect of your life. Lastly, make the small decisions that support the overall goal you are seeking to achieve.
As I close out my blog post this week, I would like to share a new song I recently discovered, it inspired while writing this blog post. Enjoy!
Are you in your late 30's or 40's and thinking back on how exactly you wound up in the career you are in today? Chances are if you are like me, you took the safe path. You were told to get a job with benefits, a retirement plan and not rock the boat. Work your way up. Move up the corporate ladder. Just work hard and when you are done, retire.
Yup, you played it safe and now, you are questioning what you are doing and where you are going?
Let me ask you, do you remember when you were excited about life's possibilities? When you believed you could do anything. Do you ever wonder what happened? When did you lose touch with your passion? Have you given up on your hopes and dreams? Or, have they simply gone astray.
Sign up to for the Stop the Pity Party. Restart Your Passion 7 Day Change Challenge and begin to rekindle your passion. Reclaim your beliefs to create the life you have the responsibility to live. A life of fulfillment, possibility, wonder, and passion.