The truth about change is that it's not as difficult as you think it is or will be. The reality is, we are changing all the time. Each day we get older, our hopes and dreams change, our bodies change both on the inside and out. Our emotions are constantly changing, falling in and out of love, responding to who we are with or ever-changing environment we find ourselves in. You know things today which you didn't know yesterday. You change with every new person you meet and every new situation you face. Some changes you make are big or small and not all change is good. However, change is a natural process, mostly happening outside of your conscious awareness. And yet, for many of us, making changes, which we know will benefit us in the long run, are hard, either because we fear the unknown or what changing will actually mean for us. Or we fear failing so why bother trying. Or because we believe that when something is so habitual or deep rooted, it's never going to change.
There is no hiding the fact that maintaining change is going to require you to put in effort and energy. The amount is depending on the level of change you are wanting to make. Changing which brand of washing powder you are going to use is not going to require as much thought and effort on a daily basis as much as changing your relationship with food in order to lose some weight. This type of transformational change is going to require more energy and a greater level of commitment from you.
Change is like being on a roller-coaster. You're sat in the car waiting to set off, your imagination is running wild about what's about to happen. As you queued, you saw other people's reaction to the ride, some laughing, others with the colour drained from their face. And now here you are, a mixture of excitement and fear, a multitude of thoughts running through your head...what have I done? I want to get off. I can't wait for this to get going. Crap, I scared, I should have stayed at home. These feelings intensify as the anticipation builds as the car slowly starts to move. You grip the restraining bar more tightly. You glance to the person next to you for support, only see a look of terror on their face.
Have you noticed that all roller-coasters at the beginning have a big climb? It's slow going as the mechanism pulls the car up to the top. You can almost hear it straining with the effort. Then as you near the top, your heart beat rapidly increasing, your stomach doing somersaults, your thoughts go into overdrive. The mechanism releases and in that brief moment as you teeter on the edge, everything just stops, and you have clarity of thought and an acceptance that this is it. All that energy to get to this moment. All that effort to put you in the position where what follows is effortless and will be over before you know it. And when there is another point to climb, the momentum you have built makes going over it or round it so much easier. There are ups and downs, twists and turns. At times, it’s fast, other times, it slows down. You wonder to yourself what all your fears and concerns were about. When the ride comes to an end, you feel such exhilaration and elation you carry this through to the next ride you go on. Knowing that not only have you survived but you actually enjoyed it, giving you confidence for the next time.
In some instances, knowing what to change is the challenge. Maybe there is a little niggle of something in the back of your mind, maybe you're beginning to feel uncomfortable in something you're doing or in a particular area of your life. It might not be clearly defined and needs you to shine a light on it. Bringing to your conscious awareness allows you to work on what needs to change and why. What change would you like to see or experience and what would it mean for you?
However, the question is sometimes not necessarily what to change, for many people it's obvious to them, but what they often struggle with is how to bring about the change they desire. Don't over-complicate it. How do you do anything? One step at a time.
- Identify your desired change
- Understand your why
- Create your goals
- Overcome the barriers to change
- Put in the effort and act
Remember, the change you want to make starts with one thing
- One thought
- One decision
- One action
You choose which of these you are going to kick-start your change with and enjoy the ride.