Talking Yourself Out of Making Changes
When we begin to reflect upon making changes in our lives, we can tend to focus on the things we don’t want much easier than the things we actually do want.
Our internal critic seems to creep up and tell us things like “Oh you can’t have that” or “I don’t know how to have that…” And before we know it, we have talked ourselves out of making the decisions that are going to help take steps towards changing.
Change can happen either gradually or suddenly.
We are, for example, witnessing some of that now in our world with the pandemic. All of a sudden, we are forced to change our lives as we know it. Due to an external force we are made to change. As opposed to change that can happen gradually from within us step-by-step.
We are at choice at all times.
If we are unhappy in our career, relationship or even with ourselves, we can instigate the change by the choices we make in this moment. We have the ability within us. If we don’t do this and we keep ourselves in situations and circumstances that are not truly aligned with who we are or want to be, it can feel unfulfilling and as if we are stuck. Although the “stuckness” of not changing creates fears, sometimes those fears keep us feeling comfortable in the known of them.
Facing Our Fears
Making changes can be very scary because there are so many unknowns. Our minds tend to conjure up the worst possible outcomes and it takes a lot of discipline to discern what is real and what is a story that we are telling ourselves. We must learn to take that leap of faith.
Despite the fear, the anxiety, the worry, and everything else that comes up, it takes a lot of self-awareness to have the courage to change. Having the courage to be who you are takes a lot of gumption. You have to believe in yourself and draw on the inner strength that resides within to support you through transformation.
We all have reference points in our lives where we have taken action with courage leading the way. Sometimes we don’t think of it this way but take a moment to reflect upon the times you have acted from courage despite the fear. What did you do in those moments? What did you actually do to get into action?
I recall as a child, when I was taking swimming lessons, there were a couple of kids in the class that were terrified of the water. Their parents probably had to force them, dragging them into the swimming class. By the fifth or sixth lesson, one of the little boys was still frozen in fear whenever it was time to get into the water. The instructor knew the boy had the capability to swim once he got in the water but getting him in the water was the big challenge every single time. This ended up being a several minute battle between the instructor and the child during every lesson. One day, the instructor decided to gently push him into the water. Everyone was shocked. Why was the instructor doing this? What is this all about? This is NOT okay.
In reality, the instructor was helping that child take the leap of faith and believe in himself. That gentle shove proved to the boy that he could do it. That he knew what to do once he got into the water. He was a bit upset that he got pushed in but he got over it pretty quickly. After that class, it was a huge transformation. You couldn’t get him out of the water. He was always the first one in and the last one out of the pool every single lesson the rest of the year.
Reflect upon this in your current life. Where are you kicking and screaming and resisting so much instead of just taking that leap of faith and having the courage to change? Where are you holding yourself back?
Having the Courage to Change
It does take some discipline and true commitment to make long lasting changes in our lives.
When we find ourselves trying to make a decision about a new job, going into business for ourselves, relocating, starting a new relationship or whatever you might be faced with, ask yourself if this change is for your personal highest good. Is it something that brings you in alignment with your purpose? You will find that if it is in alignment, commitment to the task won’t be that much of a problem, it will come naturally.
Honoring yourself is part of self-care and self-love.
It becomes how we show up in the world. Taking the small steps towards what you want is what really matters. No matter how small or how big the steps, movement forward is important for change. Change is dynamic and really constant in our lives. We always have the opportunity to shift and transform in our lives if we are showing up in this way every time.
It’s much like exercising a muscle. We can’t go into the gym on the first day and bench press 200 lbs… we have to build up to that amount of weight by consistency and repetition. Exercising your courage and taking the steps despite the fear is where we can discover that we can do this with anything we want in our life. It will become easier and easier every time we exert this courage. It does not mean that the fear will disappear. In fact, it will be there and it might even get bigger. But we start to discover how to take the steps to making the change for the betterment earlier each time.
When we cultivate the ability to tune in with our internal guidance system we begin to trust and integrate all aspects of ourselves into what we are wanting to create and change in our life. It helps us make choices that are for our highest good. It is never too late for you to become what you might have been.