Have you ever noticed that people walk around talking about the things that they want to do? They want to start their own business, they want to lose weight, and they want to be in a happy relationship. The reality of their situation is that they work for a terrible company following an awful boss, they have gained substantial weight in the past year, and their relationship makes them deeply unhappy. From an external point of view, it is so easy for people to say, “oh, just change.” Quit the job, go to the gym, and leave the relationship. While that seems like a great plan of action, and it might even work in some cases, it does not always fix the issue. The fact of the matter is, we choose to stay in that terrible job, put on weight, and stay in the appalling relationship because we get something out of it.
Running From Fear
You might just stop reading here and think, what would I get out of the thing that makes me unhappy? That seems ridiculous, and it absolutely is. Think of a situation you are in. Perhaps you are not in a relationship, want to be, or have a strained relationship with someone. Why is it that you have not gone and addressed it yet? What holds you back? There are countless reasons why people don’t do what they logically know they should. Fear of failure, fear of success, vulnerability, habit, fear of change. Change is scary. It puts you out on a pedestal to be criticized and judged. You risk losing everything when you change, but what happens when you don’t? The same old thing you have done every other day. Logically we understand that’s not what we want, but our actions do nothing to implement the change we know we want to see in our lives. So how is it that we implement change? Where is a good place to start? How do we stick to it?
Where to Change
Inside every person is an area for growth. This growth is different for every single person, but if we think about it hard enough, it is likely we already know the area of growth that needs to be addressed in ourselves. If you are thinking and thinking about where you need to grow, I will give you an example. When I first started on my journey to personal growth, I was overweight, unhealthy, and depressed. My goal became healthy. Simple, straightforward, clear cut. I knew that healthy was what I needed to work towards. It did not happen overnight. But ever so gradually, I became the version of healthy I wanted to see for myself. I cleaned up my diet and took care of my body and mental health. Today I body build and am the healthiest I have ever been. I have support from others who are as body positive as I am to keep me on track. I feel that I have accomplished this goal incredibly and am so impressed with what a strong, powerful woman I am. With this sense of accomplishment and momentum, I know other areas of my life now need my attention. My next goal might be to be more loving.
Think of an area of your life that you feel needs your attention. This might be physical, such as your health, or perhaps it is a characteristic you have. Rate your desire to change on a scale of 1-10. If it is anything lower than an 8, choose a different goal to work towards. To implement real change, you must feel extremely motivated. Your desire needs to overcome the discomfort. If your desire does not overcome the discomfort nothing will ever change.
Brainstorm some ways in which you can work towards whatever goal you might have. Healthy is relatively straightforward. Improve diet, join a gym, etc. The key to that goal is not to start with a plan but to keep the goal consistent. Most people start at the gym and partake for a few weeks, then fall off the face of the earth because it’s hard or they don’t see results. The key is to show up and stay consistent. Again, your desire to obtain the goal must be stronger than the discomfort. When you have some ideas to bring this goal into reality, choose the one you think will help you be most authentic. Start with small steps to being this transformative section of your life. Be gentle with yourself as this kind of change does not happen overnight. Keep showing up for yourself. You must want it more than anyone else does.
So many times, people will talk about surrounding themselves with a support system. You can absolutely do that with people who are coaches, guides, therapists, wise, friends, or family. These are great people to surround yourself with when you are beginning something that is challenging and new. At some point, you will become this person. I became a gym rat bodybuilder. In doing so, people would ask me how I did it. What was my routine, how do I have so much upper body muscle for a woman, and what steps did I take? At this moment, I became a support system for every woman who wanted a place in the gym. They didn’t know that while I was supporting them on form, technique, and routines, they were motivating and holding me accountable to the person I knew I was. In short, when you become the thing that once seemed impossible, others will notice the power and want to be a part of it. They want to experience it for themselves. Implementing change is so difficult in the first years because it’s not who you truly are. After a while, it becomes your identity, and you have successfully overcome one of your most significant obstacles. A new obstacle will appear, pushing you further as a person.