Cultivating Lasting Change
At times change is welcomed. Other times feared. But one thing we all know -
change is inevitable.
There are times when change is beyond your control. That divorce that you didn’t see coming, the health scare that began with a routine trip to the doctor, the layoffs you’d hoped would pass you by. Then there’s the kind of change that you actively seek out. A more rewarding career, a healthier body, a greater sense of gratitude - or just a better version of yourself.
When it comes to making that change a reality, some people dive right in. These people thrive during times of change -joining a gym, moving to a new city, following a dream. Others may hesitate to take a leap and let fear hold them back, even if they ultimately want that transformation to happen. Sometimes we worry and we become trapped in familiar behaviors and feelings. But if you take a closer look at how you view things and how you feel, you can create a meaningful, lasting transformation over time.
With a little shift in mindset, some hard work (everything good takes a little blood, sweat + tears) and a little help, you can invite change in. Check out a few of these suggestions for moving forward with whatever change you seek:
At the start of a new phase in your life, it’s helpful to take stock of what’s running through your mind. Is that little voice inside your head helping you or hindering you? Helpful thinking is non-judgmental and understanding. When you’re hard on yourself, you become your own worst enemy, and may feel even more hesitant to make a shift.
Along with being more aware of your thoughts, developing a stronger connection with something greater will also help prepare you for what’s ahead. Strengthening your faith – no matter what you believe - and trusting it, helps confirm you don’t have to face a change alone, which can feel intimidating. What “nurturing your spirituality” means for you could be anything from praying, meditating, going for a long run, being in nature or gathering with family. It’s whatever inspires a sense of reverence to something greater than yourself.
Ask for Support
We need to reach out for help. We don’t have to figure this all out by ourselves. A counselor, a wellness coach or a friend can be useful in pointing out patterns of thinking and acting that don’t serve the changes you want to bring into your life. Talking with someone can make your goal clearer and the ability to reach it will feel attainable.
Value Small Steps
If you’re finding this change difficult, it’s unlikely that you’ll feel gung-ho to move forward at first. It may seem easier to just stay the same than to evolve, even if you’re not happy.
Trying is how we learn.
Just making an effort is progress in and of itself, and it can start encouraging more small steps in a new direction. Those small steps are actually HUGE!
With time and patience, you may eventually (and perhaps even surprisingly) find yourself embracing your new adventure.
Patience is a Virtue
This whole “changing it up thing” doesn’t produce instant results; we may have to go through moments of doubt and fear, and understand that significant change takes time. Sometimes you have to take the plunge, do some real soul-searching and wait a while.
A lot is needed to create lasting change - transformation, trust, surrender, patience, and a willingness to let go of the old and open to the new. It’s not always entirely comfortable. But when a butterfly emerges, or the leaves finally turn, or you finally find yourself living your dreams…
…everything is different, and it was worth the wait.