Change? Change is never easy. We want it to be easy but if it were many of us would spend so much time, effort and money on it. Self awareness has become a multi billion dollar industry. We buy books, we join classes, you try so hard to fit into the thing that we should be.
But change is not transformation. Transformation is growth; a conscious progression that is intentional but unavoidable at the same time. We are going to transform one way or another, with every day and every experience that moves in and out of our lives. It’s emotional and yes, there are growing pains. The good news is that we can steer through, nudge and gently guide ourselves with reflection, outlook and positive patterns. We might never be fully in control of it but we aren’t fully out of control either.
There are steps to help with the process though. Self awareness, personal responsibility, Commitment/recommitment, forgiveness for yourself and others and taking pride in your development are all pivotal steps in a positive and lasting transformation.
It is hard for people to admit that there are things that they can improve on. For some reason, we become defensive about not being perfect at something even though it is completely natural to never be a master no matter how long we work on something. Admitted what we need to improve on is the first step to any kind of transformation: emotional, physical or skill-wise. This does not have to be done in an unkind way to yourself. There is a way to admit that you have things that you can improve on without being nasty. Sitting back and saying that there is something that you want or need to improve on is not a weakness. Its a strength. For example, I decided after my divorce that I was going to find ways to communicate that were not based out of fear or emotion…which was very VERY difficult as anyone who has been in that situation will tell you. Without anger, I took a breath and said “I have lived in fear, emotion and self-loathing long enough. I am aware that I have been acting out of these emotions and I forgive myself but now I am aware of the problem. It’s time to change for myself and for those around me.”
There are some things that we can’t change in life and there are somethings that we can. If we really want to change we have to own the things that we can change and really take responsibility for our own actions and the steps that we take for what we want. This also includes taking responsibility for the things that might not be perfect that we have done in the past. This might sound like self-awareness but the difference that really changes everything is knowing that we can change, the actions that we need to take to make improvements and actually taking these steps to move forward. There are plenty of people who know that they need to improve at something or that there is something that they would like to do better but not doing it or saying that they “Can’t” do it.
Let’s take the age-old “I want to be healthier”. Coaching, the first thing that I tell people is that everything that happens has to do with them or them alone. It doesn’t matter what I do, it doesn’t matter what their partner does. It has to do with the choices that they make. If you know you want to eat less sugar but you won’t give up soda…well that’s not the universe going against you. Most people know what they need to do.
Commit and Recommit
Committing is much easier if you set yourself up for success and have a good system so that you can succeed. Depending on your goal these systems might be different but there are plenty of ways for you to find those on your own. If it is health related please feel free to check out my nutrition coaching page and see about my program. Committing is one thing but the truth is that no real change is a one time thing. It’s an every day decision and there will be down swings. There will be times when you fall into bad habits. And thats part of the process. Understand that you will fall off the wagon and you will have to recommit.
Release your shame and blame for the mistakes that you have made in the past. You cant change them and you might/ probably did not have the skill set to be what you are going to be in the future. You have to forgive yourself and others in order to move forward and make the changes that you need to make in the future. Holding onto doubt, blame, anger and the sadness of the past will no longer serve you. Thank that past for leading you to a place where you know you need to change and then let it go. The past is the past and you are ready for the future. Likewise, be willing to forgive yourself for the pitfalls that you will encounter in this process.
Taking pride in the accomplishments that you make is not something that you need to be shy about. It’s not vein in the least and you deserve it! Hard work is a reward to itself but your new skill/ life is another reward. You work hard and you should be proud. Changing for the better should bring you joy. Let yourself feel them and let that joy propel you to make even more positive changes in your life.
None of this is really easy and none of it is sure fire. But knowing these things and making conscious change for the purpose of transformation into what you want to become makes these growing pains a little bit easier. Dont be afraid of transformation.
Dont be afraid of change.
Dont be afraid to grown.
You can be yourself and still move forward. And you can alway,