A lot of what I write is to share my story, but I also like to write just for myself. I'm always jotting down thoughts and ideas. Sometimes a mixture of those writings come together and take on a life of their own, such as this one.
There are certain situations or times when we reflect on the changes that have occurred in our life, or the changes we wish to make going forward.
A lot - okay, just about everything - has changed for me over the past few years and it continues to change. While some of those changes were deliberate, others were random or unexpected.
Change. Everything is in the process of becoming something else. We are, quite literally, not the same person that we were yesterday. Cells in our bodies die and new ones are born. Every experience we have and every decision we make alters our views, even if it's in the smallest and subtlest of ways. Every thing and every one is in a constant state of change.
Making a change on a personal level can be anywhere from hard to impossible until "business-as-usual" becomes too uncomfortable or unbearable.
Change isn't easy.
It's challenging and difficult.
Everything changes and we say that we know it, but do we?
If we know it then why does change continue to be so hard to accept?
Did you know the average person has thousands of thoughts per day?
The National Science Foundation published an article in 2005 summarizing research on human thoughts. It said that 95% of our thoughts are the same ones that were had the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that…the same familiar thoughts lead to the same familiar choices, which leads to the same familiar actions.
We are caught in routines. We repeat the same patterns, making each day just a rerun of the past.
When we try to make a change in our lives then we are suddenly thinking different thoughts. We are no longer making those same familiar choices that we have always been making.
Different thoughts and different choices create different actions and, ultimately, feelings.
We are suddenly outside of our comfort zone. The usual course of events has been altered and we don't know what's coming next. We find ourselves in unfamiliar and unpredictable territory and we don't like uncertainty. We got comfortable in our familiar routines, having familiar thoughts and feelings until they became ingrained in us.
Staying in a familiar and predictable situation, as unpleasant as it may seem, is still familiar and we feel safer staying with what's familiar than venturing into the unknown.
We may not like the situation, but at least we know what to do with it.
Right or wrong, good or bad, we associate familiarity with safety and normalcy.
Change can be hard because we are stepping out of our comfort zone and are faced with challenging our previously held ideas and beliefs that have served us up to this point and we don't want to let go of them, even if they no longer serve us. We're breaking the addiction to being who we believe we are.
We have told ourselves a story that we are a certain way for so long that we have convinced ourselves it's an absolute truth.
Nothing changes for us, on an individual level, unless we do. When we can't change a situation then we are challenged to change ourselves and THAT changes everything.
Change can be hard enough, but when we knowingly - or unknowingly - play games with ourselves, when we lie to ourselves, and when we are mentally dishonest with ourselves, like thinking that by simply flipping the calendar to a new year things will change, it makes everything harder. And that is the true tragedy.
Personal change can be hard if we're always looking for something outside of ourselves to change something on the inside.
We can't change that which we are unwilling to confront.
To change ourselves we have to face ourselves. And it's hard to change when you can't see yourself.
There is no remote control on life. We have to get up and change it ourselves.
You can do this!
Pic by Coffee And A Map