I have made a lot of big changes in my life over the years- from quitting a fantastic job surrounded by even more fantastic people in order to work for myself, to deciding to leave the comfort of the town I was born and raised and educated in for a new life in an entirely different place, to even my recent change with this blog, shifting from talking about other people's work and lives into talking about my life and the things that truly matter most to me.
But with each and every change, I faced resistance. An inner push and pull that had me questioning every choice I wanted to make. And I think we all face a certain level of resistance when it comes to making big changes in our lives, because we tend to think that staying right where we are, even if we know we're not happy there, is less risky and seems less painful than the thought of making a change.
That's why change requires a leap of faith. You will never know for sure what the new job, new town, new relationship, or even something as simple as a new exercise routine will feel like, until you do it. There's no proof or evidence. No crystal ball you can look into to see exactly where this change will take you.
So instead, we resist. We stay put, where we think we're safe. We rationalize ourselves out of making a change, because the reality of it is, change is fucking scary.
So how do you break through the walls of the resistance you're creating within yourself?
Here's how I was able to break through the things that were holding me back from making some of the most important and best changes in my life:
- with support: A large part of our resistance can come from not wanting to lose or strain the connections we have with people that are part of our "old ways"- so you need to make new connections related to the change you want to create. Find connections in the new town you want to move to, join meetups and events related to the new job you want, invite girls from your yoga class to tea afterward if you want to have more health-conscious people in your life. Find and use your support system. If the people closest to you aren't supportive of the changes you want to make, it's important to find people who are. From real life communities to online ones, there are people out there who understand where you're coming from, and what you want out of life.
- with role models: Akin to support, but in a more aspirational way, it's so much easier to break through our resistance if we have a role model for that change. Someone who has been there, done that, made the same change you're looking to make and was the better for it. Whether it's a friend, a group you belong to, a blog you love to read- seeing other people create changes in their lives is encouraging and motivating for you to create your own.
- with time: Change takes time, and resistance takes time to whittle away. That's why sudden, unexpected changes often throw our whole worlds out of whack- but even a sudden change becomes your new normal, eventually. We are highly adaptable creatures, us humans, and when we're thrown into new life situations, we work it out. The pains and struggles that happen during your transition through a change, will fade away with time.
- with a shift in perspective: When we focus on all the obstacles in our way for change- that's all we can see and our vision becomes obscured with that wall of resistance. But if we can envision a peek over that wall, into what our life would be like after the change, and instead focus on all the benefits that this change would make in your life in truly fulfilling ways, then it becomes easier to imagine that the difficulties you may face during the transition will be well worth it in the end.
- by finding success, even in failure: If it's fear of failure holding you back, remember- even if you make a big change and it doesn't work out as you had hoped, or planned- you made a big change! Which means, you can do it again more easily the next time, and that is a success in itself. And in "failure", disappointment, rejection or frustration, we learn more about ourselves and what we really want out of our life, than we would if everything just came easily to us all the time. That knowledge and growth brings you closer to your true self, and to me, that's the best success of all.
Change can happen, for real! The dreams you want for your life can become a reality, if you break through those walls of resistance and make it happen for yourself!
Are you facing any resistance right now trying to bring a big change into your life?
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