As I wander through life there are many interesting conversations to overhear and participate in. One that’s caught my attention lately is how hard change is. You can resist change and stay stuck in your situation, or you can grow through change and create a different reality.
There’s no denying that change is hard, at first. The benefit of sticking with the effort to make a change is that you emerge a better person. The effort you put in is rewarded by the results you get. The path along the way can be a bit messy, even disappointing some days, but you still owe it to yourself to persevere. And you learn and grow from even the messy stuff in the middle.
Another objection to some making change is that it feel like deprivation. You gotta change that mindset. If doing things that are hard creates a feeling of deprivation, not a feeling of challenge and growth, you owe it to yourself to switch your thinking. Growth isn’t a sacrifice. When you lose bad habits you are growing. You lose a bad habit by replacing it with a good habit. When you change from a bad habit to a good habit, you haven’t lost a thing, you haven’t sacrificed anything — you have grown and improved. There’s no deprivation in growth.
In my observations and experience, deciding to change some aspect of your life — diet, physique, addiction, meditation practice…any habit you perform — is energizing. That decision is taking the first step. Taking action is the next step, and subsequent steps, until you reach your goal. That’s how change is accomplished, one decision and step at a time.
Each step along the way is a chance to learn. You learn about yourself and the world. Exciting! Empowering. That’s part of an Energize Me attitude. That’s part of the growth that keeps life interesting and valuable.
Are you tired of at least some aspects of your life? What are you doing about it? Action versus non-action is the difference between someone living up to their potential and someone stuck in the past.
Maybe you don’t strive to grow and change because it feels like too much work. That’s one of the comments I hear. Consider this: you are working toward the wrong goal, you aren’t passionate about the change you are avoiding. That is stressful. Altering your attitude or goal will turn hard work into passion.
Another possibility is that you haven’t found the right attitude about the change you want, or are told you must make. Can you wrap your head around the idea of accepting that the change is important and taking the first step, even if it’s a little one? Can you tiptoe into the change? Some people prefer jumping in with both feet — or diving in head first. Regardless, you have to move toward your goal or your desired change won’t happen. What’s your style?
A friend of mine has learned to live his life like a video game or movie script. By turning a challenge into a game goal — complete with points, levels, and rewards — he has been living the life of his dreams for over six years now. Now that’s energizing! That’s the path to success for him, and lots of his tribe.
The reality, is by taking on change you are investing in yourself. You invest in yourself in other ways, like education, saving for a goal, health, or the friends you keep; why not invest in yourself when it comes to your habits and attitudes?
You’ll find your life more satisfying and gratifying as you accept that change can be hard, but that you can make it easier. You’ll be energized by the action you take with that first step. You’ll live a better life.