“Change.” What does that word mean to you? What feeling does it invoke? Does the thought of change scare you? Excite you? Make you nervous? Do you have any idea of what change would look like if you actually started walking down that path? What are the obstacles that could get in the way of your journey toward change?
Change is not something that just happens. In most cases, change requires action. For many, the thought of being in the constant state of pursuit of anything can be quite stressful, thus, change is avoided. People tend to associate change with the idea of giving something up. As creatures of habit, that can be a terrifying concept. Often times, it is difficult to know where to start. However, like most endeavors that we finally decide to embark on, we realize that change can be super rewarding and sometimes, even more satisfying than what we thought we couldn’t live without.
Here are 4 reasons why the word “change” often gets in the way of achieving your full potential.
1) “I want it now, dammit!”
There are times that I hear people lament over the things they are lacking in their life and I immediately think about my kids when they don’t get something they want. I always stress to my children that if they just work for what they want, make their bed or put away their toys, they will be rewarded. Sometimes they listen and put the work in, but other times, they choose not to. When they come back to me later asking for the same thing, I tell them again that if they really wanted it, whatever it was, they would simply have to work for it. We live in a society of immediate gratification, a society that expects immediate results. Don’t get me wrong, feeling any positive change in our wellbeing is awesome, but it is important to understand that speed does not always coincide with quality and lasting results.
I see this often with my clients. They seem to have this ideal body, life and job in their head…because as we all know we NEED to have that amazing body to have everything else right?! Yes, that was sarcasm. We all need goals to work toward and dreams to achieve. Most times though, they don’t come with a realistic perspective of what will be required to achieve those dreams. Once a client learns what they have to do to reach those goals, they can become defensive or begin to experience self doubt. They make excuses and deem their original goals to be “no longer right for them.” Sometimes, they decide to use other means to expedite their results and come back to me feeling worse than when we started. I have to remind them that they didn’t get to where they are over night. They didn’t go out and eat a whole pizza with a bottle of wine just once and end up where they are now. They didn’t have one disagreement with their boss and then decide that they hated their job. Their current state is the result of weeks and often years of not being true to themselves and taking care of their wellbeing.
Change can invoke fear. There is a fear of what others will think of certain lifestyle changes. There is a fear of not succeeding. There is a fear of commitment to a new and unknown way of life. Often times this fear stems from people thinking that they are never going to be able to enjoy the things in their life that they are enjoying now. They fear that a favorite treat or restaurant or bottle of wine is forever out of reach and off limits. In reality, it’s not about giving anything up. It’s about learning how to incorporate those things into your lifestyle in moderation. It’s about having them only when you really want them and paying attention to how they make you feel.
I dieted for years trying to find the quick fix that would bring my body to the ideal image I had in my head. Sometimes, I would get pretty close to my goal while other times, I would end up heavier than when I started. Either way, wherever I had gotten my body to was never good enough for me. Each failed attempt made me hate my body even more. I hated myself. I would shut down. I would be embarrassed and ashamed and feel like everyone I knew could see that I had gained back the weight. I am sure there were some people out there that did, but most people really didn’t even notice. Then I would quickly look for the next diet to get me back on track.
What I finally realized was that it wasn’t ME that failed. It was my body telling me that I was doing something to it that was detrimental to my health. All extreme diets put the body in a state of shock, eventually causing it to just shut down. It was only when I learned to listen to what my body was trying to tell me that I was able to successfully maintain the body I was looking for.
4) Where do I start?
I attended an incredible summit this weekend with a bunch of amazingly awesome entrepreneurial women. You can check out the details here (Hatch Tribe Emerge Summit) Some of the women were entrepreneurs of their own business. Some were leaders of a team. Some were leaders of their families. Some were just there to figure out how to start leading in their own lives. The one common theme among each lecture we attended was the idea of change and what it would look like to begin taking the steps towards changing what we have now into what we wanted! The thought of getting to where you want to be from where you are right now can be super overwhelming. I have days all the time where I wonder whether or not the goals I am working toward are realistic. Let me tell you something… it totally is!! I love what I do and I love the people I work with even more.
First you need to know where you want to go in life:
- I love lists! I make lists for everything. Try to make a list of everything you want in your life.
- Pick the one thing on that list that really stands out to you and from there, make a “ToDo” list of what steps you think it will take to reach that goal. Do this with a friend, a spouse, or an amazing, supportive, and knowledgeable coach (wink, wink) and start brainstorming what it will realistically take to achieve that one goal.
- Take your “ToDo” list and start to tackle the first step. Once you feel like you have completed that one task or successfully incorporated it into your life regularly, move on to the next task. It is that easy!!
I know life feels like a race; it always appears as if those around you are achieving their goals or that there just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish anything. But let me tell you the same thing I tell my kids… If you really want it, you will work for it! As far as every one else goes, looks can be deceiving! They are likely feeling just as overwhelmed, stressed, and misguided as you are. But, they are going for it, which is what really counts. This your life. Only YOU have the power to take control of where it goes and what you achieve. You own it!!