Change is a Lifetime Practice

by Jan 17, 2020Self-Knowledge

Change is a fabulous thing, really. Without it, nothing would be possible.

Sometimes we are the authors of change and can anticipate, prepare, and even look forward to it. Other times, change is unwelcome and completely unexpected. 

The process of change is frequently misunderstood, leaving a lot of people who had really good intentions feeling unempowered and inadequate when they fail to create lasting change in their lives.

The current and misguided construct for change is simply to “just change what you don’t like.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t consider our emotions, habits (which can be very strong), our personal baggage, and our environment (which can work for or against us). 

You must also consider that life is not stagnant – you are not exactly the same person you were yesterday, last month and last year, because your experiences are continually shaping you. Blokes who have learned resilience can usually acclimate better to change, while those who haven’t can easily feel overwhelmed and incapacitated by even the smallest of changes.

That’s really frustrating if you fall into the latter group, while all your mates seem to be getting on just fine.  

Ho to we move towards accepting change?

It’s perfectly normal to want to resist something that has a psychological impact and potential to really rock us from our comfort zone. If we are to embrace or recover from change (whether welcome or unwelcome), we must accept our reality – however painful – and let go of what was supposed to be.  

We cannot move forward until we accept our present situation. It’s a lot like grief – we must go through it, not around it – because eventually, it will catch up with us. Although the initial change may be out of your control, ask yourself, “What can I control?” Sometimes, just removing our now outdated expectation can help us come to terms with our current situation.

We can become more successful at change by implementing the construct of incremental growth into our life. According to research and various schools of therapeutic thought, change is sometimes best established when we adopt small, positive, and measurable functions over a given period of time. This is the foundation of Kaizen, a Japanese philosophy. Kaizen offers resilience, flexibility and adaptability, and recognizes that the personal improvement journey is never quite complete. 

Long-Lasting Life Change Starts Small

Naturally, we are conditioned to see the big picture, which can often be overwhelming. The reality is that we only have to live one day at a time. Whereas profound change can be slow, frustrating, and full of disappointments and setbacks, Kaizen breaks down the journey into small actions called 1% incremental achievements – because 100 continuous achievements still add up to 100%. Slow and steady wins the race, mate.  

Moving forward, let’s remove the self-destructive quick fix notion and adopt the mindset of change as a lifelong goal.

Dismantle your current goal into small action steps and remain committed to these steps until they become ingrained as a habit. Measure and track your achievements and celebrate your successes along the way.

Committing to continuous growth and improvement will provide you with unlimited motivation to achieve your goals.

Need more help with this issue? You’re not alone. Start Here.

There’s help in your corner, mate.

 

References/Citations: 

Sandford, Kathryn (November 2019). How Continuous Improvement Can Enhance Your Personal Life. Accessed: https://www.lifehack.org/788823/continuous-improvement

Smith, Kathleen, Ph.D., LPC (July 2019). The Psychology of Dealing with Change: How to Become Resilient. Accessed: https://www.psycom.net/dealing-with-change

Taylor, Jim, Ph.D. (January 2012). Personal Growth: Four Obstacles to Positive Life Change. Accessed: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-power-prime/201201/personal-growth-four-obstacles-positive-life-change

Kunst, Jennifer, Ph.D. (September 2011). There’s Only One Way to Change: Slowly Over Time. Accessed:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/headshrinkers-guide-the-galaxy/201109/theres-only-one-way-change-slowly-over-time