A Commitment to Change
How often have you heard people say that change is hard? It seems there is a natural inclination to resist change for most people, yet simultaneously they are also striving for it. Generally speaking, we want to be better, do better, feel better, and live better. We want to go from where we are currently residing to a situation where we believe we will be happier and more fulfilled. We want to overcome our fears and limitations so that we can break free, yet so often something is holding us back. This something is trust! Trust in ourselves, others, the world, and our spiritual faith all play an important role in our ability to find ease in change. Navigating the changes that come along with recovery requires a great deal of faith. It requires that a person realizes the unknown can be wonderful and positive.
Living Beneath an Imaginary Glass Ceiling
There is a lie circulating the globe regarding change and transformation. People say it’s hard, painful, and scary. I won’t pretend that there are not moments of those feelings, but the real pain comes from staying the same. It is the belief that one is stuck with their circumstances that lead to hopelessness, which is a huge factor in staying stuck in addictive behavior. Who wouldn’t want to drink or use if they feel their life couldn’t really ever get any better? I whole-heartedly believe that with the right supports in place, along with a new experience where someone’s needs are getting met, they can do anything. This is why setting oneself up for success is so imperative!
To me, nothing is harder than living a life where there is a glass ceiling of what is possible. The depression that comes along with never being able to become what we want to become in the world is to die while still alive. So let’s put aside the notion that change is hard when the reality is that staying stuck is far worse. Now I realize that we cannot just sprinkle magic fairy dust and click our heels together and expect a radical transformation to occur. I get that work is involved, but work is also involved in staying stuck. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to navigate a life that we don’t want to be living! We each have a certain amount of energy to work with each day so how do you want to use it? We can use it to try to survive what we are experiencing or we can use it to create something new. The choice is ours.
I want to be clear that I understand change can be scary in so far as we don’t know what to expect. There is a perceived ease in the familiar because so long as we are surviving the familiar we know we are “safe.” We all have a reptilian brain that wants to make sure we are at least functioning, and to that part of our brain, change can be a threat. What I invite you to remember is that level of messaging is coming from a very primal part of us, and as important as the part is, we are so much more. We are capable of anything with the right support, guidance, and belief in ourselves!
First Steps Towards a New Self
The issue isn’t that change is hard but instead that we believe it’s not possible for us. Our minds come up with all sorts of stories about how we might fail, how hard it will be, and what could potentially go wrong. I am here to tell you that it’s high time to start considering what might go right! We have both the power to lock ourselves and free ourselves from a prison of our own making. Our mind can be our worst enemy or greatest ally and often times we have to make a conscious decision on how we are going to use it.
If you are considering making a change in your life, here are some questions to get you started:
- If I knew that I could succeed and that I would be supported, what would I do?
- If I dare to let myself be truly happy, what would my life look like and feel like?
Once you answered those questions I am curious about what came up for you? Was there a part of you that came in with a reason as to why your particular circumstance wouldn’t allow for it? This is totally normal and worth taking note of because whatever reason that came to your mind is directly related to why you are settling for a life that constitutes suffering. This is the belief, no matter how valid it may seem, that is necessary to transform.
So what does one do once they identify the culprit of their limiting beliefs? Honestly, there is no right way to move forward but there are ways that I have found helpful for me and for my clients. First, consider the fact that whatever you believe is true. If you believe you cannot you won’t. If you believe you can you will. Second, remember that your timeline and the timeline life has in store for you may not be one in the same. Sometimes we have to “fail” over and over before we succeed. These failures are not the end of your story unless you let them be. Learn from what didn’t work and keep going!
People Power and Change
Surround yourself with people who believe in you. This is imperative. Contrary to popular belief, our environment is stronger than our own will power. The more we are uplifted the more we will move forward. The more we are put down, the more we take that on. Who we surround ourselves with is critical when it comes to moving toward a new life. Additionally, get clear on what supports you need in place. Do you need accountability? Structure? To leave a situation that is not healthy? Can you start going to a support group or therapy? The support we have or don’t have in our lives is so important. We are not meant to do this alone!
Finally, I want to leave you with the remembrance that you are worthy of being happy. I have found that on some subconscious level people often don’t believe this! What I want to remind you of is that with a plan anything is possible and with patience and trust, it is a matter of time. May we all remember who we are and what we deserve in our lives.