Change is so powerful and I suspect that it why people are so fearful of it. And isn’t it amazing how much people are scared of being powerful? Scared of their OWN power. Human beings have so much capacity for so many things, both as individuals and in groups and we shy away from it. Are we fed this need to dumb ourselves down from a young age?
If you are unhappy about something you have two choices. You either accept that things are as they are or you make steps to change them. I often have in my mind Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
The wisdom is the hard bit and it does make us ask tough questions. Change means accountability. Again we’re so scared to take that on. Why should you be scared of the responsibility for your own life? Surely it’s no-one else’s? And here’s the paradox.
How often do you or others you know say that they can’t make big changes in their life because of the effect on someone else. We often don’t even feel like we can make SMALL changes because of other people. I distinctly remember saying to someone who needed to lose weight that they should get rid of all cakes and biscuits from their house. Her rationale for not being able to? “But my boyfriend enjoys them”. We are experts at making excuses!
We are prepared to put ourselves through such suffering to avoid making changes that will make us happier in the long run. We all know we’d feel better both mentally and physically if we took a 30 minute walk a day. We all know that we’d be more emotionally stable if we spent less time on social media.
Making bigger changes can be incredibly painful at the time. I’ve been there. I’ve had to choose between my happiness or someone else’s. It’s the hardest decision I’ve had to make and it took a lot of soul-searching and honesty with myself to realise that I did have that choice available to me.
(Of course there is nothing wrong with finding joy in someone else’s happiness but that’s another subject for another blog!)
Your life is in your own hands. Maybe you’re not ready to make a huge change right now. So start small. Just make one subtle adjustment to your day, every day. If you are a creature of habit, develop a single new one. If you have a tendency to chaos put one tiny element of routine in. Set a reminder on your phone. Make one tiny healthier choice. Swap a chocolate bar or bag of crisps for some fruit. Instead of watching reality TV, read a book. Trade 10 minutes of your Facebook time for a more positive online news resource like Positive News
Imagine the person you would like to be. Imagine someone who you look at and think “I wish I was more like that”. Then take one step towards that. You won’t become that person, you are your own person. The idea of totally changing your life will always be a scary prospect. But getting up 15 minutes early to do a little exercise? How difficult can that be?