The one thing you can guarantee in life is change. Change happens all the time. Nothing actually stays the same: clothes get more worn out, food rots, technology updates…and our lives move on.
And yet, we can be terrified of change. We can get stuck in situations: jobs, relationships, routines, that aren’t good for us, that don’t serve us and that keep us feeling small and like we’re not living our best lives.
We over think things sometimes – we are after all human and the way we think differentiates us from all other animals. But our constant thinking can be our downfall.
Obviously, some thought needs to be involved in making changes in our lives, to rush headlong into big change without consideration and planning can be detrimental, or even dangerous to us. But the overthinking can create procrastination or a build-up of fear.
You’ve heard the saying “everything you want is on the other side of fear”, or “feel the fear and do it anyway”, but these kinds of things aren’t always helpful, they can be just cliché in fact.
What we really need to move towards change is motivation, enthusiasm and desire for the change. We have to really want it. And it can still be scary and it can still be hard.
If you want a promotion at work, you know the process to get there will be challenging, and you know that the new more senior role will be more so. But you go for it because ambition drives you. If you want to leave a relationship, you know that the ending will be difficult, but you know that what’s on the other side is something you want way more than staying in the relationship. If you want to change your body and you plan a new exercise regime to get there, you know that starting it will be hard, possibly even painful, and that keeping it going may be harder still, but the strength of the desire to be healthier, leaner or beach ready will make it worth it.
And yet sometimes we can’t just go for what we really want. We know what it is, we know how to do it, but we do nothing. We think about it for a little while longer: of all the reasons why not to do the thing, the things that could potentially go wrong. The dented pride if we’re not successful at interview, the emotional rawness felt at the end of a relationship – even when you’re the dumper – or the effort required to get out for that run. We are so good at piling on the negatives, even when the outcome is what we truly want – our heart’s desire.
But really, change happens all the time.
So what’s going on? The change that we fear is very often our own choices. What if I make the wrong choice? – I don’t trust myself. What will people think of me if I get it wrong? Fear of rejection. What will I think of me if I fail? – I’m not good enough.
Does this mean we should just stay still and avoid the change? I think not. How will you feel if you succeed? Because in order to succeed, you have to take a risk.
Trust yourself. Don’t worry about what others think. You are enough.