Saturday, September 27, 2014

Who's Afraid of Change? Not Me!

For many people, the thought of having to change brings up a paralyzing fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear of admitting you’re not good enough, fear of judgment, and fear of leaving what is comfortable behind. In my life, it has been my path to understand the lessons that have been put in front of me, learn it, and teach it to others.

Shouldn’t it be easy to change? When you know something is not going the way you want it in your life, shouldn’t you want to improve that aspect of your life?

What I have learned is the first step is always the hardest. As a baby the first step we take is exciting because we don’t yet know that if we fall down we will get hurt. But as we live our lives and take a step forward and occasionally fall down hurt ourselves, we become more and more afraid to move in any direction, afraid of the pain that might come. We begin sticking only to the same steps we have taken before. Even when those familiar steps are causing us pain, we unconsciously decide the pain we are used to is better than the pain we are not.

Familiar pain while it becomes a place of understanding isn’t healthy because you don’t get to experience anything new. If you decided the pain of falling down when you first began to walk was too much and instead made the decision to continue to crawl, you would have missed the joy of running or climbing or jumping. You would have missed all of the experiences you have had in your walking life.

While the thought of change is painful, it is necessary for your evolution.
The actually truth of change is that once you realize changing things about yourself and things about your life is for the better, that adjustment can mean the difference of leading a truly happy life.

So, you might just want to start with the following simple steps:

Step 1:  Make a List - We all have things happening in our life (whether we are the direct cause or not) that we don’t like and wish would change. Don’t wait for a devastating event in your life to cause you’re A-HA moment.  Take a moment to sit and evaluate your life.  Ask yourself what you don’t like that is happening in your life. Get out a sheet of paper and make your list.  (example: I don’t like that I don’t get paid enough at my job for the work I am doing.) Continue to write everything you don’t like.

Step 2:  Evaluate - Now that you have your list, take a moment to examine it. Next to each item on your list, ask yourself why you don’t like it and write that answer down. (example: I feel as though I am not valued at my job because: I work a lot of overtime and it seems expected for me to do so yet my boss doesn’t consider compensating me for it.)

Step 3:  The Fix – Now that you know the why of it, you are officially empowered to change it.  Next to each “Why you don’t like it,” write down how you can change it. (example: I need to approach my boss and ask for a raise. If he decides he won’t give me a raise, then I will set a healthy boundary to not work any overtime but I will still do my job to the best of my ability.)

Step 4: Communication – Effective Communication is an amazing “key” to have in your tool belt. Effective communication means that you say what you mean in a positive manner (watch your tone and your physical mannerisms as you don’t want the person on the other end of the conversation to become defensive), and listen intently to what the other person is saying so you are able to understand their side and can therefore answer or respond accordingly. When practicing effective communication, you should leave every conversation satisfied with your part in it and ensure the other person is doing the same. (example: When going into a meeting with your boss, make a list of everything you have done in your job – show your value! Once you have communicated what you have done for the company, then have a list of things that you would like (please remember the compensation must equal the job performed) your boss may not agree to the entirety all of your list as the company may not have strong financial standing at the moment but he/she may begin a negotiation with you. Be open minded and work within the negotiation.)

Step 5: It’s “Go” time – Now that you know what the fix needs to be, you can put it into action.  Be positive and set out to take the first step of the fix. Once the first step of the fix is complete, take the second step. Then move on the third step and so on.  As you continue to take these steps your forward momentum will continue to progress.

Change may seem a bit scary but doesn’t have to be. It is part of life. We should always practice our Learn, Grow, Evolve as that is how we move forward.

Think about it, are you the same exact person now compared to your 5-year-old self? Of course not, you have learned many things and made adjustments to that learning along the way. Changing when you were young was easy because life was relatively simple and you hadn’t yet experienced many setbacks. Don’t be afraid to open up and learn new things about yourself and the world around you.  

Your change is the key to your evolution.

Now that you have a simple and easy way to target and fix the things in your life that you don’t like or that are holding you back, you can readily embrace your change and your bright future.

Remember that positive change takes time. Developing a bad habit is never instantaneous and neither is breaking it and setting a positive pattern in its place.

Peace and Love to the Universe!

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