They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. – Andy Warhol
Personal growth is something that I have always found intriguing. Both personal and professional development are the kinds of books I read. Always seeking ways to improve myself both in and outside of the professional setting.
Having this interest, however, is merely that. It was just an interest. I read it, sometimes thought deeper about it, but majority of the time (really every time) did absolutely nothing with it.
You see, there are a few things that need to be present for change to take place.
One, change can’t be just something your interested in, or even something you want. Almost everybody wants to change. The fact of the matter is that we are actually afraid to change.
We as humans are wired to feel safe. Our natural instinct is to choose the path with the least resistance and one that looks familiar. Our natural instinct is to choose a path that feels safe.
Not changing is simply easier.
Change is this big unknown. We all know we want to change, some know they need to change, but most don’t change because we are afraid of change. Change for most, is merely a thought, a dream, an aspiration.
We are afraid of what’s on the other side. It’s unknown, it’s something that can’t be predicted. It’s something that we’ve never felt before.
Two, there must be intentional actions, daily.
For many years I simply went through the motions of wanting to change. I read books, I sometimes instilled practices to try and spark such change.
Having the desire and wanting to change must be coupled with intentional action.
Three, change is actually waiting for us.
As we seek change, and want to change, sometimes that change doesn’t occur because we aren’t ready for it. As much as we want it, it doesn’t come. Deep in our soul, we’re not ready for it.
Change takes notice and lingers in the background until our soul and heart becomes equipped to handle change, because, you’ll never be the same again.
These lessons are something I learned over the past few years. Not only must the desire and want to change be present, but your deepest core must be ready for change and the effort of instilling the necessary actions to change must exist stemming from your heart.
Two years ago I was in a deep and dark place.
I was living with extreme stress and intense anxiety. It felt as though my heart was pumping outside of my chest. It felt as though there was a twenty-five pound plate resting on my chest, pushing down. The pressure was immense.
With every breathe I took I was reminded of the weight; I was reminded of the anxiety.
It was at this point, where my physical well-being was deteriorating and my mental state falling off the deep end, I knew I had to do something.
It was at this time, I knew I was ready. I knew, without knowing then, that change was waiting and it was up to me to make it happen.
I first committed to traveling a journey of intentional self-growth. I vowed, to myself, that I would take care of myself first in order to give my best self to others.
I began to reflect, write, meditate, read, go for long walks. I did these every day. I made space in my day and found time to better the relationship with myself.
As I consistently surrendered to these actions, and was accepting the thought of change, something amazing began to happen.
Change, right before my eyes was taking place.
I soon began to see the very situations that were causing so much pain, as blessings. Those very sources are still with me today, because of the shift in lens in how I now see them, I am forever grateful for them.
Without them, change would not have taken place.
Change didn’t only shift my mindset towards the sources of such pain, but it’s shifted how I look at my entire life.
I’ve learned to slow down and enjoy the mundane and in-between moments. I learned how to be more present in the moment. I learned how to not stress over things I can’t control. I learned that each and every moment we are writing our story; each and every day we are leaving our legacy.
How do you want to be remembered? More importantly, how do you want to feel now?
Change is scary, change is something we are all afraid to face; it’s the fear of the unknown.
Even though we all want and seek it, there’s this three legged stool that must be present; the desire and want to change, you being ready for such change (stemming from your heart and soul), and finally, most importantly, committing to and instilling intentional actions for change.
Change is really the end goal, which then forms a new beginning. For change and growth to occur, learn to embrace the journey.
The journey is where change stems from, the journey is where life is lived.