We all want change in some areas of our life. Whether it's our physical health, exercise routines, diets, personal relationships, or career growth, I bet there is not one of you reading this who doesn’t want to change some aspect of your life.
But why is change so hard?
Why is it that we want things to be different but we just can’t pull ourselves to stop eating that extra cookie in the evening, nix the second glass of wine, tell our partner why we're upset, or put in that extra hour of work?
It’s pretty simple.
1) We aren't clear on what we want.
2) We're afraid we won't get what we want
3) We are afraid of taking responsibility.
4) We are afraid to be held accountable.
5) We’re afraid to take action.
6) We’re afraid of failure.
7) We don’t really want to change.
Afraid afraid afraid. Fear. Fear fear. Wishy washy. Are those the emotions and thinking patterns you really want driving your life and your decisions? I definitely don't, but over the last year I have consistently found myself afraid to take responsibility for my actions and my life.
Quite frankly, I was treating life like joke and an entitled 12 year old. Not really caring. Saying things like "Oh, it'll work out. It always does". I've been pissed about my past thinking that I've done my duty, put in my sweat-quity already, and I'm ready to sit back and enjoy my martini in my mansion in the hills. Well...I'd rather have a beer in the woods but you get what I am saying.
At last! A solution presented itself. A friend was moving out of her apartment and was looking for a place to live.
I've been lured in to this shiny idea of getting a roommate for awhile, dazzled by the opportunity to make or save $1500 a month (however you'd like to look at it) for quite some time. "Great!"... I thought. "I can save more, travel more, without doing any more work! Heck yeah!".
So I said yes to her moving in. I started moving things around my house making space for someone else's stuff, cleaning closets and consolidating. It was fun to clean and clear, but something wasn't quite feeling right about it. I was a little anxious, and my gut was telling me to tread cautiously, set strong boundaries.
Then, tension began to boil ever so slightly between me and my future roomie. I could tell this wasn't going to be a walk and there would have to be a lot more compromising than I wanted to comfortable with.
So, I spent time some out in meditation letting these thoughts play out. I played out in my mind the pro's and con's (I made a T chart too) of how my operating system, work, environment, and lifestyle would be affected by this change. My intuition was telling me that this wasn't the right move. I could feel the constriction in my body. I felt choked out and like I was walking on eggshells... she hadn't even moved in yet.
Through my meditation practice, I realized that by allowing a roommate to move in, I was actually copping out from putting in some extra work to create the life I wanted. I thought that shiny extra dollar would be great, easy, and I'd have more fun and freedom until I realized that extra dollar had a much steeper price tag on it than just the dollar itself. The cost was my privacy, my space, and my freedom.
And that freedom and peace that I have in my life is not worth settling for.
So I decided it was time to change. It was time for me to get serious about my job and my life. Almost losing my freedom made me wake up, take action, hold myself accountable, and finally take some responsibility for myself. I realized that my wishes, dreams, and desires aren't going to magically appear. I've been saying to the universe for that past two years: "okay, I believe in you! Can you bring me my dream life now?"
Wishful, naive thinking you have going on there Megan.
It's time to take action.
So, I got serious. I bought business books and drew up a plan. I got clear on my purpose and the people I wanted to serve. I objectified my dreams and mapped out a plan to get there. I created deadlines and enlisted a friend to hold me accountable.
This hasn't been easy. I have encountered fear, doubt, anxiety, frustration, distraction and confusion through this process. NOTHING about change is easy. Change means death. Change means letting go of a version of ourselves and stepping into a new suit. It requires a moment in the unknown. Naked. Afraid.
Change requires discipline and sacrifice. Sacrificing mostly our ego and the stories it held onto and a few luxuries like cookies.
The ironic part is, the extra work it takes to make changes is WAY easier than you think. The mental work up and emotional stories we tell ourselves is the hardest part to overcome. Trust me, the energy I spent worrying about change and making up ideals and distracting myself from doing the work took WAY more energy than just actually doing it.
Here's how I pulled through and got my life back on track and how you can too:
1) I got clear on what I wanted..on my PRIORITY. One focus. Follow one course until successful. What is the one thing that I can do to reach my goals, or as my coach Greg would say "Who do you need to become to live your dream?"
2) Piggy backing off of point #1... I started saying NO to actives that would drain my energy and pull me away from actively working towards my dream. So for me, that was saying no to performances and being more intentional with who, what, and where my social energy went. For you, that might be giving up a happy hour for a happy hour in the gym.
3) I enlisted the support of friends. I shared openly about my struggles and frustrations and asked a friend to keep me accountable. We now have a check in meeting once a week to share our progress, support each other over the hurdles, and disclose next week's goals.
4) I made a contract with myself and committed to committing to myself. I shared the contact with my closest friends so they knew my plans and could help keep me accountable to the responsibilities I was committed to taking on.
5) I gave (give) myself space to fail. Change is hard and it's easy to slip back into old patterns. But if you can actively give yourself some compassion to miss an alarm, or mess up, then you will be able to stay on track. I saw a video on social media of a woman said that she gave herself 5 fails per day. She wouldn’t give herself a hard time until she hit the 6th fail. If we can become masters of getting back up after failure, we can never lose.
"Inch by inch! Everything is a cinch!"
So my question for you, do you really want to change? Or are you actually okay with where you’re at? Are you the happiest, healthiest, and richest you could possibly be? If so great! This blog post isn’t for you. But if you aren’t exploiting your potential, could you use your imagination and get excited about how you will feel in 6 months or 8 months, when you put in the consistent effort to make small but steady changes over time and took responsibility for your life, and live in the satisfaction that YOU DID IT!!?
I'm damn excited. My future self is very, very happy and pleased this current version of me supported her in a beautiful way. You can do this too I promise!!!
And if you’d like accountability in your transformation process, need help setting goals, or just need support, feel free to schedule a free consultation call with me here ---->
All my love,
Megan Wren is a CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Fitness Expert, Poet, Author, and Multimedia Performing Artist. You can find her on instagram at www.instagram.com/itsmeganwren