We all long to feel happy and can feel that something is just not working in our lives and that it isn’t right for us anymore.
We usually know what would make us feel happier, even if we have a tendency to lie to ourselves; out of fear and the guilt of being selfish. We try to ignore it, or pretend that we don’t know to delay the truth, until we just can’t take it anymore…
Change is scary…
It is a step into the unknown, which can go hand in hand with the fear that we might hurt someone else if we think about ourselves - and “what if I fail and it wasn’t worth it!”
So we self-sacrifice and use up the one commodity that it totally precious and irreplaceable - time, because we are afraid.
The truth is you’re so much more courageous than you give yourself credit for and far stronger than you realise. You just need to give yourself a helping hand to make change less of an enormous beast, but instead just a series of small adjustments, tweaks and reboots that will have the desired outcome.
Tackling the small things build confidence, so that we can then face the bigger changes in life that take more courage; such as ending a relationship, or changing jobs.
With practice, patience and a little kindness for yourself you will actually find that you are more than capable of making the most incredible changes to achieve that elusive happiness.
Here are ten ways that you can use to help yourself make the process of creating change more manageable…
1. Take It Steady - learning to hold your nerve and slow down, so that you don’t rush. To instead approach life as more of a trek, less of a sprint, takes the pressure off and we are less likely to fall over. Taking it slow and steady also gives us time to be ready for facing the new. It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as keep moving..
2. Make Change Into Small Bite Size Pieces – Don’t try to eat the elephant in one sitting… Just see that as long as you aiming and attempting to take regular practice changing attitude and behaviour towards your goal - such as eating healthier one meal day, or walking twenty minutes a day, or cutting down your caffeine intake one cup per day, so you weaning off - you’re heading in the right direction.
3. An Inside Job - Long lasting change comes from the inside out, because it’s focused on how you approach your life, yourself and what matters – such as keep acknowledging and then throwing away your guilt – say no to believing that giving yourself what YOU need and making yourself happy is bad! When we are happy and content we have so much more to offer other people…
4. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition – When we’re making change we need to create momentum - like the snowball becoming the avalanche, or the stream leading to the sea, after a period of time doing the same thing over and over again we create momentum and until change is inevitable. So keep repeating your small steps over and over again – whatever the practice, we only improve with practice!
5. Journal Everyday – Writing in a journal every night before you go to bed can really help with coping with the emotional impact of the change process. Go grab and pen or pencil and remember a journal is not for being neat and tidy with good spelling.
It’s a private place where you can say all those small inner child fears and irrational thoughts and rant about how it’s not going fast enough or too fast – just let it all out without judgement and a free hand. It’s only emotional fall out - you DO need to give it a release and listen, but you DON’T need to give it too much weight.
6. Rest is Essential To Success – Rest and taking timeout to build your energy, just be with how things are at this moment and do absolutely nothing is very much of the process in creating change that lasts. It’s not being lazy to have time out - if we don’t give ourselves time to rest, we just end up burning out by the constant striving, worrying and doing, too becomes too hard, as we don’t have the energy to keep going, so that we give up!
7. A Strong Body Helps A Strong Character – Creating change is about testing and building your character. Exercising can really help to build your sense of strength , by working your muscles and build core strength, but also it helping to soothe your nervous system, which will be a little on-edge during the process of change.
8. Sometimes You Just Have To Hold Your Breath And Rip Off The Plaster – This list can make the smaller or long term changes achievable, but those regular bite size steps are also preparation. The training ground for those moments in life when you just have to dig deep and find your inner strength and do what really matters for you - make that big change you have been avoiding or preparing for.
9. No One Else Is Ever Going To Like Your Changes – Just accept it ! I’m sorry to say that unless someone else is really secure in themselves and truly happy in their own life; they’re never going to like you making changes. This has nothing to do with whether they love you, or not, but everything to do with self-preservation! It’s like the ripple effect in a pond - if you change, then you will change the status quo and that will reflect on them and they don’t want to be forced to look at their life – so naturally they will resist.
However give them a little time to adjust and get used to it and you might just find that they were behind you all along. Even when it comes to ending relationships, sometimes both parties know that it isn’t right anymore, but they‘ve both just been waiting for the other person to say it…
10. Track Your Changes – Any time that you’re looking to make a change in your life, whatever it is, it’s so useful to track the progress before and during at different stages. If you don’t you will forget where you started and won’t notice the small, subtle differences and will get despondent that nothing’s happening.
Like using the scales the weigh yourself every two weeks whilst changing your diet – it is important to give enough space between check in’s to allow for the fluctuations and change to bed in.
With emotional tracking using a scoring system of 1-10; “When I started I was really scared about making this change and my anxiety levels were 9/10. Now having used these suggestions over the past 2 weeks my anxiety levels are now at 5/10.”
Remember long lasting change needs gradual building momentum, so be proud of any positive change, however small, because you’re heading in the right direction…
Written on 12/6/2013 by Jo Warwick. Jo Warwick is a writer, therapist and the creator of www.rediscoverthemagic.com She is passionate about empowering women to love, like and respect themselves. Don’t Screw It Up ~ Top Ten Ways To Create A Relationship That’s Just Right For You – download your free copy from the website.
Photo Credit: marsmetn tallahassee