Some changes ought to come with disclaimer notices warning of its nuisances. Change that contributes to growth or progress is typically a worthy sacrifice -especially in hindsight. The process of change... that's a whole different story. We deal with change in our own unique way.
When you reflect on nature, you'll notice that the only constant is change. It is inevitable. Yet, our brain is a mighty hardwired organ that likes the comfort of familiarity and can act resistant towards change. Construction projects (basically all over Miami) and the effects it has on traffic patterns is an example of change that occurs in our environment (extrinsic). Then there are self-initiated (intrinsic) changes, such as quitting cigarettes or starting a new job and these are often welcomed challenges since it's associated with personal self-improvement. Our brain seems to be friendlier towards intrinsic change -perhaps because we perceive to be in control. Even then, change is change and there will be disruptions of some kind.
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction” - C. Occelli
I'm a proponent of change and progress so this post is certainly not meant to discourage anyone. However, below are a few things to know about change that can help you 1) deal with it (especially when you weren't planning on it) or 2) stick to it once you've decided to commit. But first, choose change.
Before sharing some 'not-so-great' aspects of change, it is important to understand that personal change is a commitment that requires motivation. If you have difficulty implementing change, explore your expression towards commitment. How much of yourself do you truly invest? There is a huge difference between wanting to do something (or be someone) and committing to it (ex. setting a date to start, paying for a membership, setting goals with deadlines, studying etc). It is also important to note that through the process of change, motivation may fluctuate. What if a tad of effort pushes just enough to get motivation going? And, who or what is responsible for that effort?
"As I change, so do my relationships". A less known facet of change is that it alters relationships -you may find that personal relationships become more intimate or distant. Not everyone will appreciate, understand, or accept what you are trying to work on or improve. On that same note, when people around us change their behavior, depending on the type of relationship, we might be *forcefully* confronted with our own need to make changes. Another unfortunate aspect of change and relationships? People typically do not evolve at the same time nor at the same pace, and that is okay.
Dealing with it: Accept how you are, where you are. Self acceptance helps the process of change unravel itself at its own pace. Honor where you are today. When you accept yourself as you are, you become less caught up with other people's perception of you and trying to 'win over' individuals (at the expense of your authenticity). Self acceptance also helps us be kinder to ourselves during the change process -and to others.
Sticking to it: Seek individuals that encourage, support, inspire or motivate you! Read stories, google on or offline communities that support your venture, in other words: get out there! Look for ways to stay connected to what you are seeking. What's nice about technology is that you can find a support community for virtually anything. Focus on maintaining relationships with individuals who will support you.
Change may result in discomfort just like a new pair of shoes. Discomfort pushes our limits, and we can either endure or give up. Discomfort is one of the main reasons we resist personal change or find it difficult to adapt to change around us. There is a learning curve to most change and until you get over that hump, that clever mind of yours will try to thwart your efforts by flooding you with thoughts of doubt, fear, angst, distress, loneliness, frustration, anger... Breakthrough negative-mode mind by choosing confidence-fueled thoughts. Don't have any? Make some up, preferably in the form of an 'I' affirmation state (ex. I am _________). If you are experiencing physical or mental discomfort towards change, seek calming relaxation activities (Buddhify is a handy app you might find helpfu :)).
Dealing with it: Enduring discomfort can make you more resilient. Conquering the challenge of facing change creates an opportunity that your 'later self' can reflect on for inspiration. Each boundary you push will instill a little mental mile marker, reminding you of your resilience. It is up to you to set your mental mile markers of achievements, no matter how small or minimal you may think it is.
Sticking to it: Be open. Life and all that comes with it is meant to be experienced fully. Ask any marathon runner if they ever dealt with thoughts about 'wanting to give up'. Then ask them if they ever listened to any of those thoughts. Yes, change can be difficult and uncomfortable, and make you want to pull out your hair or whine. But when ready, you can always begin. And when necessary, you can always take a pause.
Control is a little powerhouse. You may have realistic expectations and be comfortable with some 'fails' -which you will perceive as part of the change process and learning experience. If you take yourself too serious, you will want to be involved in every variable relevant to your change process and may experience some difficulties with handling unpredictability during your plans (especially 'failure'). The bottom line: Don't take yourself so serious. Side note: However you felt (if you felt anything) towards the above-referenced word of "fail", gives you a clue on what side of the 'control spectrum' you sit.
Dealing with it: Let go. A core concept in mindfulness. Letting go of the illusion that you must have control of every process will be like a soothing aromatic balm for your mind. "Ahhhh-hhh". Take inventory of "what you can control" and "what you can't control" regularly. Push what needs to be pushed and let go.
Sticking to it: People have distinct ways of managing control. Sometimes circumstances can alter our plans, goals, and efforts for change. Priorities can change about what we seek to change. Trust in yourself and that everything is "as it should be". This is not the same as giving up. The more fun you can have throughout the process the more you should consider yourself a already winner.