Why do we struggle with change?

There is one side of us that craves change and there is this other side of us that freezes or is terrified when we want to start something or we start and we don’t finish OR we get really enthusiastic but we don’t actually ever start.

Other than gravity, change is the only other constant in this world, so why do we resist it or become so critical of our response to it?

Well, it is because we are all wired to fear change! Our brain is wired to keep us safe. It is the reason that our ancestors survived. We tend to look at the negative and what could go wrong as a way of protecting ourselves. Since there is so much uncertainty around change our brain looks at it as threatening. Thus, we often choose the status quo even if it means remaining in our misery because it feels safer than the unknown that change could bring about.

Do you have a pattern of criticizing yourself when you are considering change? Do you panic, stress, worry or have anxiety about it?

Do you beat yourself up saying that you should have done this before or should be further along by now, or why can’t I get my act together?

Does pushing yourself or being really hard on yourself or feeling anger or frustration inspire you to take action? Possibly! But know that when we are coming from that place we lack intuition and compassion. While pushing ourselves to change we inevitably just get exhausted, frustrated and overwhelmed. Because there is no joy when we impose so much pressure on ourselves to change we will, most likely, just sabotage ourselves. We will quit, take inaction or action in the other direction.  We end up failing because we are unable to sustain the action in this state.

When we are having that experience we need to realize that it is not because there is something wrong with us or because we are broken or not good enough. It is actually misguided self-love.

When we understand why we react in a certain way it’s so much easier to replace the criticism we have for ourselves with compassion. Change, based in compassion, becomes effortless.

Take a step back to look at where you are, how you feel and what you really want. Sometimes that space can feel a little uncomfortable or we are scared to give ourselves that space because that horrible voice will pop up and say: you should be further along… get to it!

When we give ourselves that space we begin to get ideas. We can then trust our intuition to see the little signs that the universe gives us. Decision become easier and instead of feeling like we are pushing for a change we actually feel that it is more like a pull.

The change we really want can actually feel liberating and freeing rather than chained to rules or routine or what we think we should be doing.

Know that:

  • Fear never goes away.
  • Taking actions means making mistakes, so embrace the fear of making mistakes
  • We are all vulnerable
  • Failure is not the opposite of success it is part of success. It is a learning process. It is where you can get clarity, learn lessons and find the secret to success. Understand that you can’t benefit and learn from those lessons if you are so harsh on yourself or self-critical. Beating yourself up does not make you a more self-aware person and it will not create immunity against someone else criticizing you
  • Change becomes effortless when we are more compassionate towards our self.