Last month I talked about the process of change, and now I'm going to go a bit out of order so I can address some common concerns that come up when you are approaching change. I felt compelled to write about this specific part of change - what happens between deciding to change and actually changing - because we are in the season of resolutions. Not to mention that "change" was THE word on everyone's lips at the Golden Globes.
I don't know about you, but I find it exhilarating to set a new goal and create a plan for how I want to achieve that goal. It's the fun part for me. I get all excited about what my future will be - I buy organization supplies and the outfits to look the part, I plan time in my calendar to take action, I journal and dream about the new me. I dreamily ask myself what are all the ways my life will be better?
And then it hits me. I will ACTUALLY have to change from the comfortable version where I am right now, and do some stuff that is really new and uncomfortable to get where I want to be. Uh oh, this is reality kicking in.
I recently connected with someone who found herself in this exact place, and I wanted to share her story. You can watch the video here.
We all know that change isn't easy. I wrote in my blog about Phase Three of change that "this is harder than I thought it would be. And that's ok." We already expect things to be hard when we're changing, so wouldn't that make it easier since we know what to expect?
I wish it was that simple. But, no. Anytime you are adjusting to anew normal, there is going to be a period where things are incredibly uncomfortable.
When I work with my clients, I notice a pattern that we all tend to make change harder on ourselves. We get stuck between the inhale and the exhale. It's like we are holding onto that inhale forever because we are afraid it's the only inhale we will ever have. If we let it go, then what happens? We spin all these stories that other people will think less of us for letting go of our last inhale, that it means something about who we are as a person if we exhale.
See how silly this is? Just exhale. Let it go. Fall into the change, move to the next step. But holding onto the inhale you are literally stopping the process of change, and turning yourself blue in the process.
We all get afraid. The choice we have is how we deal with the fear. We can chose to recognize that it is there, and say we are moving forward anywhere. Or we can hold our breath and wait for it to go away on its own (spoiler alert: you're going to suffocate before that happens). You can choose your response.
Next blog, I'm going to talk about how to lay the groundwork for change and the process for creating a vision. Yes, this is backwards chronologically, but I really wanted to get honest about this scary part.
If this is what you're going through, I have your back. You're not alone. I encourage you to forward this to a friend that might be going through something similar if they are facing the fear of change. Tell them you have their back, and that it's ok to exhale.