Change is damn hard! Can we all agree?

Have you ever heard these statements?
“You just need to try harder!”
“Change is a result of the right system. Follow the steps, and you will see results!”
“Anything can be changed with the right motivation”
“Behavior change will happen when you create the right goals.”

Though these statements are not entirely untrue, none of these, ALONE, will make or break your success. Yes, effort is essential, and a system is beneficial. Motivation is helpful, and our environment definitely has an influence on our behaviors. Clear goals do give us a direction, a compass to navigate with.

But change can be so messy! It’s difficult. It never happens in one straight line, and it can be so frustrating! Sometimes you are at the top of the mountain; everything seems to go your way. You see positive results. You feel so uplifted and euphoric…nothing can go wrong. But then the inevitable happens; you derail, and you find yourself back in the valley. A linear progression through the stages of transformation is unfortunately not the norm. We tend to move back and forth through the steps, re-cycling through them until the change becomes fully engrained. So, what will you do? Beat yourself up over it? Negative triggers will always be lurking around the corner. Just know that.

So, what if we can make our efforts a little easier? What if we use our natural tendencies towards exploration, play, and resilience? We could go towards what is already working well for us by discovering ourselves, our preferences, and what we gravitate towards. We support change in our relationship with ourselves and our environment.

All people can change. We can! We do have the ability to build new connections and pathways to help us think and behave differently. This is called neuroplasticity. Though it is not always easy to learn new things and change our tendencies as we grow older, in some ways, we always find a way to change.

What if we balance Self Acceptance and Change?
Striving for improvement does not mean we start off being broken or dysfunctional. We can accept reality as it is now and still desire to do something different for ourselves. Here is the secret, though. Are you ready?

Only when we compassionately and kindly accept things as they are now can we honestly and genuinely make healthy changes.

Only when we feel secure and safe at the moment can we venture out into the unknown with trust and perseverance. Threat, fear, and anxiety cut off all natural pathways towards growth. When our nervous system feels fear, pain, and distress, it tries to avoid suffering as much as possible and regresses into basic coping mechanisms. Think of our gravitation towards chocolates and comfort foods when we feel anxiety well up, only to disgust ourselves after indulging in all the sinful pleasures. We simply can not bully and criticize ourselves for lasting change!

Change is complex. It begins with compassion and acceptance of self. It embraces that we are all different creatures with all our unique and innate gifts and beauty. We are resilient and resourceful beings. Therefore, we should pay close attention to all the interconnected aspects of our lives. Take a close look at what is playing in your current lifestyle. How do all the different components play a role in how you currently feel? And how can you make tweaks to your lifestyle to make you feel even better and alive? Might it be in the way you set boundaries with others to find more time for yourself? Might it be in the way you create a bedtime ritual to get more sleep? Might it be in the delicious and healthful foods you treat yourself to?

Anything that moves an individual towards positive change can be viewed as a success, whether on a small or large scale. Encouragement and support are what we need even, and especially if we fall back into old habits. We must be allowed to learn from our decisions to take ownership of both the positive and negative ones we make.

Transformation can be broken down into simple steps. Practicing small and straightforward actions CONSISTENTLY is my core method. We can make meaningful and lasting changes by showing self-acceptance and compassion paired with a clear vision for a future self.


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