Life is a cycle of ups and downs and we all go through changes in our lives, whether it be aging, emotional maturing, divorce, parenthood, or loss. However, some of us seem to embrace change better than others. A lot of times when change happens, we may find ourselves wondering how to start over and make the best of the new circumstances we find ourselves in.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt that things just weren’t working out? This could be in your personal relationships, career development or weight loss and you just feel stuck and unhappy with the way things are.
When you feel like this a lot of times you just need a change. These changes can make you sacred and afraid and prohibit you to making the conscious decisions to change because you’re not even sure what changes you need to make, or you’re afraid you don’t have time to start over in life.
There are two main types of conflict we all encounter when trying to make changes in our lives: internal and external. Internal conflict refers to the inner struggle that affects our character’s mental and emotional state. External conflict refers to conflict between the main character and any external force, such as a villain, government, or nature.
The external struggles
A lot of external factors can contribute to making changes in your life hard these maybe due to your current financial stability and social influences from peers where you've built a perceived lavish lifestyle, status or have recognition in your community.
The Internally Struggles
The risk of losing what you've built over the years, but it just doesn’t seem logical to give up for a new pursuit of an alternative that would give more meaning to life can be hard to implement and cause internal emotional conflict.
Excepting the Struggles
When we allow the struggles to hold us back we’re just making things harder for change to happen. These are old patterns, built up over the years, become our coping mechanisms for dealing with difficulty of change.
The uncertainty or discomfort about the change, makes us look for a way out and we start to rationalise and look for something easier.
We create high expectations (our goals, ideals, fantasies) and then fear not meeting those expectations (more uncertainty).
We don’t believe in ourselves because we doubt whether we’re good enough to do it (more uncertainty about ourselves). We become harsh on ourselves for procrastinating or messing up as a way to deal with the uncertainty that arises when we do these things.
How to make changes
When we notice that we’re procrastinating, seeking distraction, being harsh or critical, rationalising quitting or putting something off, stressing out about not being able to do something, we should really pause and take a minute out.
Once you've paused you need to think about how we're just making things harder. We can make things more effortless by not reacting to the uncertainty.
Instead, notice the feeling of uncertainty in your body. See that it’s there and that you want to get away from it or get control of it. When you stay with it and you see that it’s just a feeling, nothing to panic about you can overcome it.
By practicing the mindfulness of staying with discomfort and uncertainty, we learn to be comfortable with uncertainty.
As you do this, you then turn back to the task and act. Just simply be with the task, and just take action. Just do.
If we're beating ourselves up because we haven’t done a good job sticking to a plan, we can notice that we’re being harsh, and instead allow ourselves to feel the uncertainty about ourselves. Then just start again on the plan, letting go of what happened and starting afresh without stress.
If we're stressing out about not meeting a goal or expectation, we can notice that we have uncertainty about this goal, and just stay with it. Then just take action on the goal without worrying about the expectation.
Many of us have things we’d like to change: our exercise and diet habits, procrastination and productivity habits, patience and mindfulness habits, quitting bad habits, decluttering and finances, reading and learning and doing all the things we want to do in life. You need to decided if you want to tear down that wall or continue to let it enclose you in.
Listen To Podcast: S4 E14: The Power of Starting Again