It’s easy to stay the same.
It’s hard to change.
I want to change.
It’s easy to make the decision to change.
It’s hard to make the change.
It takes a long time to change.
It only takes a moment to change.
I can’t change.
I don’t want to change.
Why should I change?
Why can’t I change?
I don’t know if any of the statements above resonate for you? Over the years I’ve probably gone through them all. I still find myself thinking about at least one of them on a regular basis. The difference is now that I no longer believe that I’m unable to change. Like many people I used to believe that they way I am is just the way I am. I’m fixed and unable to change.
I used to believe that I would only change if events or situations made me change. I relied on external forces to make me change. If I was angry then people, situations or events were making me angry (and I did used to believe that many things made me angry, as well as frustrated).
Because I used to believe that only external things could bring about change I stopped looking at what I could do to change my life. I handed responsibility for my life, my job, my relationships and many other areas of my life to external forces. All I had to do then was react to them. I would be forced to react, forced to change, or forced to defend my position. I felt powerless.
Of course on some level I knew that it was up to me however I chose to believe that I wasn’t prepared in the same way as others to be able to be in charge of that change.
It’s not as though I didn’t take risks or that I didn’t do anything. In many ways I was successful, outwardly confident, perceived as a risk taker (changing jobs, moving countries, going to drama school for three years, travelling for extended periods on my own). I wasn’t happy. I believed that I needed something external to make me happy. A person, a job, a situation. I certainly wouldn’t ask for help from anybody if I felt that I was somehow ‘incomplete’. I blamed my upbringing, my circumstances, the choices that others had made, the choices I’d been ‘forced’ into. I certainly didn’t accept responsibility.
Until I did.
I’m 52 now. In the last five years I’ve stopped blaming others and accepted responsibility. For everything. I’ve stopped blaming myself too. I realise now that I did what I thought was the right thing to do at the time I did it. I’ve still some way to go on this journey. I’ve not yet reconciled everything. I’m fine with that as well.
And so while I still find myself working my way through that list I now know that I’ll end up with this knowledge – that I will change and it’s up to me to do what I have to do to bring about that change.
Nobody else is responsible.
A friend of mine used to say, “No man is an island, except Brooke Hender” and I used to take pride in that. Now I know that it wasn’t strength that kept me isolated, it was my fear. Fear of exposure, fear that people would see my vulnerability. I wasn’t prepared to say that I needed help. I did and I do. By reaching out I have the support of many people in so many different areas of my life. And I’m grateful for that. And I chose that.
If you’d like a new perspective on change, or simply a chat about what might be stopping you from making the changes you’d like to see in your life why not contact me?