If you are struggling to
make a change, and your old ways aren’t working, do something different:
React, Respond, Think, View, or Do
Many attempts using old habits and behaviors leading to the same outcomes make us realize that this pattern is not working. The frustration makes us reach the point where we seek to change. That need for a new view can lead us to reevaluate what type of outcomes we want in our lives, what we want our lives to look like or even, the kind of person/parent/friend we want to be. All of it requires action.
The idea of taking action, creating an environment for change, and shedding old habits can seem painstakingly challenging to consider when we’re at the tipping point in our lives. It is at this time that real change can happen. We often wait for a crisis to happen or ongoing disappointments that continue to force us towards something new. This challenge is entirely okay. We’re human, we live, and hopefully, we learn. It’s never too late to make a change, and many times change leads to new paths and new opportunities.
I was listening to an e-book recently, The Brave Art of Motherhood by Rachel Marie Martin. The author (who was in a crisis) was being asked by her therapist when she thought her life would change. He specifically asked her if she thought the changes in her life would happen by the time she was seventy…sixty…fifty? The answer was yes. He went on to ask if she would change by 40, which is closer to her current age. At this point in the story, the author felt fear and lacked hope and faith that she might not make the changes she wants.
I share this story because Rachel Marie Martin is all of us at the tipping point of transformation. The story impacted me personally to consider where I want to be in a year, three, five, or ten years from now. Do I believe that I will overcome my fears and make the changes I want for the future? What changes am I going to make to get there? What about you? What do you want your life to be like in one year? Five years? Ten years? Twenty? Are you willing to take steps in that direction even if you are afraid? Sometimes it’s hard to imagine a life that far out, but here’s the thing, it’s coming.
Permanent change takes time. It requires us to identify our own areas or outcomes we want to see differently. The good news is that most of us (me for sure) don’t know what changes will be in place for us in five or ten years, but we can start today towards the path of self-growth and new ways of thinking. We can begin to believe that we are capable, good enough, and strong enough to begin. The beginning is always the most challenging step, but it doesn’t have to mean a giant leap. It can be small intentional changes that lead to permanent change. When you find yourself in an old habit, consider what you can do to change the narrative in the present moment. Consider how you can react, respond, think, view, or do it differently to change the results. It may even require not answering, pausing, or even reaching out for help.
Transformation does not usually happen suddenly. It’s a gradual and continuous process that occurs by choosing responses and actions different from your old habits and previous approaches. There will be times you slip back into the old way of thinking, wondering if you can ever change. This contemplation is part of the process by creating the awareness that this is no longer your path. When you realize you are changing, the power of self-belief, faith, and hope will remind you that you have changed. You are not the same as you once were, and you are working on a better version of yourself.