Have you ever tried to change anything in your life? Was it easy? Was it fun? Change in our lives, big and small, happens all the time. But just because change is familiar, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Even when you know changing is the best thing that could happen to you, it’s still hard to change.
Getting help from a coach or a therapist helps. Friends and family help. We can have all the support in the world and still feel stuck. Change is so difficult because it’s a battle no one can win for us.
So, how do we change? It all starts with conflict.
The Nature of Change
Change in our lives happen when something activates it. The transformation can be subtle, like when you look back and say “I can’t believe I thought like that 5 years ago.” Or it can be sudden, like when you say “Yesterday I became a mother.”
A lot of the changes in our lives happen without us being aware of them. But change always has a cause. John Maxwell says:
People change when they hurt enough that they have to change, learn enough that they want to change, or receive enough that they are able to change.
That’s what we’re gonna work with today.
The Place of Change
There is a gap between where we are now and where we want to be. That gap is the place where all the unfinished projects, ideas, and good intentions lie. That gap represents everything we know we can be, but every time we’ve tried changing something in our lives, it comes back and slaps us in the face.
The place of change is a place of conflict. But we can come out transformed.
All our fears, self-made obstacles, and limitations are waiting to fight us to go back and stay where we are. Change is the bridge to get us where we want to be. But change can only happen in that place of conflict.
John Maxwell’s quote shows that there are moments that lead us to that place of change.
Each of these moments take us to a different place of change, and a different process of change. You’ve been there. That moment when something clicks and you know there’s a fire in your heart. That’s when you know a change is gonna come, and you can say any of these:
- I have to change
- I want to change
- I can change
But this is a journey. And it’s a painful one.
The Pain in Change
A lot of people change because they have to change. The problem is that having to change puts you in places you don’t want to be. That’s why people have to take a second job to make ends meet, or get a divorce.
Having to change is a powerful reason to change. But when it’s caused by pain, it’s easy to adopt the role of a victim, or live in anger. Maybe somebody did something to you. Maybe you screwed up big time, and now you’re living the consequences of it. Or maybe your life is what it is right now, because you never had a fair shot at doing something about it.
I don’t know. But I know pain changes people, and it’s not always for the best.
The Learning in Change
It’s never been easier to learn anything. Whatever it is, somebody wrote a book about it. There’s a conference you can attend, and dozens of awesome online courses you can take.
But we don’t need more information. We already have all the skills and knowledge we need to take the first steps.
That’s why many of us have read fifty-seven books about how to start a business and never got beyond choosing the name for it. Information by itself won’t do anything. If it did, cigarettes wouldn’t sell and everyone would exercise.
The Conflict of Change
It’s one thing to be in a place where you are forced to change, but you can’t change. Or to want to change, but you don’t know where to begin.
That’s where you can shift your mindset and use everything in your life to empower you to move forward.
The Empowerment for Change
All personal transformation costs a personal transaction. I know, that sounds deep, but bear with me for a second.
Every time life throws something painful at you, something is taken from you. You may lose hope, or money or love. But every hurt and disappointment is an opportunity to change.
Everything you’ve learned from every book, conference and conversation you’ve had wasn’t given to you just to consume. Complete the transaction and do something with it.
Were you inspired? Create something. Were you hurt? Find the lesson in your grieving. Did you try something and failed? Try again, and then again.
Every time you prepare to receive something out of everything, you are empowered. What seemed confusing, now looks clear. The person you want to become, and the life you want to live, becomes the logical next step for you.
The more aware you are of everything that surrounds your quest for change, the more clear your journey will be. The idea is to find the motivation behind your change. Ask yourself these questions.
- What would life look like if _____ changed?
- What would happen if you didn’t do anything to change?
- What’s the hardest part about changing?
- What’s the easiest part about changing? Can you start with that?
- Would you be ok with this change taking longer than you’d like?
People change when they receive enough that they are able to change. So get ready to receive the good and the bad, and change everything you want to change.
“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.” ― Maya Angelou.
Take the Next Step
If you want to practice how to write better headlines for your life, we’d love to help! We can give you a free coaching session to get you started. Then, you can decide if coaching is for you. Contact us to find out what’s the best option for you. You’ll be glad you did.