“In Any Given Moment We Have Two Options, To Step Forward Into Growth Or Step Back Into Safety”
Change triggers overwhelm and overwhelm can get real messy. I once considered anything that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, bad and unfavorable. It really set me up for some great pity parties.
In the past I didn’t deal with change very well and once I became aware of this, it kind of surprised me. It surprised me because as much as I like structure, I also like the excitement and opportunity the unknown brings. So as feelings of discomfort came up, I started seeing negative behaviors and patterns that I took part in. I was resisting, sometimes without realizing it, quickly nestling back into my comfort zone. Something just wasn’t adding up. I knew I had to confront what I was now aware of.
“If There Are No Ups And Downs In Your Life, It Means That You’re Dead”
It took a while and though I still struggle, shifting my perspective of change and all the discomfort it brings has made a huge difference in my life.
I realized that the patterns and behaviors that I fall back on when change and ultimately discomfort come about are what keep me stuck. They are my weapons of resistance, things I don’t have to think about, rather just what I’m used to and comfortable with. They are my excuses for not moving forward. They are my excuses for not growing. That said, those moments of awareness helped me shift my perspective. From my experience, here are my suggestions on how to shift:
Check in with how you feel and check in often. I can’t make this point enough. Our emotions are our best guide. When we feel good, we want more of that, right? So, when we feel bad (angry, anxious, sad etc.), we don’t want to feel these things. However, I’ve learned that it’s not about avoiding these feelings as it is about understanding why you feel the way you do. So when change happens, explore the feelings and behaviors it brings up and you’ll begin to understand who you are and why you are the way you are. I’ve found that once I became aware of my feelings, I could then explore what was actually happening and it became easier for me to adjust and move closer to the better feeling emotions.
Be patient (set the bar low) and be compassionate. It doesn’t matter how you spin “change”, it can be a good change or a bad change. What matters most is the adjusting to and dealing with it in the best way you know how. Being patient and treating yourself with an extra level of compassion is extremely important during these times. “Nothing lasts forever” and “this too shall pass” are great reminders that whatever rollercoaster of emotions you’re on, THEY WILL PASS. You can make this easier on yourself by going easier on yourself. It’s simple to stick with a self-care routine like eating good food, exercising and doing some breathing techniques when your life is stable and manageable. For the times when your life has been completely shaken up, it’s challenging but so necessary to continue taking care of yourself during these trials. Give yourself what you need first, above everyone and everything else.
Take it one day, one decision at a time. Don’t get caught up on overanalyzing all the details of why things happened the way they did and how you got to this point. The sooner you accept, the sooner you can move forward. So leaving the past in the past and not anticipating the future is key. Get back to basics. Think about how you want your days to go. Set your intentions early in the day and live out those intentions with each little decision you have to make. For example, if you set the intention to have a calming day, one of the first decisions you have to make is deciding what you will eat and drink for breakfast. Maybe coffee will make you too anxious so switching to tea as it has a more relaxing effect to align with your intention for the day may be a good idea. The important thing is to do what you need to do to feel the way you want to and just continue moving closer to that.
Get organized. Inner chaos causes outer chaos and I believe it works both ways. As you’re adjusting and balancing what’s going on inside, make sure your outer world gets organized as well. Chaos causes chaos. Because this period will inevitably cause you a lot more discomfort than you’d like, it’s important to create an environment that’s comforting and peaceful.
Get support but not advice. I love this one and it took me a long time to realize it. Discomfort brings about all types of emotions and behaviors, everything from vulnerability to desperation. We hate not knowing what’s going to happen. It’s natural to reach out to friends and family in hopes that something will click and you’ll have all the answers and a plan. Though this is a great thought, it’s unrealistic. Only you know what you want and how you feel so reaching out for advice is great but it’s important to reach out without attachment. When we’re in a transitional stage with emotions all over the place, things are unclear and when we ask for advice with the intention of solving problems or gaining clarity, it adds onto the mess and often makes us even more confused. So my advice is to take everything into consideration but ultimately side with what’s happening within (and this takes time!).
“All Change Is Hard At First, Messy In The Middle And Gorgeous At The End.” -Robin Sharma
You need to believe that for every challenge, there is an accomplishment, for every failure there is wisdom gained, so staying open and optimistic will help you find the silver lining.
Can you find the message the mess?
There are a ton of factors that can cause inability to deal with change, everything from lack of sleep to poor eating habits. If you feel exhausted and are having a hard time adapting to change or just life in general, I invite you for a complimentary consultation with me where we will go over all of your health goals and concerns and ultimately figure out what’s getting in your way. Just in time for my “Fall into Wellness” program where you’ll be able kick start your weight-loss, gain more energy and get focused before the holidays sneak up! Plus, I have some free goodies for you. Sign up right here to hear all about it.