Choose changes aligned with what truly matters to you.
I like to think of September as an opportunity each year to stop and reflect on where we are, what we have accomplished so far and what changes we might want to make going forward.
We make many daily choices in our lives that create our journey. If we don’t stop and reflect, we can’t make choices based on what is important to us.
Change is constant in our lives, whether we like it or not.
As humans we are innately curious and desire to learn and grow. We yearn to be competent and develop. Yet that desire to learn and change comes with a fear of failure and fear of losing control.
You might identify with some of the many contradicting behaviours that I see as people approach change:
- The desire for growth and something new together with the fear of actually taking steps to create that change.
- Having a vision yet not knowing what steps to take to get there.
- Wanting change but feeling so overwhelmed that we become paralyzed.
- Knowing that where we are is not right yet not being able to clarify what it is that we actually want and need.
- Feeling that life is okay yet wanting more fulfillment and joy.
- Saying we want change yet letting time pass and not doing anything about it.
- Our bodies telling us something needs to change (call it instinct, gut, physical signs or illness) yet ignoring what those signs mean.
- Thinking that change needs to be big and bold when in reality it is through small steps that people climb mountains.
- Waiting for the right moment to create change yet knowing that the perfect moment doesn’t exist.
In her book Emotional Agility, Susan David describes the importance of finding a balance in our lives between challenge and competence.
She describes how we can actually become “over-competent”, getting to be so good at something that we become disengaged, bored and rigid in our behaviours. We are reduced to a routine that feels bland and predictable. She describes the opposite place where we can be “over-challenged” and feel stressed to a point where we can’t be creative and responsive to thrive.
The balance in the choices we need to make to find an equilibrium will be very different for each one of us in each stage of our lives. To find this balance we all need to make conscious choices to adapt or to create the necessary changes.
I invite you to go for a walk and reflect on your life today. I invite you to choose changes (small or large) that are aligned with what truly matters to you instead of just doing something arbitrarily because you can or because you feel pressured to.
Choose challenges that really speak to you and that emerge from an awareness of your deepest values.
Remember that when you take steps toward change, fear will show up.
“Just as we are wired to be curious and learn we are also wired to keep ourselves safe and our brains can confuse safety with comfort. When something feels new, difficult or even slightly incoherent, fear shows up.” – Susan David
Fear can also present as procrastination, perfectionism, shutting down or making excuses.
I invite you to embrace the stress and discomfort that comes hand in hand with change as well as the learning and fulfillment that come with it. To create the life you desire you will need to take actionable steps. Small steps, large steps, side steps and back steps, all of which will come with some form of discomfort.
Remember that change is one of the constant things in our lives.
If you know it’s time to create personal or professional changes in your life and don’t know where to start or need support as you move forward, send me a message and let’s explore how working together can help you.
It’s time to start moving.