What it takes to change? What it takes to change your life? What it takes to change your attitude, your thoughts? What it takes to make that first step towards what you want? Why is it so difficult sometimes to start heading in the direction you want?
Repetition is comfortable. Repetition is familiar and easy, it is even somewhat automated. But if you notice the repetition of whatever you dislike doing, saying, or thinking you can see that it is also can be tiring. The fact that we’re used to it, makes it seem easy to us in our minds. But if it is unwanted, it will claim its emotional cost.
The familiarity of already automated patterns in our lives makes it harder for us to change and therefore get what we want. People say – I want to live a healthier life, I want to live a happier life, I want to achieve and experience great things. Their desire is true, but they also see themselves trapped in their current circumstance.
It is great to think and talk about something we want. But, if we’re so clear about what we want, what is stopping us from getting what we want?
Usually, we notice what we want by encountering things that we don’t like or disagree with. Falling back into old patterns of behavior and thought will prevent us from getting what we want. If only we could notice what is stopping us from getting what we want, the same way we notice the things that we don’t like.
Noticing your own patterns of thought and behavior is crucial for the future change to happen. How can you change if you don’t see yourself wanting to change all the time? Especially in those moments when you repeat the things that you don’t like doing, saying, or thinking. Allowing yourself to fall back into old familiar places without noticing is ignorance. It is self-abandonment, and lack of love for self. Just by noticing and not changing anything we can quickly become aware of our own thoughts and behavioral patterns. You may say that awareness doesn’t do much, and you would be right. But repeated awareness that becomes automated will overflow to a point of intolerance, and at that point will be an opening for a change to happen.
So really all we have to do in order to make a change happen is to notice our own comfortable and yet uncomfortable state of being. Comfortable because it is familiar and easy and uncomfortable because it is unwanted.
But there are also those that are convinced in their disability to change, they stick to what they believe so tightly that they condemned themselves a long time ago to a particular lifestyle that is unchangeable in their mids beliefs. Their conviction will prevent them even from trying to see if a change is possible. Those people not only fall victims to their circumstance and beliefs but also fall victims to their emotional state, physical bodies, and addictions. In my experience convincing them of their ability to change has fallen short every time. Because once you lose faith in your own ability to create for yourself you begin to feed your mind only with what is already in your circumstance. The life that you don’t want.
Let me ask you this – How can you expect good things to happen if you keep feeding your mind with the things you don’t like? And what is your reaction to those things that you don’t like? Is it the same old reactions, the same old patterns of thought and behavior, the same old repeating loops, the same old life.
People say – “Try things, fake it until you make it, Ignore your current emotions and circumstance. Just try and you’ll change your life”. Well, I only agree with the first part, which is – trying. But not as a solution to make the change happen, but as building a foundation on which people can start proving to themselves and convincing themselves that change is possible. That change comes from within, change comes from making an intention.
No one can make you change if you’re not willing to try to believe that perhaps you can. No one has expectations of you to make it right there on your first try, only you have expectations and beliefs about yourself and what others think and expect of you. Change is only possible if you allow it to be in your mind first. If you have a hard time believing that, then go ahead I dare you to try to prove it to yourself.
Pick a pattern or a habit in your life that makes you feel bad about yourself. This could be even a pattern of thought that you don’t like thinking. Then become aware of that pattern the next time you’re about to repeat it. Pick a number, between 1 and 10, that number will represent the minutes you will delay yourself before going through with your familiar pattern or habit. I bet that you can successfully put yourself on hold for that amount of time if you really wanted to before surrendering to your habit, even if you choose to scream into a pillow for that period of time, that is fine too. But, you might say that – “This is just a pause, a delay, in my mind, in my life, nothing has changed because I knew I’m about to go back to my old habit or pattern the moment the time was up“. And you will be correct. The intent of this exercise is not to solve anything, but only to show you that you are in control of the choices you make.
If you choose to notice you will. If you choose to wait, you will. If you choose to believe that you can, you will. If you choose to break your patterns, you will. If you choose to delay them and then come back to them you will. But the fact that you broke your own pattern of whatever it was even if just for a minute, proves that for that minute a change was possible by your choice.
Automated patterns, habits of thought and behavior are limiting us to live a full life. Why give up the conscious ability to chose in each moment in favor of repeating something familiar, living through the same old bad feelings and emotions over and over. Break all your patterns to free yourself and chose the life you want.