Change is uncomfortable. It can be pretty hard to make your way around change when it’s not initiated by you, so you’d think that change that you enact might be a bit easier. Most of the time that’s the hardest kind to make.
Because you’ve got a crucial role, this time it’s not happening to you. You are not resigned to another’s choice, you are happening to your life. This forward progress gets met with so much resistance so frequently by so many, I wanted to write about some of the tools I’ve used to keep going in the direction I’ve chosen to go.
Most of the changes I’ve made recently involved deciding to think differently. These are the hardest changes I’ve ever made, mostly because I know these changes take so much time for me to actually feel successful. Lengthy processes can be a bit hard for me, I like results!
Some of the biggies I’ve gone after in the last year are incorrect perceptions I have of myself, of God, and mainly deciding whose opinion I’m going to care about. I’m changing my mind about my worth, value, and lovability, and so here I am as an adult rebuilding something you typically develop as a child. Self-value. Self-worth. Self-love. I’m going there.
I’m deciding that I don’t have to be made for everyone, but I’m definitely made for my people. I’m deciding that people are good, kind, and trustworthy, contrary to the tales pain tells. I’ve decided experience is a REALLY bad teacher, and I’m not trusting the past to tell me how my future will be. I’m choosing to believe the future is going to be as good as God says, and I’m believing amazing things will happen that are in no way happening now.
Some of it looks like breaking cycles.
So with change comes the leap moment. For me, this looks like deciding something is true when it’s NOT happening in front of me. That I’ll risk it when I feel like hiding, potentially forever.
Guys, that’s AWKWARD! God it’s awkward! When you step forward into a positive change, literally everything shifts around you! I like to believe heaven’s slack-jawed and cheering ‘SHE DID IT!’ On earth, it feels like walking into the edge of a sword.
So how do you get through that? I told people. I wouldn’t have even been on this journey if it weren’t for people, honestly. So I told some leaders, told my friends, and let them hug me on the bad days. People let me tell them when I felt horrible, and they’d encourage me. Lord do I need it! It’s excessively helpful to have people in your corner cheering you on when you’re making big changes, it gives you so much courage! It makes you feel like a superstar!
FEELINGS ❤ …
are not a reliable assessment as to how well you’re doing in the change department. First of all, you’re freaking making a positive change, that alone is amazing! When you’re retraining your brain after years of thinking one way, it’s pretty normal for the old to butt heads with the new. When I’m making changes, I feel resistance pretty heavily. Resistance feels like fear, doubt, ‘this isn’t a good idea’ thoughts. Resistance’s pretty into telling you why the old way worked. I feel in pain, angry, tired, and discouraged at the beginning of a lot of major changes. I can tend to feel like I don’t know who I am. My relationships begin to change around me and rarely do any not feel awkward.
So I tend to just keep walking through that and telling people who love me how it’s going. Change is really hard without support. With support, it’s waaaay better.
Friendship with God has revolutionized this for me too. We’ve all got a ‘Godspot’ in our heart, that’s meant to be filled with unconditional love from the the world’s best dad. I went through most of life not knowing it was there, and accidentally putting other people there. I’m on a journey of learning how much he deserves to be there! Every few days as I’m learning what a friend He is there’s a situation where I’ll say ‘you want to see me here? You want to love me HERE?’ Unconditional love adores you in your vulnerabilities. We’ve been taught our vulnerabilities are weaknesses, and that we keep that business BURIED. The most shocking thing I’ve heard from the Lord is that he LOOOVES my vulnerabilities. He LOVES my weaknesses. DANG is this a perspective shift. Where I’d been angry at the parts of my heart that were hurting or insecurities that had made me feel vulnerable, He’s always loved them. That breaks my brain. I called pain and fear unlovable, but God calls those places LOVED and PRECIOUS.
As I let him see me in the muddy process, when I’m NOT doing well, my sight gets a little clearer. As he holds me, as he validates me, it gets more apparent he’s amazing. The more amazing I realize He is, the easier it gets to find comfort in the uncomfortable process of change!
Celebrating small victories is a great habit that helps change feel more fun! That looks like celebrating when you notice small shifts in perspective! When I’ve noticed self-criticism decrease, I’d celebrate! When confidence increases and being comfortable in my own skin increases, I CELEBRATE! Practically, there’s not always people in your vicinity to encourage you, so doing it for yourself helps a lot!
Finally, be kind to yourself! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your brain. If you’ve been doing things one way your whole life, it’s not going to be immediately natural to do things in a new way. Change is more of a rollercoaster than an airport moving ground…thing 🙂 The fact that you’re moving is a reason to celebrate!
Change can feel like shedding your skin. It’s one of the only constants in life, and you can win at it, you victor you!