“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi
By: Jeff Mortimore, RSI Community Connector
We’re a couple of months into this lockdown and crisis, and it’s starting to wear on many of us. We continue to experience boredom, tiredness, and emotional exhaustion. We experience it as an ongoing burden and can’t wait for it to be over. We lose patience and want to do anything else but this. That all makes sense. It’s also exactly why we have difficulty sticking to habit changes, to long-term commitments, to ongoing projects, and long-running challenges. The good news is, with the boredom and tiredness we’re feeling from the lockdown and pandemic, we have the perfect practice ground. This is the time to practice, right when we’re feeling like not facing this difficulty.
It’s pretty clear that change is the one constant in our lives that will occur at some point. Strangely, change is the one thing that many of us resist and fear the most. As I look out my window today, I see so many people adapting to change by adopting new habits such as walking, enjoying nature, and getting outside in other ways. The trails I run on are now shared with people I have never seen before. Bike sales are up 121%, with most bike stores overwhelmed by demand. By the end of April, many stores and distributors had sold out of low-end consumer bikes. Now, the United States is facing a bicycle shortage as global supply chains, disrupted by the Coronavirus outbreak, scramble to meet the surge in demand...talk about essential business!
My point here is, that in spite of the winds of the pandemic, I am seeing so many people committing to transformative change. Whether it’s because we suddenly have more time to consider the benefits, or whether we are now looking more within ourselves, people are changing. With uncertainty surrounding us, what a perfect time to consider the benefits of positive change in your life. If you haven’t yet considered a change in your life, or are somewhat resistant to change, know that whether you resist or adapt change will take place nonetheless. The fact is that most people prefer to stay within their comfort zone, but I’m a firm believer that if you are the one that initiates change, it will be easier to adapt. So, how do we get ahead of change and develop a more proactive mindset? Perhaps it might help to look at the benefits of change as a reward system to develop a new perspective.
Personal Growth: When you look back at some of the past changes in your life, are you not a better person for it? For many of us, our greatest changes came with a pretty high level of resistance. But, having the gift of retrospection, today you can see the benefits that change made brought to your life.
Flexibility: We all have the gift (or curse) of our own belief system. Our belief system governs how we adapt, adjust, or resist new experiences. Frequent changes make it easier to adapt to new situations, new environments, and new people. As a result, there isn’t as much of a shock when experiencing abrupt changes.
Resilience: I love the power of resilience, but unfortunately, resilience can only be learned through experience. It is built through the process and the experience of dealing with adversity. But, resilience has everything to do with change and the personal power to adapt and overcome the situation.
The snowball change: I’m not a huge fan of clichés, but there is the saying “as one door closes, another opens.” I can’t tell you how many times my own personal change has come through failure or disappointment. Often we give up because we cannot accomplish the difficult task of making a significant and immediate change. That is when small changes become extremely valuable. Though one shift at a time, small changes will eventually lead you to the desired big one.
Each change in our life is about turning a new page and creating a new chapter. When you think about it, what would your life really be like if it always stayed the same? We all long for change, but sometimes we hesitate when it comes. So next time you get the temptation to avoid or resist, aim instead to initiate the experiences that will lead you to where you want to be.
And remember—if there were no change, there would be no butterflies!