Change is exciting but it can also be scary, uncomfortable, and overwhelming. As creatures of habit, it can take a lot of motivating to get us moving in the right direction. While change is inevitable and can be a good thing, it can bring about feelings of stress and anxiety causing us to feel resistant, and sometimes make excuses to avoid it. Our brain can sense change as a threat in turn inducing the fear response, fight or flight.
Comfort Does not Equal Happiness
Just because we are comfortable, does not mean we are happy. Sometimes we stay where we are comfortable because we know what to expect, even if it’s not a good situation. The unknown can cause more fear than staying in a negative situation or life circumstance.
Why is change so hard sometimes?
- We’re not ready to change. There are 6 stages of change that people move though including pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance & termination (Prochaska & DiClemente). When we aren’t ready for change, we are often in the pre-contemplation or contemplation stages of change.
- We don’t have the right resources, skills, or knowledge to make the change. Some times there are specific barriers to change, and we just need more information before we feel comfortable enough to make the change.
- The change is vague. Our goals aren’t specific enough to get us where we need to go.
- We are impatient. We live in a quick-fix, instant gratification society, so when we don’t receive our desired results immediately, we easily become frustrated and give up. Change takes work and consistency. There will be slip ups along the way but remind yourself that failure is an important part of the learning process. A little resilience will go a long way.
- We try to change multiple things at once. This is not only unrealistic but also overwhelming.
What can you do when change is difficult?
- Focus on one change at a time.
- Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, or time-based making it difficult to act and achieve.
- Identify if you need additional resources, skills, or knowledge to help you in making the change. Proverbs 19:2 says, “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” Prepare now, so you can be successful later.
- Be consistent and put in the work. Reframe the idea of failure as a learning experience. The most successful people in the world have failed, but they’ve learned from it and tried again.
- Keep in mind that you can only control your own behaviors/actions, emotions, and responses to others. You cannot change anyone but YOU.
What does the Bible say about Change?
Even though change may seem daunting, remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel. God is with you, and His Word reminds us not to be discouraged or afraid (Deut. 31:6). Malachi 3:6 says, “I, the Lord, do not change” and Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that even when things in our world are changing and uncertain, that God remains the same–“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” We can draw on our faith and trust in God for wisdom, courage, and strength.
If you’re ready for a change, but aren’t quite sure how to get there, contact Graceful Balance to begin your journey!