Anaïs Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
Changing is difficult; taking risks; going down a new path. Familiar misery feels safer than the unknown leap into something we desire.
At times, it is difficult to really see ‘why’ is nothing changing “even though I desire it so?”. One difficulty is that an individual looks at the horizon, their goal or destination but then does not look at where their feet are planted, nor do they take the next step. All these inspirational messages are for naught when we cannot apply them to our own lives.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”. Hmm – how does this relate to my own complicated life? This sounds sweet, but my situation is unique. The distance between the present and the destination appears insurmountable. I’m different. Or worse yet, I’m not different, I’m just a loser, a dreamer that won’t get anywhere. I know better, but still I don’t do it.
Looking at this through a ‘cognitive -behavioral’ perspective, how you look at yourself and the steps you need to take is what ultimately helps or hinders you. The most common reasons that an individual doesn’t take the ‘first’ or the ‘next’ step are:
it’s not enough
I need to do more than that
If it’s already months/years later and you are still saying the same thing to yourself, it’s time to look at this more closely. It’s time to turn this around and do it even though you don’t think it’s enough. Make the step so easy, that you know that you could do it with your eyes closed. So small, that when you’re done, you feel like taking more steps. Don’t! But you already know the drill. You then burn yourself out, and stop altogether. Keep things slow and steady; take it very slow and keep it easy.
For every step forward – you will still have to contend with your self esteem and self confidence that will start clamoring for you to go back to bed or to do more than you planned.
Making changes is difficult; one cannot do this alone – if you could, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now. It’s important to get others involved in the changes you want to make. Sometimes it’s good to get someone outside of your primary support network. Sometimes they may have their own stakes in whether or not you change. Getting involved in a support group with others who are trying to make similar changes is one way to expand your network of support. Getting a therapist is another.
What changes have you been wanting to make? Do you keep making the same plan over and over again, expecting it to be different this time? Do you stop yourself before you even start? It’s time to turn to the sun and unfurl your petals.