Yup, change can be challenging.
It may be inevitable, it might happen every day; that doesn’t mean it’s comfortable.
Nine times out of ten it’s not entirely unexpected. Something will come up to indicate change is on the horizon.
Sometimes challenges are presented as old wounds or fears getting triggered. Sometimes you begin to feel resistance to activities, people or situations that used to light you up.
Are you aware of the signs? If so, how good are you at instigating the actions needed to move towards change? If not, have you developed habits designed to resist change, which now stand between you and the life you desire?
It takes conscious, mindful attention to work with the flows of energy moving through your life on a daily basis. You’re not meant to be a static, stationary being. You’re designed to travel dynamically through life, exploring and tasting the variety of sensations and experiences offered each moment.
The following are a few common habits that may be keeping you from making changes in your life that lead you towards your goals and desires.
1) No change in the ‘same old, same old’ routine:
Albert Einstein said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’
It’s not always easy to recognize when you’re approaching things from the same angle, because the problem or situation may at first appear to be different. For example, some people leave one (unwanted) relationship to find themselves immediately in another, ‘better’ one. The situation might appear different (the partner has changed, the home may have changed, etc), but if you haven’t changed the way you approach the act of relating and the recurring patterns that caused issues in the past, you’ll quickly find yourself in a very familiar situation.
In other words, the common denominator in all your life experiences is YOU. It’s not easy to look at ways you’ve blocked yourself from changing, because it often involves facing some ‘dark’ stuff you’d rather not face. It feels easier on the surface to ditch the whole situation and start fresh. Everything seems peachy when it’s new and apparently problem-free. It’s called ‘the grass is greener…’ syndrome.
To see if you can shift your perspective and allow new, unforeseen potentials to show themselves, start bringing consciousness to the challenges in your life. See if the act of looking at things from multiple angles allows for things to change in miraculous ways, with minimal effort and discomfort. Take responsibility for your role in challenges and be willing to look at how habitual patterning may have contributed to each situation.
2) Using your mind to ‘logic it out’:
Brains are truly amazing things, however, they don’t have all the answers. Humans minds are full of inter-generational beliefs, wounds, projections, collective norms, and all kinds of other goodies that get in the way of creatively feeling your way to a solution.
Sometimes you don’t want to face impending changes, so you ignore the urges in your heart and soul and rationalize reasons not to change. It feels easier to push through discomfort or deny pain by thinking it out rather than feeling it out. That’s okay, it’s natural to want to avoid hurtful situations or revelations. Eventually the urges to change knock a little louder until you’re forced to listen.
A combination of mind and heart is the best mixture to solve any problem.
When you drop the need to be right or the need for external validation and access your heart’s wisdom, you’ll find the two work beautifully in harmony. Your ego finds all kinds of fun ways to present blocks as ways to keep you safe. Habits that are so deeply ingrained feel like fixed aspects of who you are. When you trust your feelings as a guide, you can distinguish the sound of the fear-based ego from the voice of reason that dwells deep within.
Step back from trying to solve problems and see what happens. In the act of surrendering rational thought, you leave room for other solutions to present themselves.
3) Hanging out in the relative safety of familiar fear:
There are so many things we’re taught to fear, and still other fears that develop as we explore different experiences in our lives. In holding on to stories of past hurts, failures and disappointments, you can develop a whole slew of reasons not to try new things. You might learn to avoid certain choices that potentially lead to pain.
Once you shift your perspective to encompass a broader view, with every experience as a vital lesson in your expansion, you move from fear to enthusiastic engagement with life. When you acknowledge and integrate wisdom from past experiences, whatever arrives is different. It reflects the inner changes you’ve been through to clear away old patterning and beliefs, and allows you to grow in new ways.
If you fear you’ll only draw the same pattern to you and experience the same disappointment, you’re in a state of constriction that more or less guarantees you’ll find what you expect. This is not to say you deserve ‘bad’ things; it’s to say that your belief in your story perpetuates it. This is a habitual safety zone. As much as it might bring ‘undesired’ situations to you, it is a familiar energy that some part of you has deemed safe.
To shift from it, you can rewrite your old stories to incorporate the lessons and wisdom of the old and leave the rest behind.
4) Not following through:
Are you full of great ideas and consistently create wonderful things, only to find you give up if they don’t receive the response you’d hoped? Do you fill pages with cool ideas and never begin the projects?
This is also rooted in the comfort of the familiar, that safety zone where it feels easy and secure to dream up ideas but not to put them out in the world. What fear is behind this? Is it a fear of rejection that holds you back? A fear of success? It’s a good idea to look at what’s blocking your ability to follow-through. What’s happened in your life that’s left you feeling like the world isn’t safe for your creations?
Looking at patterns, wounds and early experiences can help uncover the roots of the block. Perhaps an offhanded comment by a parent or teacher inadvertently left you feeling inadequate. Perhaps consistent messaging from someone you admired led you to believe that you were undeserving of success, happiness or love.
Wherever the root lies, ask yourself if it’s really true. You’ll know by how you feel. Most likely, the root is something projected onto you by another and accepted by part of you as the truth. This has then been used to keep you safe from proving it to be true (which is the fear).
5) The Art of Self-sabotage:
The habit of self-sabotage can stem from multiple reasons (or excuses), and manifests in many different ways. Think of addictions and rationalizations as ways to sabotage yourself from making changes. What about habitual descriptions of yourself (or another) in one way which avoids looking at other sides of the story?
Fear of the unknown, of failure, of success, of intimacy, of connection, of disconnection; all of these can lead to self-sabotage that keeps you from facing the underlying fear. These fears may be yours, or they may have been instilled by someone or something external, and adopted by you as part of the truth.
What does self-sabotage look like?
It can look like avoidance of a person, task or issue that causes unwanted feelings to arise. You might find 101 reasons not to do something and no reasons to do it. It can look like making busy work a priority over connections with others or soul-fulfilling work. There are many ways it can show up in your life, and you’re the only one who truly knows how it looks to you.
Look at your daily tasks and habits to see if they’re in alignment with your true needs and desires. Anything that feels like it’s filling a perceived hole or masking a problem without addressing it may be self-sabotage. Chances are, it’s only exacerbating the underlying issue.
Sometimes all that’s needed to instigate larger shifts is a small change in perception.
* I am the author of this post. You might find the original version, which was used with my permission without attribution, on Your Earth Angel (yourearthangel.com) *