3 Things You Can Do To Change Something In Your Life
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years is that our ability to navigate change, uncertainty, and the resistance that comes with it has a significant impact on our health, relationships, and fulfillment.
Because the only thing that is constant in life is the fact that things change, knowing this, I often wonder why the Universe makes it SO difficult.
Three things become our superpowers if we want to change something. But before I share what you CAN do, I’d like to suggest a few things you should avoid doing.
Avoid having an affair, leaving a long-term relationship, getting a new job, moving to a new city, excessive buying, or any other action and impulse you have in response to the need to DO something or feel differently.
Why do we need to avoid taking action right away?
We often lack clarity when we get this inner sense that something is missing. So, we often change things without knowing what this inner longing is being caused by.
We think that by changing the outer circumstances of our lives, we’ll feel better. But, what often happens is that the same feelings and situations seem to arise in the new relationship, job, or place we’re living.
We need to change the stuff inside us first.
By focusing on ourselves, we can create meaning around our life situation and then make decisions that align with our more profound truths.
Ultimately, we may decide to leave the relationship or change the outer circumstances, but we’ll be doing it to support our future best selves and not react to the present moment.
Three things you can do to prepare for your future best self:
You get CALM. You get CONNECTED. You get COURAGE.
When we’re talking about getting calm, it’s really about learning how to regulate our nervous system. When we’re in a perpetual state of “fight/flight/freeze” or stressed out, we cannot see anything.
We are physiologically in survival mode; in this mode, our ability to gain clarity about what we need to change in our life is limited.
It’s important to realize that there’s a difference between dealing with the effects of stress and dealing with the stressor itself.
For example, suppose you’re struggling in a bad relationship. In that case, it’s essential to become more physically and emotionally resilient before you attempt to deal with what needs to happen in the relationship.
Making changes in our lives, especially the big ones, requires that we do so from a place of being grounded and centred in our core truths about who we are and what we need.
Access to this level of insight and awareness requires a calm presence.
Calmness breeds clarity, and clarity breeds alignment.
I created “a Beginner’s Guide to Meditation” to help with this first but vital step of getting calm. It begins with just 5 minutes a day.
After our nervous system is settled and we feel calmer, we can connect with our bodies, minds, and hearts—the source of wisdom for what feels suitable for us and who we’re meant to become.
We are all born with this inner GPS that guides us in letting us know what feels suitable for us and what feels off.
Learning how to connect with ourselves in a noisy world is a real superpower.
Although we may find it helpful to seek guidance from others, at the end of the day, our inner guidance knows what is suitable for us.
Three questions are powerful to ask yourself:
Who am I?
What is my heart’s desire?
How can I best love myself?
As you silently repeat these questions and release them to the Universe, you plant potent seeds of intention. The answers may come through signs, books, people, or messages.
In this way, you are connecting with yourself AND connecting with an intelligent Universe.
Now that we’re calm and connected, we’ll get messages from our inner voice about the next step in moving toward the desired change.
Many of us feel we need to have it all figured out before getting started. But we need to take one tiny baby step at a time.
As you think about taking that one baby step, be prepared for resistance.
There is nothing about change that feels comfortable. As soon as you begin to think about making some changes, your body and mind will react and set off the warning signs of danger.
When you’re prepared for this resistance, you can assure yourself that it’s “normal” and not a sign that you’re not supposed to change.
As N.R. Narayana Murthy reminds us,
Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.
This is where the “courage” comes in.
Just like building new muscles at the gym feels uncomfortable, growing into a new way of “being” feels awkward.
It doesn’t matter if the change involves beginning to use your voice in relationships, setting healthy boundaries, getting a new job, letting go of trying to control things, inviting someone out on a date, or sharing your feelings- it is going to feel uncomfortable.
Having navigated some significant changes and the dark night of the soul, I now know that happiness and contentment are directly related to our ability to find the courage and manage discomfort.
Because if we don’t learn how to navigate the changes that life requires of us, we will not thrive. This failure to thrive often looks like health issues, emotional challenges, and relationship troubles.
We begin to shine when we learn how to get calm and connected and find the courage to take action that aligns with our souls.
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(Original post-October 2015, Updated May 20, 2020)