This past month marks 5 years since Woody passed, I started reflecting on all the changes that I have made over those years. That got me asking… why is it that it took a major loss for me to find myself!
It is funny, (and kind of sad) to think that I needed, and I think most of us do need, a big shakeup to get us to reevaluate things and make changes. Why does it have to be this way? Why do we need to be devastated and shaken to our cores to actually start listening to ourselves?
I am not the only one, I have found this with most of my clients too, they have come to coaching because they have had some big life event happen, relationships breaking up, loss, divorce, losing a job, a risk to their health … something big happened that shook them up and they realized they needed and wanted more.
Why do we need to hurt?
I ask myself this all the time. I do consult calls with people who know they want something different, who are in one way or another suffering in their current life. They completely agree and recognize they are not happy, but they are not willing or ready to make any changes.
That was me, the whole time before Woody passed, I knew that I wanted more for my life, but I stayed with what I knew because it was comfortable. That is the number one reason, I think people don’t make changes. And why they wait until they are forced to. We get comfortable! The more comfortable we get the stronger the fear of making changes gets. The stronger the fear, the quieter (or at least the less we hear) the voice inside us telling us that there is more.
It’s like comfort kills the voice of our dreams!
I have recently been listening (again) to ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho, if you haven’t read or listened to this book, I highly recommend it. It has a great story with great life lessons intertwined. As I was listening, one gem, in particular, talked specifically about this, the character stated, “I don’t know how to deal with change because I’m used to the way I am”. This really speaks to that being comfortable piece, but it also speaks to settling. I can attest to that, too!
As I mentioned, I was comfortable in my old life, sure I wanted more from my career and my relationship, but it was OK, so I settled. There definitely was a voice inside telling me that my dreams were not being realized, that I was settling, that I was not being all of me, that I was hiding my gifts and talents (or at least using very little of them), overall I was playing small. Looking back, I am sure that is why I felt stressed most of the time! It’s stressful suppressing your dreams, and who you are, and what you know you are capable of doing! It kind of feels like now, had I listened to this voice things could have been different; but because I didn’t the only way the Universe could get me to wake up and pay attention was to shake me up … and that is what it did!
What is it about change that scares us so much?
In my experience, we as a collective see change as something daunting, and scary and most of us equate it with negative outcomes, (probably because of our negatively wired brains). So, we shy away from the very thought of it. I think for most of us, this fear controls us, we convince ourselves, “you should just stay where you are, it’s safe, known and things could be worse on the other side”.
Yes, things could be worse that is a possibility, BUT it is just as likely they could be great! And in my experience, that is usually what happens!
We never seem to see that side; we only see the worst scenarios playing out. I can’t tell you how many people including myself, who have gone through something major in their life and we end up creating a new life that is even better than we ever expected.
I think when your life has been thrown into turmoil your perspective shifts. You lose that fear of change. In a way, because you have been forced to change, it suddenly doesn’t seem so scary! It’s like you have learned (or been forced) to embrace change!
Also, I think you are more willing to risk, you have already lost, so it is less daunting. And this combination allows us to override that negative mind, so we grab life by the horns and say, “let’s do this!”
The thing is…
This option is available to everyone one of us, at any moment, we just need to choose to take it!
That is why I wanted to write this blog, I hope it reaches some of you out there who, like me, have that little voice telling you that you were meant for more, that you are playing small and that it is time to step up!
My hope is this will amplify that voice, and be the encouragement, you need to move past the fear stories that your mind has created. If this has stirred something up in you then go get it, don’t wait for life to throw you into it!
We all deserve happiness!
P.S. You are stronger than you think, and you don’t need trauma to show you that. If this is you… take a deep breath, start tuning into that voice, trust in yourself and take steps towards your dreams, it’s not nearly as scary as your mind leads you to believe!