Sunday, July 30, 2006

Making Changes

Okay, suppose you know you want to make changes in your life. Where do you begin?

Step 1: For me, it was first imagining what I might try and how I might handle it. Since I had a terror of making mistakes, this was really important for me.

Step 2: Do whatever it was I needed to do that scared me. No way around this step.
• I would remind myself of all the times I had succeeded in the past.
• I would reward myself each time I tried and took a step forward.
• I would make sure I did things that made me smile—every day! Especially when I least felt like doing so.

Step 3: Evaluate the experience. Sometimes that meant listening to feedback I didn’t want to hear. (Boy didn’t I want to hear it!) Sometimes that meant thinking it through myself. What did I like about the outcome? What didn’t I like? What could I have done differently?

Step 4: Imagine the next possible step and take it.

The thing is, as I’ve said before, what we are afraid to look at gains power over us but when we stand and face our fears, often we discover things aren’t as bad as we feared.

When we do things that scare us but will ultimately make our lives better, right there we’ve proven to ourselves our courage and our intelligence in taking steps that will improve our lives. And often we discover that we can do the very thing we thought we couldn’t.

There’s another thing about all of this. Odds are that for you, as for me, the fear lies in part in having other people find out we aren’t good enough or that we’re incompetent. So we avoid things that are public. But when we take public steps that will make our lives better, we get the chance to discover that other people always assumed we could do it. We may discover that they see us very differently and in a far more positive way than we see ourselves.

Making changes in our lives isn’t easy. And it’s tempting to try to stay in a situation/behavior/relationship/pattern that feels “safe.” The trouble is, all too often that “safety” is only an illusion and we would actually be truly safer if we took the steps that scare us. I know that’s been true in my own life and when I look back, I can see lots of places where I would have been better off, been safer if I had risked leaving what felt like “safety” and taken the steps I was too afraid, back then, to take. How about you?

What would make YOUR life better? What steps could you or will you take TODAY to make that change begin to happen?

Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),
April_optimist

4 comments:

survivoress said...

This is a wonderful post, chock full of self-actualizing tools and thought-provoking wisdom, as are all of your posts.

I love what you have created here!
I will link to you too, with pleasure.

Peace, love, and cyber-hugs,
Survivoress

Beachwriter said...

Hi April - I will link your blog in my blog. I am having major computer problems, and when I get to a computer that works well - I will do it.

Great blog - I love it.

April_optimist said...

Survivoress,

Thank you!

April_optimist

April_optimist said...

Beachwriter,

Much sympathy on teh computer hassles. I love computers when they work right and cuss them fluently when they don't!

April_optimist