Change is the one constant in life, yet most people hate having to change. Why is that? Maybe it’s because it’s just so uncomfortable.
Remember starting a new job? Those first few weeks were so awkward; always being on your best behaviour, being attentive as you learn the pace, feigning constant positivity, it’s enough to just quit and go home. But you don’t. Instead you muddle through, dealing with the newness of the situation until, a few weeks go by and you realize you are fitting into the groove of things. You handled the change and now you are in a new place in your life and with a new job. Your confidence increased and things began to look up.
But what if you feel it’s time for a change but can’t quite bring yourself to step out of the old box that was your life and into something new? Well that’s because there are outside forces blocking the transition and fighting against it. Here are four of those blocks and some tips on how to deal with them.
Okay, the blocks from your ego is really an inside job but it can be influenced by outside forces. The ego is an important ally in our personal life. It gives us a sense of self and let’s us understand our place in the world, but the ego hates the discomfort of change and so it will create resistance in the form of self doubt and do it’s best to talk you out of whatever you are planning to change. It’s that negative voice in your head. It loves to play the devil’s advocate, giving you lots of reason why you shouldn’t make the change and plenty of reasons why you should let things remain just as they are.
Some of the ego’s favourite tools are procrastination, negativity, self doubt and self sabotage. It loves to bring up past failures as reasons to not change. “What’s the use “and “See, I told you so”, are favourite phrases of the ego.
The best way to deal the ego is to thank it for it’s concern (yes, you may have to talk to yourself). It will argue that it really only has your best interest at heart, but take the actions you need to take to create change anyway. Once your ego sees that all is well after the change, it will reprogram itself with this new paradigm and begin to defend it.
Fear with a capitol F
Fear is actually part of the Ego’s arsenal but it deserves it’s own category as it’s a program that has been installed into our subconscious by well meaning folks almost from birth. Babies have no fear, we instill it in to them to keep them safe from outside harm. Once installed into the psyche, it becomes like AI. Not artificial intelligence, although it’s seems to take on a life of itself, instead I mean ancient instinct and we take on the fears of our ancestors and past cultures as well.
It’s one thing to have a healthy fear of wild animals and quite another issue to have fear of leaving a job or to change your career, but in your mind they can be one and the same – life or death.
When encountering the level of fear that freezes your life in place, it’s best to make small, even micro alterations. No sudden moves, just study the situation and plan little by little until you feel confident enough to take a step, even if it’s a baby step. We are no longer facing lions down in the wild anymore yet our ancient fear response is still a real thing. Logic, knowledge, and a little confidence are the best ways to over ride those old programs.
The Rebellion of Loved Ones
You know who else hates change? Everyone you care about, especially if the changes you want to make effect their lives as well and they too are forced to change.
Family and friends are used to the old you. They love the old you and the more the old you served them and did things for them, the more they are going to resist this change, it’s human nature. Remember, they have egos too and their ego is going to want to keep the status quo that it is used to. So their egos are going to using the same tools of resistance your ego uses. Handle them the same way you handle your own ego. Thank them for their concern, sooth their fears and then get on with it.
Sometimes the block comes from a force far greater than any of us. Is the universe conspiring against you?
The universe with step in and block change when it feels you are straying from your life path. It uses blocks and challenges that make forward movement just plain hard. Look, life is hard anyway and nothing worthwhile is easy to achieve but when you just can’t catch a break or the signs are not in your favour, perhaps there is a bigger energy at work protecting you from the outcome of the change you are pursuing. Take a step back and ask yourself: Why am I seeking this avenue of change?
Now the universe with also conspire against you with your best interest in mind. It knows when it’s time for you to change and will push you towards it. Gently at first but if your ego is strong and you resist, the universe will up the ante and make things a little more uncomfortable, increasing the discomfort until it metaphorically slaps you up the side of your head with a drama in your life or worse, a trauma, and you are force into change.
Here’s an example: You are tired of your job and want to make a career change but are afraid to lose the security of that regular paycheck, even though you know that by making a sacrifice in the short term, the reward will be a better income in the long term. The universe answers you desires and sends out the feelings of discomfort to push you in the right direction. It puts signs right in front of you like career training opportunities or serendipitous meetings with people who point you in the right direction, but you continue to resist. Finally, the universe brings out the big guns of consequence because you are not paying attention to the help it’s offering and you find your self layed off or fired from the very job you no longer wanted anyway. While in the moment it feels like a catastrophe, the universe got you to change. Your job now is to make the right choices going forward to benefit from it.
Humans are curious creatures. We have logic and we have free will. We can understand when it’s time for a change and at any moment we can choose to act and make the change, yet we stay in the familiar even though it may cause us suffering because we are also creatures of habit. Our ego loves habit, fear thrives on the security of habit, our loved ones and the people around us love the comfort of habit but thankfully, the universe is ever expanding and because you are a part of it, it will compel you to expand and evolve right along with it. The only question is will you do it willingly or be dragged forward kicking a screaming.