Do you really want change in your life? So many people do. They complain about where they are at, and they say they want change, but what does it really take to get there? That’s what stops most people in their tracks. Here is what I have seen is needed in order to create true, lasting change . . .
1) Quit Believing Your Way Works! Our brains are natural problem solvers, so we keep attacking the problem and trying to solve it. But maybe you are attacking it from the wrong direction. Find a trusted source to help you see what you can’t see! Victim mentality, fear of abandonment, toxic shame, need to control, perfectionism, or codependently trying to get others to love you – these some of the major mindsets that keep people stuck. We have to be willing to question our deep belief systems in order for change to occur!
2) Face Your Pain. A lot of people want a better life and are willing to work, but the fear of the pain sends them running. But you are in pain anyway, aren’t you? You can go through some tough pain now and avoid a lot of pain later or you can spend your life running from it (which is still painful!) In fact, you’re really not avoiding it, you’re just delaying it! Learn how to sit in it and learn from it. Find a source that will hold your hand and not try to rescue you from it while you go through it.
3) Be Willing Work! People who want change in their lives find a way to do the hard work. They let nothing stand in their way. Become a student, soak in recovery knowledge and insight like a sponge. Read books, go to counseling willingly, join a group, etc. People who want true lasting change are constantly watching, learning, gaining new insights about people, life, recovery, their family & friends, and most importantly about themselves. They eventually come to realize they will be learning for the rest of their lives!
4) Gain Humility. I have a sign in my office that says, “There is no substitute for humility in recovery.” Your pride has to go. You have to be willing to lose, be wrong, admit you don’t know, that you don’t understand, that someone knows more about something than you, that you’re human and make mistakes, or you might have to admit you’ve done some terrible things and have hurt people out of your pain. Bottom line? If you can’t humble yourself, you won’t change. Period.
5) Build Courage. To change, you have to take risks and that takes a tremendous amount of courage. Most of us want to live safe and to avoid as much of the painful stuff as possible. You will need courage to apologize (even if the other person doesn’t), to let other people be who they are, to have the hard conversations, to face your pain and the hurt that goes with it, to face your fears and to face the reactions that people will have in response to your changes. Be willing to push yourself into some very scary places and you will come out stronger and more free on the other side.
If you really want true, lasting change, you are going to have go to some scary places and it is going to be hard. But I promise you, it is absolutely worth it!