The Paradox of Change

Image of Monarch Butterfly emerging from chrysalis

On Change and Transition

Life is constant change, however, change can jerk us out of our comfort zone. We can also resist it to the point of making ourselves and others miserable or making ourselves sick.

There are things we don't want to happen, but have to accept; things we don't want to know, but have to learn; people we can't live without, but have to let go. And some things we can get ready for only after they've already happened.

The change is the event. The situation. We move to a new city, divorce, retire, experience a significant loss, or accept a new job… every ending begins something new.

Change involves transition which is a process. The most difficult part of change is changing our internal story of change: a shift in perception, a shift in our habitual response to change, how we hang on to or let go of our old story, the outlived chapter, and evolve into a new story.

With every ending a new beginning is possible; in fact infinite possibilities.

Choosing to change

Often in life we want to make a change yet find it difficult or we are not successful in our goal to change whether our goal is to lose weight, get fit, learn something new, or break old habits…

“What makes positive, lasting behavioral change so challenging—and causes most of us to give up early in the game— is that we have to do it in our imperfect world, full of triggers that may pull and push us off course.” - Marshall Goldsmith (Author of Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be)

Successful change doesn’t happen overnight. We need to commit to the long term. It’s just the way our brains are wired. Neuroscience reveals that all habits whether we color them as good or bad are neuropatterns in our brains and some are more established than others. Think of them as ruts in a road, some are deeper than others.

 Image of ruts

 Image of vehicle stuck in ruts

One of our most dysfunctional beliefs is that things should happen quickly and that all we need to do is to choose to do something and it will happen. When it comes to changing or learning, it’s not biologically possible. Our brains succeed and do well what they do often. In neuroscience terms “Neurons that fire together, wire together.  It takes 21 days or longer (usually longer) to repeatedly practice of do something to manifest long term change and success; especially when it comes to replacing well established habits or something we have learned and want to unlearn or replace with new learning. For some insight watch “The Backwards Bike Challenge

The good news is that our brains are neuroplastic and everyone at any age has the capacity to change or learn something new. We just need to understand and leverage our brain biology to achieve success or transformation or change.

One of the keys to success is to choose small incremental changes that we consistently practice each day to form the new neuropatterns required to make the new behavior an automatic habit. When we let go of ego and wanting instant results, or for that matter, specific outcomes and commit to the process - the journey and take one small step at a time, we have a shot at success and real change.

So just like the Monarch Butterfly caterpillar can morph to something new, we can also transform our lives. It’s the only healthy choice we have, since life is always changing whether we want it to or not.

The paradox of change is that change is constantly happening - we are powerless over the changes in life, yet we have the power to change, when we accept it and choose to change or are just allow ourselves to flow with change (Mindfulness helps us do that). Change is a sign of life. If we are not changing, we are not truley living.

If anything were possible, what would you most like to welcome into your life? What would that be like? How would it show up? What would you create the room, space, and possibility to show up? How would you show up? How would you change?

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