Most people I know have that one word that makes them cringe every time they hear it… like nails on a chalkboard type feeling. For me, it’s the word “change.”
Maybe it’s all my years as a graphic and web designer where I frequently heard “Just one more change, and we’re done” knowing darn well there were at least 5 more down the pipeline.
Or the fact that when I look to “change” something in my life my initial excitement almost always leads to fear, frustration, or confusion. It doesn’t matter if the change is big or small. For instance:
- ME: It’s time I “changed” my hair… MY BRAIN: what color? Do I keep it long or short? What if it looks awful?
- ME: I need to “change” my doctor… MY BRAIN: what if the new doctor doesn’t take my ailments as seriously as before? Where do I even get started looking for a new doctor?
- ME: I think it’s time I “changed” my line of work… MY BRAIN: AGAIN?! Is this a good idea? What if I can’t make any money doing x-y-z? What if I don’t get along with anyone at my new company? What do I even want to DO for a living?
- ME: We are looking to “change” where we live… MY BRAIN: What if the new house has more issues than the old ones? What if our neighbors are crazy? What if we are in over our heads?
Furthermore, think of the literal word “change” as in money. Those pesky little coins that you hate having to keep up with, always fall in your couch or under your car seat, and can barely buy anything nowadays… annoying to say the least!
Yep, “change” is a word I can do without.
BUT, unfortunately in life change is inevitable. After my panic attack a few years ago, I decided I needed to use the dreaded word in a big-time way. My life felt unhealthy. We were eating out all the time, I was having too much wine (especially during the week), I was sleeping in and not getting anything productive done during the day. I stayed up too late at night watching TV, barely exercised (if you want to call it that). You name it!
So I told myself things were going to “change.” I was going to use the gym membership that I was paying for monthly yet never used. I was going to start a new “diet” (Whole 30), I was going to return to journaling and reading books every day. Yep, that word “change” was going to be different this time, and was going to work!
However, I quickly got frustrated and fell off the wagon. I lacked the motivation to exercise because I had no idea what I was doing at the gym. Eating healthy made me feel angry (because I couldn’t have the yummy things I craved.. bread, cheese, and wine!) and journaling was hit or miss. I was still sleeping in because I convinced myself I couldn’t work out effectively when I was tired, and I hadn’t attempted to “change” my bedtime. Exercising was stupid because I didn’t see results, eating healthy was too expensive and too much trouble, and going to bed early was for 90-year-olds… this was never going to work!.
As I was trying to figure out what to do next, I decided to take time to re-read the book Power of Awareness by Neville Goddard. It was a book that a close friend of mine recommended a few years ago. While the concept and the message may not be for everyone, it immediately resonated with me. Every chapter was enlightening! And while the book must be read entirely to make sense, the overarching message throughout it remains the same: “I AM.”
According to Neville, “Man is actually the arbiter of his own fate – and it is his concept of himself that determines the world in which he lives…Everything depends on its attitude towards itself; that which it will not affirm as true of itself cannot awaken in its world. That is, your concept of yourself, such as ‘I am strong,’ ‘I am secure,’ ‘I am loved,’ determines the world in which you live… If man’s concept of himself were different, everything in his world would be different.”
So simple; so genius. My attitude is everything. It’s the reason why I get out of bed at whatever time I decide to, it’s the difference in an “eh” workout and a great one, it’s the reason some foods I believed I hated before suddenly taste better now. Perspective and attitude are the pillars of life.
Think about it. There are stories about cancer patients overcoming their illness or living longer lives because they have the attitude and mindset that they WILL get better. It’s the reason anyone, young or old, can complete a 5k race, or a half marathon. They BELIEVE they can do it, so they do.
If I was going to get anywhere with a “change” I wanted to make, I HAD to change my attitude and perspective. Will this be easy? Probably not. But I can give it a whirl.
Since this realization, I have been trying different morning routines. Not many have stuck, but instead of getting frustrated, I try to find one or two positive things, and how can I tweak it to make more sense. Some days are easy, and some are challenging. I’m definitely NOT perfect, and there’s always something I can fine-tune to do a little better tomorrow or the following week.
It’s been some time, and I can proudly say I finally found a schedule that makes me happy. It’s not one for everyone (or anyone), but it works for me. And while I’m still not a huge fan of getting up early, I’ve changed my attitude from dreading the alarm, to embracing the early morning. It’s a time where I can sit in the silence and enjoy a cup of coffee, read a book, and journal. I’ve also been able to nail down the right time to hit the gym (pre-COVID) so it’s not crowded and I can avoid the school traffic. Or, I’ve found workouts that I can do at home that I enjoy.
I’m not going to lie, change is still hard. And it’s not a word I’ve remotely grown to love, however, if I can embrace the idea of it and move forward with a forgiving, flexible and positive attitude – it might be a little more palpable.
So while I haven’t changed my hairstyle yet (hey, baby steps!), I did get a new doctor (who’s just as attentive as my previous doc). I’ve also changed my line of work and industry focus numerous times now (where I’ve been blessed to have met so many new wonderful friends and colleagues), and we did move to a fantastic new place (we are finally living the waterfront lifestyle we always dreamed of!).
Oh and as far as the annoying change goes… I try and remember this: all those pennies add up to dollars and the quarters are great for shopping trips to Aldi! ☺