~ Life is ten percent what happens to you, and ninety percent how you respond to it. ~ Lou Holtz
How do you feel about change?
New years resolutions usually involve some kind of self improvement change, how are yours coming along?
Even if its for the benefit of health, relationships, dwelling, work, or community, change can be challenging. A friend in health care divulged “People don’t change, even when circumstances can be dire.”
Why does humanity resist change? why is it so hard to make changes, and how do we overcome? How do we light the fire, face the fear, and begin?
In part, it comes down to habits.
“Half the time you are awake is spent with automatic behaviours: in other words, Niklas Goke writes “ You spend 1 out of every 2 minutes doing something you aren’t even aware of.” “Habits Matter.” He says change is about energy consumption, and changing one keystone habit can have a beneficial domino effect.
“Why facts don’t change our minds” the logic of staying with false beliefs when presented with truth, James Clear states is also a tribal thing.
The obvious we may neglect to realize, “Change is unavoidable” writes Jeffery James, highlighting benefits of change here.
What about when change is unbidden, unexpected and terrifying?
“With life and death on the line, survivors “Perceive and Believe,” writes Eric Barker: they “immediately begin to recognize, acknowledge, and even accept the reality of their situation… They move through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance very rapidly.
“Survivors take great joy from even their smallest successes. That is an important step in creating an ongoing feeling of motivation and preventing the descent into hopelessness. It also provides relief from the unspeakable stress of a true survival situation.”
Gold nugget wisdom. Implementing change, unexpected or desired is about being conscious of habits, energy expenditure, facing the obvious, and wanting to be part of the group. Facing huge shake ups, lives can depend on perceiving the situation quickly and reacting appropriately.
Celebrate small success’s in the journey.
In addition, my thoughts why we may reject healthy change and how to implement positive transformation.
1. The word ‘change.’ , Lose it.
Language, externally and internally can be ohhh sooo powerful. Whether in self assessment or professionals are verbalizing :
“CHANGE: your habits, job, relationship, weight, fitness, artistic style, attire, . etc”… suggests, rather critically, you’ve failed. Whatever you are doing isn’t working or positive, and well. stop it. right now. Super pumped about turning a new leaf? or overwhelmed, self berating?
This can lead to the path of denial drawing people like zombies, turning to the comfort of bad habits and questionable beliefs, like ‘smoking might be good for me.’
2. Lose the word change, and implement positive emotional connection. “How do you feel about…:
- “Evolving your style? stretching your reach in your work?”
- “New opportunities?”
- “Working for a company whose vision is aligned with yours?
- “Embracing your innovative entrepreneurial spirit and opening your own company?
- “Introducing a new fun fitness regime? ”
- “Meeting someone new who values you?”
- “Adding daily nutrient dense meals that will satisfy your cravings?”
*Note, the word change becomes: transformation, growth, life additions, evolution, embrace, vision, satisfaction, value, quality, freedom, opportunity.
With emotional investment involved, the more we connect, and the more motivated we can be. Change can be less about losing and all about gaining. Revisit and write down positive words daily that describe your vision, associate them with your beginnings.
3. Be Real.
After failing at fad diets and disliking exercise, she decided to just live it up and indulge in life.. even if it meant shortening it. The health magazine expert suggested she write a letter to her grandchildren explaining why she will no longer be around.
Harsh, yes. Effective? possibly.
What truths do we tell ourselves? Be honest about why these changes matter. You may not want to write future grandkids, but making notes & revisiting your ‘why’ can keep you on track.
4. Enlist the pro’s.
Research action plans and enlist professionals. Recruit your tribe. Art dealers, mentors, business professionals, Doctors, fitness trainers, accountability to a running or weight watcher buddy, family, support centres, etc.
Be open to professional advice, not meant to criticize, but to help. Letting go of the immediate defensive mechanism, we can learn so much and recognize their gift.
Here is to new beginnings, and friends, ..EVERY DAY is New Years.
~PS: After applying at a reputable gallery when first moving to Ontario, the owner agreed to review my portfolio and conduct an interview. His comments were unlike any I had encountered in my art career:
- “How committed are you?”
- “You have a high stress office job, you need to change that. A less stressful day job frees your energy for creating. You work in acrylic, I would like to see what you can do in oil instead.”
I could have left to not return, feeling slightly criticized and rejected. Instead, I recognized an experts wisdom from working in the field for decades. He understood art, the market, and his clientele.
I bought oil paints on the way home, mucking them up for a good year before I even had an inkling of how to use them. I left my office job to work in a brewery, canning beer by hand. Although the smell was really bad, the stress wasn’t.
A year or so later, I unveiled my first oil painting collection ever at Farmhouse Pottery.
It was an unexpected success. Later, a second show, even more so. At the end of the exhibit, the owner & I sat alone with a celebratory beverage. “And.. “ he announced, smiling, “they will call you an overnight success! “ his grin exploding into an infectious deep belly laugh.
Thanks Al, always.
~“ The function of art is to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The artist shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see it anew.” Anais Nin
~ Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~
- “Canoe” 18×36 oil ~ $2000.oo
- “Brilliant Sun” 24×36 oil~ $2,390.oo
- “Tree” 24×36 oil~ $2,390.oo