What transformations are you currently undergoing? Good chance that there are far more than the conscious mind recognizes. Change is on-going and inevitable. In fact, not only is it perpetual, all growth or improvement comes from a form of modification. Of course, we get disgruntled when we dislike an unfolding, a development or the result from a particular experience or situation, yet everything is continually evolving; the air we breathe, relationships (new ones, dissolving ones, and even existing ones), careers or jobs (whether moving on or staying put), business, the economy, the stock market, grass growing, you name it!
One thing for certain, ALL transformations are an inside-out process. The challenge is when minor adjustments occur they are typically undetectable to us. However, what’s invisible eventually becomes visible and that’s when we become cognizant. What if we made a conscious commitment on a daily basis to heighten our awareness? Meditation and the practice of mindfulness are two ways to help in this capacity.
Transformational processes can be voluntary. In fact, the more you are deliberate about improvements; personally and professionally; the greater control you have of your outcomes and the better you are able to respond to curve balls that are part of this human experience on earth.
Often though, the route can be unpleasant, difficult and even downright painful or ugly. Sometimes we are unaware of the gradual alterations; or know and attempt to ignore the signs; and then seem shocked at the occurrence of excruciating pain – such as root canals or heart attacks.
When dealing with changes you dislike remember the following:
- B-R-E-A-T-H-E – as silly as this may sound, this is often forgotten. Conscious breathing is important to send proper oxygenated blood flow to the brain which allows us to think clearer and better manage our emotions.
- Self-care – this of course is always essential to performing optimally, however in our humanness this is an area that many tend to let slide. Apply the HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) formula and pay extra attention to eating, sleeping and exercise habits. We function poorly without proper food and sleep. Exercise (whatever type/level appropriate for you) helps to decrease stress and more effectively deal with feelings.
- Monitor thoughts and conversations for “don’t wants” and what is annoying, frustrating or problematic and shift to what is desired and what is working well (even if seemingly insignificant to what is “wrong”).
This last one tends to be the toughest for us to catch and redirect. How many times do we hear or say, “don’t forget”? That is an indication of “don’t want”. Instead we would be better served to say, “remember”. Our brains simply are unable to comprehend words other than directives.
When we put our attention to what annoys us, we attract more of what annoys us (the same or different person/situation) – law of attraction. We absolutely KNOW this and yet seem compelled to think and talk about what irritates us on some level. The more we repeat the cycle, the more our emotions intensify which keeps us spinning until we are convinced that is the only possible response.
Your support system will be critical to your success regarding this last bullet point; as well as all areas of life and in business. Attempting to “go it alone” leads to overwhelm, a belief no one understands, and staying stuck.
Some suggestions for support:
- Friends and family – this is a gray area as often well-intentioned loved ones unconsciously keep us in our “boxes”, attempt to control our lives (usually out of fear or desperation for our well-being) or simply are unable to provide the accountability or guidance needed. How many times has a loved one (or work colleague) offered insight you were unable to receive until shared from a third party?
- Support groups – everything from 12-step for various addictions to business networking to meet ups sharing common interests
- Clergy – religious or spiritual director or guide
- Counselors – qualified professionals to help you understand what has happened and why you respond as you do
- Mentors – successful professionals in a particular realm that can guide in a specific area
- Coaches – trained professionals to help keep you focused on the direction you desire, offer techniques and educate you to new thoughts and behaviors to succeed and provide motivation, encouragement and accountability along the way
No matter which support system you choose nothing will get you closer to where you want to be without your decision to start . . . do something different than you’ve been doing! Bottom line, what do you know you need (or would like) to be doing that you’ve yet to get started on or find yourself challenged to sustain momentum implementing? Who is best suited to serve as your support?
Even if you’ve already hesitated too long, more delays only prolong the inevitable, worsen the pain and escalate the challenge. There will always be a potential excuse to procrastinate. Give yourself a chance to create some fulfillment by starting wherever you are. Also, remember to avoid expecting instant gratification. How ironic when we are willing to continue on a destructive path because progress in desired direction seems to be absent.
Whatever transformation you are undergoing at any given time, the course will unfold smoother when you refrain from labeling it good or bad. Without judgment we create the path of least resistance and flow. To decrease stress, increase productivity and enjoy life more, strive to embrace the journey.