In both coaching and counseling, I often hear people say that they would like to “get back to who they used to be” or to go back to an old version of themselves. This always puzzles me because we are in a relationship where they have sought me out for help and the person they ‘used to be’ is the one who got them into the position of feeling unhealthy, unhappy, or unsatisfied with their life in some way.
My theory is that we tend to seek the comfort of going back to an old version, a version in which we know what to expect. However, that also means that we could expect the same results as we are creatures of ease and habit. I find our human tendancies interesting because we want to be comfortable, but we want things to change. These two desires most typically are not experienced together. Yes, it can be scary to change, but isn’t it scary to stay the same?
So, this is the point when we have a discussion about moving forward from where we are in the moment rather than moving back and about how growth occurs on the edge of our comfort zone. We take a serious look at what they have been doing and how it has gotten them the results we are currently dealing with.
James Clear is an expert on habits and habit change and both he and the ancient science of Ayurveda agree that who we are today is the result of the behaviors we have practiced repeatedly up to this point. Clear reminds us that our current habits are perfectly set up to continue to get us the results we are experiencing right now. In relation to this, he also points out that unless we change our habits, it is very difficult to get a different result.
When we break it down like this and say it out loud, it seems obvious that we must do something different to get a different result, but as our day unfolds, we tend to default to the path of least resistance which is made up of the behaviors that come automatically to us. The good news is that we trained ourselves into those automated behaviors and we can change them. The bad news is that it takes an initial investment of effort, focus, repetition and time.
This is the sacrifice we must make in the present to get the gains we want in the long run. At the beginning of next year, do you want to look back from the same place you are now? You don’t have to. However, you also don’t have to expect to be able to make all of the changes at once or perfectly or without help. Finding small, consistent steps to take all along the way is the key to big change. It’s about practice, adjustment, accountability and using support.
It is possible to experience a different outcome- one in which we do not look back and wish things were how they ‘used to be’, but one in which we look back and recognize how far we have come. This is the process of redefining our baseline and finding a new normal. One in which we choose how we want to feel rather than settling for the same ole, same ole.
Maybe your one small step today is making the decision about who you want to be and how you want to feel. Or maybe it is reaching out. Did you know that this is what I coach people in? Comment below or reach out on Facebook or via email and we can set up a time to talk about the changes that you want to experience. I lead a group of people through transformation three times per year. It’s time that you are living the life in the body and mind that you love.
And of course, I will be practicing right along with you.
Chat again soon,
2 thoughts on “Well, I’ve Been Afraid of Changing”
For me, when I have said I want to get back to who I was, It was speaking of the person I was, before I became so damaged by life. The happy and intuitive child.
I really have opened up to being much more spiritual and intuitive as I get back to how I was as a child.
Spirituality for me has been unlearning the negative messages and other presumed truths taught by society and religion.
In many ways, the older we get, the more we revert to carefree childhood, not worrying about what we say, or do, but living our bliss.
As we near death we also become in some ways like a baby. . .needing much care and even physically returning to the fetal position. I prefer working with the very young and very old, as they are closest to the afterlife and seemingly more aware spiritually.
Back to happiness, openness, and feeling carefree… the only “back” to go to! Great point, Angela. 😁