The fact that we want change means there is a glimmer of recognition, somewhere inside us, that something in our life isn’t working anymore. We may not know what that ‘something’ is or we may be very clear about what needs changing. It can be anything from work, relationships, living settings, study, – anything at all that stirs us deep inside to want something different for ourselves. For many people it’s pretty difficult getting to the point where they realise something isn’t working in their lives let alone realise change is needed.
WHAT MIGHT WORK AND WON’T LAST
- Expecting someone else to take control and provide answers or offer up solutions from their perspective
- Expecting others to change simply because life isn’t OK for you
- Expecting others around you to change just because you’ve decided change is needed
There is one, seemingly, small yet significant hurdle we all must come to terms with before change can actually be a significant, and lasting, part of our lives. We not only have to be willing to change, we also have to be willing to accept full responsibility for actioning change. Insight is great, self-realisation and self-actualisation are all wonderful thoughts and ideas but in the final wash up we must take responsibility and willingly move to action if we want real and lasting change. Thoughts and ideas are not change, neither are they action. Well intended as they are, ideas and thoughts reduce the word ‘action’ to concepts – and concepts aren’t action.
Moving ourselves toward support for this change is a starting point and that’s exactly what this particular action is – a beginning point. Be it support from a friend, counsellor, like-minded group, wherever you decide to land it’s the first step. Many people, including counsellors and therapists (and I’ve been guilty of this as well), consider that this initial step is the end point for change. It isn’t! We can spend years going to counselling/therapy, sharing with others in group settings, bemoaning to friends and family yet until we act on our need for change nothing will really change at all – at least nothing that is lasting.
While self insight supports our change process each and every one of us who truly desires change must summon up the courage to take full responsibility for our lives. Relying on another, or others, to change or to fix us and magically make change happen is firmly placing the responsibility outside ourselves. Blaming someone else for the problems in our lives is also refusal to accept responsibility for ourselves. Lasting change cannot, and will not, happen this way.
So the truth is it’s not really a small hurdle or step that needs to be taken at all. It’s a leap of faith in our search for fullness and satisfaction in our own lives.
How long does change take? There’s no one clear answer to this as it’s you in your life who wants change and that can take years for some and not very long for others.
Beginning steps toward lasting change may be:
- acknowledging something needs to change (no small task for some us)
- desire for change – rather than accept an unsatisfactory status quo
- willingness to change – how badly do you want it
- full responsibility for self in the change process
- sifting and sorting through what you really want, what you need and what actually needs to change
- actioning your decisions