When I ponder this question I think back to all the times that I could have changed, should have changed but didn’t change. Upon reflection I realize that the choices I made NOT to change had a direct impact on the results that soon followed. In some areas I’ve still not changed. I’ve struggled on and off with my weight for years, those pesky turbulent 20lbs. I can sit and blame my genes, my hectic work schedule, my parents, my husband for bringing home lots of goodies to snack on and the list would go on. The truth is the only person I can really blame though is me. I’m responsible for the results I see in my life today whether financial, social, health, career wise, relationships. I am.
So why don’t we change? Taking my weight as an example, I’ve had all the logical, rational reasons to change. I’ve recently had a few health scares related to my not-so-healthy lifestyle which prompted me to change. Also, recently turning 30 made me think long and hard about my eating and exercise (or lack of). One day soon I’d like to have children and I know I MUST change in order to be healthy for them. It all sounds logical, makes sense, no doubt about it. The sad fact is I haven’t really changed despite all of that. My diet still consists of a lot of rubbish food and as for exercise – let’s not even go there! This makes me dig deeper and realize that “wanting” to change has nothing to do with logic!
A mentor shared with me that when change is imposed on us, it carries a sense of loss of control. In order for a change effort to really succeed it must have our complete and total commitment which is not always a rational thing. Change is disorienting and a departure from the familiar. Hook it to emotions and you may start to get somewhere.
It makes no sense at all. An irrational fear with no substance. I’m afraid of actually realizing my goal and having to live up to those expectations. I realize that this fear is based on “beliefs” I pitch to myself and convince myself to hold as true. Misery really loves company and majority rules in the end. It’s always easier to be part of the griping pack, the pity parties and the victim fests rather than take the reigns and take full responsibility. Only when we consciously decide to take ownership of our problems, challenges, and fears can we begin to make progress towards long and lasting change.
I guess we’re also afraid of change because we worry too much about what others think, “what will they say”, how will they view us now, what label will they give us. Only when we stop worrying about that mindless noise and really focus on the cause we’re striving for will we make any concrete steps towards change. In retrospect, change really has been the only constant in my life. From my school years, moving from country to country, studying abroad, tackling different subjects, changing careers from architecture to media & communications to HR in less than a decade! To marrying my husband who is literally from the other side of the world. Has it always been easy and smooth, absolutely NOT. Has it helped me grow as a person – without a doubt.
Even in the most dismal of circumstances we still have a choice. I can choose to be invisible at work and get trampled on or I can choose to be vocal about my achievements, choose to get involved in initiatives and choose to make a difference. All of this involves changing my perceptions, stepping outside comfort zone island and adapting my behavior. As Gandhi so rightly said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. There are two camps, the doers and the sayers. Many people can talk about what it’s like to do so and so, but how many actually go out there and take the plunge? Which side are you on? Go out there and “Just Do It”!
AUTHOR BIO: Shereen comes to us all the way from Dubai. The two of us met a few months ago via Twitter. Since then, she’s been a big contributor here and I’ve been urging her to launch a blog of her own. A great writer and an awesome person to get to know, I recommend everyone reading this to take a few minutes to follow her on Twitter and introduce yourself. You’ll be glad you did!