You want to change, but nothing seems to be changing
Do you feel that something is out of alignment in your life? Do you recognize signs in your body that something isn’t working? Have you tried to change but continue to find old patterns returning?
Over the past year, I hosted 190 events at Flowland. During this time, I was fortunate to speak with many people about their challenges and breakthroughs, especially regarding their efforts to bring about change in their life. There were similarities in what people shared, and I was familiar with all of them in my own experience. In this article, I’ll name a few of the common strategies we often use to avoid facing change. Becoming aware of the various ways we resist change can be a helpful step in your personal change process.
Distractions are an excellent way to forget that you want or need to change. You can distract yourself in countless ways (ie. food, facebook, sex) and may forget that they are even distractions. A tip to recognize a distraction is when you experience it as a guilty pleasure: you know it’s not good for you on some level, but you do it anyway. These distractions become habits, and habits become a lifestyle. They fill our days and consume our lives. Conscious of them or not, these distractions help you to procrastinate and justify your actions, further delaying change.
You want to change but a part of you is too afraid to let go of what you know or love. Perhaps you have become dependent on the life you know, and attached to people and things you love. You’d rather not change because it feels safer and easier to manage what is familiar and painful than to invite the many unknowns that a big change could bring. On a deeper level, you may have become attached to the identity you have created that holds it all together. The stories you tell about who you are help reinforce the reality you are choosing even if it’s not the reality you truly want, which is more in alignment with life.
Another subtle form of resistance to change happens through projection. Projection is one of many defense mechanisms (ie. repression, reaction formation, regression, sublimation, denial, rationalization) that you may use subconsciously to help cope with difficult feelings. Instead of acknowledging and facing the unwanted feelings, you may project these uncomfortable feelings onto someone else, manifesting as a story. While projections may serve to protect you from feeling the pain, they can serve to avoid facing what is true in yourself, which can further prevent change.
Get real with who you are
Inherently, there is no right or wrong, good or bad. Of course, there can be healthy distractions and attachments. However, as we look more closely at our distractions, attachments, and projections, we can discern what serves our highest good and what doesn’t.
Personal transformation involves getting real with your present circumstances. In order to wake up faster, I invite you to just stop. Stop distracting yourself. Stop lying to yourself. Stop believing the stories. Stop serving your ego. Stop worrying about things that aren’t real. Stop hurting yourself. Stop and breathe, observe, and listen. Connect to your heart and welcome all that life is offering you with openness, humility and love. If you need help, ask for it. Life is so much more fulfilling when you allow it in, and let it transform you from the inside out.