There are a couple of fun things you can do to assist change. One is to think about change as your new dreaming. New dreaming is to think about the new story that will be you when the change is made. Imagine what your world will be like when you make the change.
Change is hard. We become creatures of habit and habit becomes hard-wired in our brain. Most attempts at changing our habits like eating, exercise, and substance addiction have a 40 percent failure rate. We create our comfort zone which is a complex set of stories, rationalizations, and needs. We become embedded in the matrix of our comfort zone and resist and or fear change.
So trying to create change is not easy but there are ways of working at it.
Here are 5 useful rules to make change easier.
Rule number One. Change is not about them, they, the others, it is about ME. Changing me is the first step—be the change you want the world to be. You will find out all the things that make change hard for you, so when you think about change for others you will have a much-improved understanding of why it might be difficult for them.
Rule number Two. Accept that you have choices and that you are responsible for those choices. Thinking that others control your choices or letting others determine your choices is no way to make changes. It is the victim position.
Rule number Three. Look at the world and its leaders and what inhibits their ability to change. Things like, ego, need for power and control, lack of ethics, courage, racism, fear, anger, lack of awareness, a sense of mystery and soul and love and kindness. Modern American prophet, Richard Rohr, Franciscan Monk, talks about the need for personal transformation to make leadership change effective, otherwise it is same old, same old. How many revolutions in history have failed to deliver the goods because of this lack of transformation?
The qualities that we see in others that lead to poor outcomes for us, others and the planet, we know them because they are in us as well. If we can’t start changing them in our life, then expecting others to change will be seen as hypocritical.
Rule number Four: Identify your barriers to change. The changes you struggle with are usually at the edge of your comfort zone. Things like upgrading your smartphone, car or power tools, they are changes but the easy ones.
So go to the edge of that comfort zone and start exploring your resistance to a specific change. Sit and go into awareness of the change, and start exploring the barriers that come up. With each barrier try and go deeper what is beneath that barrier what drives it. Write a list of all the barriers.
Some of the barriers might be:
- Ingrained habits
- Fears – what fears?
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of support or help
- Lack of skills
- Lack of resources
Rule number Five. Make a small start. Let change become a new habit. Think about the small things you might change. For instance – an early morning walk before breakfast one day a week, kiss and hug your partner before you leave each day and when you return. Think about each aspect of your life, work, relationship, health, recreation, finance and identify a small change you can make in each.
There are a couple of fun things you can do to assist change. One is to think about change as your new dreaming. New dreaming is to think about the new story that will be you when the change is made. Imagine what your world will be like when you make the change. Picture a scene of you in that change – who is there with you, where are you, what are the sounds, smells, and colors. What are you saying or feeling? What are others saying or feeling? Make that new dream real for you, embrace it feel it in your body, make it your new best friend. Make a time each day to reflect and embrace your new dream.
The other fun thing to do is to go to the Angel store. It is an imaginary store, run by Angels. You can ask for anything you want providing it is a positive and wholesome thing, If it is not you will be asked to leave.
Now you can have what you want, but the Angels won’t accept money or cards. The will ask you to pay with a statement of what you need to give up in order to get the new thing you want. That is, identify the barrier that you need to overcome in order to create your change. If you identify that accurately the Angels will give you the gift. This works more effectively if you do it with a few friends who know you well. They will soon let you know if you are deluding yourself about what you need to give up. It’s a fun exercise but can be a lot harder than you think. I have done it in groups and it’s amazing how intuitive other people can be about what you need to trade in with the angels.
Think about change as discovering and entering a new valley. The recent words of a Buddhist nun friend of mine speak to that idea:
I never finish to wonder at the capability, strength, and faith in human beings, to go through relentless agonizing pain, burn alive in the fire of self-destruction and yet, come out from it enlarged, renewed, reborn into this empty and yet full of potential new seed… There in front is the new valley… mysterious, and inviting.
Right now – identify one small change and make a time and a date. Good luck.