Change… at some point we all want to move from who we are or do to something better, improved or different. Change is never easy, nor simple. It takes awareness, recognition and knowledge of the behavior we want to modify. Otherwise, we are not in a position to even consider the change we want to manifest. Change is a process. It’s not about going in a straight line from point A to point B. Change can move forward, sideways and backwards or in circles in a process without any definite destination. Change happens in a journey with many stops, and obstacles, which may require our effort and dedication to find new ways on how to get to our destination. That takes time, energy, will power, persistence and perseverance. It is neither simple, nor easy, but definitely possible. It requires commitment and accountability.
In the process of change, expect your journey to be difficult, expect moments of frustration, feelings of defeat and failure. But never give up. It is part of the process. Change does not happen overnight, it is not easy to change years of automatic behavior. With change you must make thoughtful efforts to move in the direction that you want to arrive. Don’t expect for it to happen quickly, nor joyfully. It can be painful and frustrating. Trying may require many restarts, many falls, and many required times of getting back up and continuing forward. It will require focus and will power, repetitious efforts until the change is consolidated. While on the journey, in those vulnerable moments when failure and defeating emotions set in, you may go back to the old behavior, or back to what is familiar. Do not forfeit your right to succeed. Take a deep breath and remember your destination, motivate yourself to get back up and continue your process. Reward your efforts, recognize your achievement and acknowledge your advancements. Remember that change will take practice and many repetitions, just as learning to ride a bike. Falling, scratching and bruising are all part of the learning process. However, once you find your balance, once you can find that homeostasis in the process to your goal and destination it will happen automatically without much more effort or thought.
Madeleine Maya, MA, Psy.D. BHT.