Friday, February 10, 2012

five things you can...{change}

What a scary word for a Friday, right?!
I may have just lost my mind.
Please let me know if you find it.

Let's talk about that word, CHANGE, for a second.
Just looking at it may cause sweating, shaking, nightmares, or nausea.
Consider yourself warned.
Change can happen whether you plan it or not; whether you're ready for it or not.
And the truth is, I am a proponent of change.
There I said.
Call me crazy.
I like change. 
When it's necessary. When it's done with intention. When it makes something or someone better.
But it doesn't always happen that way.
And I have learned to roll with the punches. To be flexible and adapt. But that's not easy either.
Another truth.
You cannot hide from change. Or will it from happening.
No matter how much you pray. No matter how far you run, or how well you hide.
It will find you.
Just like a blind squirrel finds a nut.

And while you may feel like you have no control over the things that have changed, are changing or will change in your life. 
I assure you.
There are a few things you have the control to change.

I think that's what makes change so scary.
Our fear of not being in control.
So for all you control freaks, like yours truly, I offer you hope - a new perspective on the things in your life that you can change because you want to. 
The changes you can control.

Here are five things  you can change:

#1. Your Mind
And I mean this in every. single. sense. of the word.
Only YOU live inside your own head.
I know at times it might seem like someone else is in there talking, but rest assured my friends, it's only you in there. Even if you don't recognize your own internal voice.
Every thought, emotion, perspective, attitude that lives in your mind, you can control. And you can change.
Anyone else get chills from just the thought of this?
This might be scarier than change itself.
In my grad program, one of the biggest things I have learned and am working on with myself, is controlling and changing my emotions and perspectives.
I think about how many times I feel all those negative emotions or have said "that pisses me off."
Guess what? Whatever it is I think pisses me off is wrong. 
The person or thing that I'm mad at didn't in fact make me feel that way.
Though it is easier to point the finger at someone else.
The truth is, I made me feel that way.
Think about that for a second.
How you react to something or someone is completely within your control.
If you don't like how you react to a situation or the negative emotions that you feel sometimes,
You. Can. Change. It.
It is not easy to achieve.
It requires being honest with yourself and being willing to see you for who you are - even the ugly parts.
And it means accepting and facing those parts of yourself that you try to hide because changing them is painful and scary.
But sitting with those parts of yourself and checking in with yourself to take inventory of what you do and don't like, and developing a plan to change those things is powerful.
And freeing.
Imagine what your life would be like if you felt free.
You are the only one holding you back.
And you are the only one that can change you.

#2. Your Lifestyle.

Everything about it, folks.
Whether you work out, eat right, any bad habits, anything you don't like about your body, your hair, who you hang out with, what you do on the weekends, what you like and don't like - yep, all of it.
Whatever isn't working for you, you have the power to make a change.
My advice would be to start small and set realistic goals for the changes you want to make.
Change doesn't happen all at once. 
And quite frankly, I think it'd be overwhelming for most of us to change our entire life all at once.
Hell, knowing we are in control of these changes is overwhelming.
But you can do it!
If YOU want to that is.

#3. Your Priorities
You know what's important to you.
What you do and when, and who you associate with is all up to you.
Don't like your weekly schedule?
Change it.
I am the queen of not being able to say no for fear of hurting someone's feelings, but I am slowing learning that there are things I want to do that take priority over other things that I think I should do.
And it's OK to say no.
It's OK to re-prioritize your life even if it's been the same for so long.
You can't worry about what others think you should do or who you should hang out with.
You have to do what's best for you. Always.
People will catch on.
And you'll be happier for it.

Source: via Clara on Pinterest

#4. Your Job
Unfortunately, we spend the majority of our waking hours at work.
And that is all the more reason we shouldn't be miserable in our jobs.
But I know many of us are, and that's sad.
Because guess what?
If you don't like your job, you can change it.
I know, I know this doesn't sound reasonable {remember, I told you I may have lost my mind}.
But think about it.
When the pain of staying in the same awful job is more painful than making the change to a new job, well, then my friends, you have a decision to make.
You don't deserve to be miserable, underappreciated, or overworked.
That student loan debt you're working to pay off is painful enough!
So don't settle because you think staying in this job is easier than looking for or getting a new one.
You deserve to be happy.
So be happy. You may never "work" another day in your life.

#5. Your Life

Making decisions to make changes in multiple, or even one, aspects of your life, will undoubtedly change your life.
It's not always going to be easy.
Frederick Douglass did say, "Without struggle, there can be no progress."
But my hope is that each of us make changes that are necessary, purposeful and make our lives better.
And we all have control over that.
Now, who's more scared of the fact that you have so much control rather than change itself?
Yeah, we are pretty powerful, amazing people.

If you noticed, I've bolded that word every chance I got in this post. It was intentional.
I hope that seeing it over and over helped you realize that it's not as scary as you think.
Hopefully you stopped sweating and shaking by the end of this post at the mere mention of the word.

I understand that change is never easy. 
And while I am an advocate for positive change, I have struggled with it at times in my life.
And I will continue to do so.
Because you can't be afraid to work for what you want.
You can't be afraid to be in control of your decisions, your emotions, your perspective, your body, your mind, YOUR LIFE.
And don't be afraid to let some change happen on its own. It's going to do it anyway.
Remember, you can't control everything.
So be open and flexible to the possibilities.

Source: via Clara on Pinterest

We like to be in control.
We don't like what we fear.
But sometimes with power comes responsibility.
And I think in this case, you don't get one without the other.
I'm scared too.
I was scared from the time I had my "aha" moment in class while my professor addressed this topic.
I'm scared to make changes I know are necessary in my life.
But I'm also excited about the new opportunities these changes present.
And that keeps me motivated.



Tara said...

This is awesome!! Thank you for posting this. :)

KatyK said...

So....I read this....and read it again. Then had to walk to the bathroom cuz I teared up a bit. I so needed to see this TODAY. There are some things in my life that MUST change and it scares the crap out of me. But its scarier to think about leaving thibgs the way they are....Thanx for another great post! Very thoughtful.

callie ;) said...

i love when you have deep, insightful posts! it always makes me reflect and gain perspective. look forward to seeing you this weekend or sometime soon! xo :)

KRISTIN said...

I love this. Although, I hate change.

~Katie said...

This is the second blog post from someone I've read today that's brought tears to my eyes. Crazy how sometimes exactly what you need to hear comes from the blog world. Thanks for the great post!

Ashley said...

This sista is definitely a control freak. I say I like being spontaneous, but I hate it. I hate no planning. It's something I need to work on. Thanks for the reminders. This post is a slap in the face for me. I have to change things whether or not I want to. IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN!

Have a great weekend girlie!

Laura said...

I love this post! I think we are always changing, sometimes it’s just more clear than others! For me that time is now, thank’s for the encouragement :)

Alicia {to columbus & beyond} said...

I love it Holly!! You are so right on everything. I am definitely trying to change my mind... I may have to do a blog post about this.

Mary said...

Another great post! Thanks for making me stop and think. Congrats on all you continue to achieve. You are an inspiration! :)

Neely said...

This post was amazing! I seriously read it twice, then read it to a non blogger friend. OH MY GOSH! So good!

Ginger said...

great post. I'm struggling mightily with the possibility of making some changes that would cut my salary in half, put my baby in daycare (from a sahd situation), etc. the thing that's hard about change is that you're never simply going from bad to good, there are always trade-offs. but when you know change is necessary, you've really got to step right up to the diving board and jump in.
thanks for the inspiration

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