We live in a society that craves change. We want everyone to change, often to our perspective to how we view life. However, the deep reality is that we are the only ones who can change ourselves.
Often times when seeking change, most relate to the softer voices in life rather than the harsh, "pull yourself up by your boot straps," approach. However, I do think a mix of both energies are necessary to light the fire to ignite change.
Change is an opportunity to grow, and ascend from tough to better situations. The path to change isn't always easy, but know the journey is one worth taking.
So if you are seeking a change, here are some powerful questions to ponder upon to inspire change or awakening in your life.
Am I sick and tired of being sick and tired? Or am I "sick" of my current situation?
What situation in your life are you sick and tired of dealing with? Is it poor health? Is it constantly being broke? Is it chronic negative thinking?
Whatever it is, bringing awareness to the situation is the first step making a change. Once you bring awareness, you are conscious or cognizant on the situation or problem.
Once you have the awareness, what was the "a-ha" moment that made you realize you needed a change?
One of my former morbidly obese clients said his "a-ha" moment occurred when he took a flight and couldn't fit into the seat. That was his moment that he realized he needed to change his life as he couldn't do many things before of his weight.
What situations or life event led me to this point?
Most people have a trigger event, unresolved trauma, childhood trauma or a string of chaotic events that led them to a certain situation or down a path of self-destruction.
Common causes include: death of a spouse / family member, abuse from a parent / spouse, divorce, loss of finances (job or bankruptcy), bad breakup, or hitting rock bottom.
In the event of becoming morbidly obese, this change did not happen overnight. It took years of overeating to get that person to the point of becoming 350-500lbs. Most morbidly obese people I worked with used food to cope with their emotions to make themselves feel better.
What is your deepest "why?"
As a personal trainer for 15 years, I've noticed that there are various surface level responses to change, and then there are deeper ones that hit the core of our emotional body.
Discovering your deepest why, is like peeling back the onion layers.
One example I see in fitness is that people want to lose weight. Okay, so why? Many will respond with "to look better," and after each response I keep asking, "why?" Many people on the surface want to look or feel better, but deep down there is something inside of them such as they want to be able to play with their children. Or have energy to participate in their kids life (like playing baseball) instead of having the passive experience of just being on the sidelines.
What is stopping me from achieving these goals? Or are there any barriers to my success?
These questions bring awareness to potential challenges or barriers that may hinder growth or our goals.
I suggest writing down 5-10 potential challenges. Do you work long or erratic work hours? Are you a busy parent? Do you self-sabotage your situations because of unresolved trauma?
Many people are eager to change, but don't realize it is a journey. They want to automatically jump from Point A to Point B. They fail to realize that living our daily life may cause barricades or stepping stones that may make life go up and down.
Change isn't linear and sometimes the road blocks pushes the pause button in our path to growth, but know that this moment is temporary.
What am I willing to let go of to make space for change?
Many people want to keep the same habits and try some program or teaching, expecting the same results.
As an example, people want to lose weight, so they decide to exercise and expect to be thin while continuing to eat fast food and drink lots of alcohol. Many people don't realize that its an entire lifestyle change. They don't want to let go of the same habits or addictions that will take them down.
However, in order for something new to begin, the old ways must be let go, removed or decreased to make space for something new.
What did I try in the past? What worked and what didn't?
Many people have tried "life altering" programs, but unfortunately did not see any results or change. Many mass marketed programs offer false-hope or unrealistic results in a short amount of time. Sadly, most of like doesn't work like this.
Nature doesn't plant a seed and then in 7 days a flower blossoms. Good things that grow take time.
I recommend not being discouraged from past efforts, but rather sit and reflect on what worked and what didn't. This time around one can adopt a better or a different game plan to navigate towards success.
Who is my support system?
We all need support. That is why community is so powerful and friends and family are so valuable. They are our cheerleaders to encourage us through difficult times.
We cannot be codependent upon people and shouldn't overburden individuals as that is where professional help is necessary to navigate the deeper parts of our change.
So ask yourself, "Who is part of my support system?" Friends, family, co-workers, church/community groups, neighbors, coaches, trainers, psychologists, doctors, nutritionists - somewhere out there, there is at least one support network for everyone.
YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN GROW! YOU CAN HEAL! YOU CAN LIVE A BETTER LIFE!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com