Change is hard. We often resist it at all costs. Our minds become disoriented when we have significant changes in our life, whether they are in a positive or negative direction.
We change at every moment of our lives, whether we like it or not. Change either happens to us slowly or becomes intentional.
Think back to who you were 10 years ago. Even if you didn’t intentionally try to change, I would make a bet that you are a different person.
One of the reasons that change is so hard is because there is a deep part of our brain that knows that we are out of routine. It knows that you normally sleep in instead of waking up to work out. It knows that you normally relax to watch TV instead of working on your passions. The hardest part about it is when it goes on and on for weeks, and you wonder if that weird feeling is ever going to go away. I’ve been building a habit of waking up at 5:00 am to work out over the last 6 weeks and I still feel it. It’s hard!
Change How You View Yourself Now
For years, I never considered myself a runner. I was running 4-5x a week, even ran the Chicago Marathon and even then, I didn’t consider myself a runner. It wasn’t until I started talking to people about how I am a runner that I didn’t convince myself that I was. It was odd at first. Not only that, but it felt phony. The objective reality was it wasn’t phony, I ran all the time, why did it feel odd?
It was because I didn’t project myself out to the world as a runner. I didn’t tell anyone. It was my little secret that I kept. I look more like a weightlifter than a runner, so the secret was easy to keep. I was feeling imposter syndrome.
It wasn’t until I started talking about writing to other people that I felt like a writer. I had been writing for years at that point.
When you start to view yourself through a different lens, your world will begin to change. It may take months even years to internally feel that, but it does take true resilience to stay the course.
When I see different changes happening right now, it’s not like I’m physically exhausting my body more than I was before. Everything that is happening is how I am adapting to my new world.
How do you build resilience to this?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by a mass amount of change, so it is important to take a step back from it. Instead of defaulting back to coasting through life, it’s significant to take some time to be mindful of what is going on.
In the past, I know that I have had moments like these where I ended up going over a month before I started to get back into the swing of things. Currently, I’m only letting a few days go by before deciding that I can’t let another month of my life go to waste.
Building resilience when you have setbacks is critical for becoming the person you want to become. It’s easy to set the perfect workout schedule up and the moment you miss one workout, you let the entire week slide by because now you’re off routine. It takes resilience to get back on the horse the next day. Everyone has an off day. Don’t let those off days become off weeks and months.
Set Your Priorities And Stick To Them
I love watching sports. Football in particular. January is NFL playoff time. It makes it hard to commit to those weekend goals when there are three playoff games each day on Saturday and Sunday. This year, I decided that I have priorities to make. I would either get my running and writing in before the games or make the sacrifice and skip the games to get them in.
It may sound like a small thing and an easy decision when you write it down, but it wasn’t easy. How many people forgo their dry January as soon as they’re invited to a friend’s to watch the games? It’s easy to slip back into your old ways.
There are only a few things that I will allow getting in the way of my priorities, it’s anything that involves my relationship or an emergency. If I don’t hit my minimum each day, nothing else has priority over it.
When it comes to sacrificing who you are now for whom you could be, there are only a few options. You will either let the world decide who you become for you, or you decide who you become. The world is never stagnant. There is no holding onto who you are for the rest of your life. I would always hate it when someone would tell me to “never change.” I believe that is one of those pieces of advice that is almost a backhanded compliment.
Sacrificing who you are now is a challenge. We want to hang onto ourselves. We would rather not let go. You must let go to reach your full potential.