Change is hard at any time. We tend to avoid it because it brings up our insecurities and can require large amounts of confidence. When we are contemplating making a change we may question our ability to handle the change we are considering. A new job, a move, and even a hairstyle change can provoke anxiety.
So add change into the mix when we are going through a breakup and we can be frozen and indecisive. Most of us aren’t feeling our most confident or secure when a relationship is ending. We can vacillate between thinking we are doing the right thing one moment and then doubt we have any idea at all the next. Change requires an acceptance of something new. We are accepting a new way in our life which means we are typically saying goodbye to some other aspect of what we know to be our old routine. So it isn’t just allowing for the change but in some situations grieving what we are letting go of.
All of this can be difficult to handle and if we are already feeling vulnerable, we may do what we do best in any challenging situation…
We get creative when we want to avoid the feelings attached to a change. We may daydream about the past, idealize the situation, and/or convince ourselves that the change doesn’t really need to happen so we can stay stuck in our current place. And what is most amazing about all of this is we can do most of this without realizing it!
So obviously the question is if we don’t realize what we are doing, how do we change it! The only way through is…
Accepting that things are changing and using it as a motivator for us to kick away old patterns, relationships or bad habits is powerful.
A few years ago I was thinking about a big change in my life. I had all of the excuses at the ready as to why it couldn’t and shouldn’t happen. I clung onto my old life with white knuckles and began sharing with everyone how perfect my current life was. I set up roadblock after roadblock as to why I couldn’t and wouldn’t change. I even began to get defensive if anyone asked me about the potential change, getting frustrated with others for daring to encourage me to allow something new into my life. I distracted myself by getting absorbed with petty details that I convinced myself were signs that the change wasn’t “meant to be”. This went on for far too long before I realized that change was not only necessary but actually what I needed. As I stepped into the change, I experienced fear and anxiety and doubted my abilities many times. However, eventually as I began to experience the joy of accepting the change and the excitement of new possibilities, the fear subsided.
Accepting what that inner voice is telling us we need to do seems so simple yet we all push it aside time and time again, hoping to stay far away from the “change”. The thing is, we know what we need to do. We know it better than anyone else. We hear that little voice every time we are disappointed by a relationship or left feeling unfulfilled by a choice we have made. We do know what we need and want, but we avoid, distract and procrastinate out of fear. Accepting the need for change, listening to the small voice within that is trying to guide us in our life is the only way to move from a destructive and unhelpful relationship.
You may have too much noise around you right now to hear that voice. You may be confused why your behavior doesn’t match what you say you want. Often times with breakups we can be easily swayed by our broken heart and we push aside any thoughts of change and slide right back into that well worn comfortable and complacent place. We dismiss advice from others, we ignore the truth and we avoid the change.
Accept the change and acknowledge your fear. Lean on friends, family and a therapist.
If you don’t, one thing is for sure…nothing is going to change.