Do you find yourself thinking that you’ve gone past the point of being able to change? Or do you find yourself repressing the need to change, because you’re afraid of what it might look like? As a late teen, I knew I had the capacity to change, but I wasn’t sure that I could. I felt trapped by myself, like I had somehow gone past the point of being able to change myself. For a number of years I kept myself in an internal battle of wanting, and needing, change and not allowing myself to move forwards in my life.
You’re allowed to change. You don’t have to be stuck, even if you’re in a work or life situation which feels stifling. It only takes one small, positive change in order to create a domino effect in your life. My changes to move forward in self-improvement didn’t exactly create a domino effect so much as a rollercoaster effect. Between the ages of 19 and 24 I worked hard to accept change as a part of my overall life improvement. I barely remembered the feeling of being stuck and unable to make the changes necessary to improve my life. Recently, I found those feelings again.
But how can you move past this feeling and make the necessary changes to improve your life?
1: Accept that you will move past people in your life
The road of progression inevitably requires you to pass others in your life along the way. Everyone is making their own journey (cliche, but true) and everyone moves at a different pace. Not wanting to let go of a friend group, or of individuals in a different place in their lives to your own, can leave you stuck with them, on their path- instead of moving forward on your own. There are ways to accept these people as a part of your own life, so long as you don’t chain yourselves to them.
2: Accept that some people will dislike the changes you make
Some people in your life will be excited, and maybe even inspired, to move forward alongside you. But others will find the changes you make too difficult for them to accept. You have to take a step back and accept that your life is more important than the people within it at any one time. If someone in your life can’t handle the changes you make then accept that- sometimes people will come back to you later, realising that your change was for the best. You will lose some others, and that’s okay. You’re moving further towards people on the same part of their path as you, and that’s a good thing.
3: Accept that you are multifaceted
We all like to fall into boxes in our lives. It can be easy for us to find where we fit and sit there, unquestioning of what we’re missing out on. It can also be easy to reject where we feel we won’t fit, and to never find out if something could have worked for us. But we have to accept that we are complex individuals, ever-changing and multifaceted. Full of flaws and intricacies and complications. There might even come times when we feel we no longer fit into any of the boxes we once checked. Accept that changes in your social life, or even your identity, are ways of knowing yourself better. Be open to that change in yourself, because you never know what joy could come of it.
Accepting change and allowing active change in your life isn’t always simple. But almost anything worth accepting isn’t simple. It can be intimidating to walk alone into the unknown, but doing so can unlock things in you that you never knew existed. I remember it like this:
Change is inevitable, progression is a choice.
So accept change, in order to turn it into progress. Because we all deserve to walk into the best version of ourselves, to be unstuck from fear and to move towards freedom. -Jay