Change is the only constant, yet it's where we humans have so much resistance. So much so that hiring coaches and therapists to help with change is a multi-billion dollar industry. But what if change isn't as hard as we think it is? I was recently reflecting on this idea. I thought, isn't it weird that we hire other people to help us do what we don't want to do? We hire coaches and therapists, and they tell us what we need to do to get to our goal. Often we’re given a list that we've already compiled many times over ourselves, but now we have someone to hold us accountable to this list. The crazy part is the list is of the things we don't want to do so that we can achieve something that we think will be better than where we are now!
For some reason, this just seemed extremely funny and sad to me. And here's the kicker, once we get what we think we wanted, we often run into one of three challenges:
1. We realize that what we thought we wanted wasn't that great anyway.
2. We find we don't have the energy to keep up with maintaining what we think we wanted.
3. We feel great that we achieved our goal and get busy making the next one to keep up the artificial high.
It's kind of like the individual who wins the lottery. They have this massive windfall of cash, but because they didn't learn to earn and manage that kind of money along the way, more often than not, they are broke within two years.
Now, here's a more natural, way. What I have discovered over the past several years is that people change from inside out. This means that when something shifts inside, we begin to see opportunity, possibility and find the right people to assist us with our goals without the need to be held accountable. When a shift first happens on the inside, we discover the energy and vitality to propel us into the world with insightful action, the resilience to stay in the game and the clarity to know what and when to let go. We become masters of listening deeply, taking the small actions that make the most sense and most importantly enjoying the process along the way. When a shift happens from within, we understand these three things:
1. The process has prepared us for the sustainability of our goal.
2. The energy and vitality to maintain and even go beyond our goal is never in question.
3. The need to achieve more falls away, while the desire to create and share more takes the driver seat.
The above illustrates the difference between working with our nature vs. operating from our ego or insecurity. When we work from our nature, we find a path congruent with our energy levels and the clarity to travel that path. When we work from our ego, we find that it's hard, effortful, stressful, full of resistance and we need others to keep us accountable.
I'll finish with one example. Recently I was working with a client who wanted to lose some weight. He told me all the things that he tried, about the people he had hired, about his frustration and that the only thing that he had lost was his hope that weight loss was a possibility.
Now many people would think that he was following the wrong diet plan, the wrong strategies, eating from the wrong food list, cheating, etc. But that fact was this. Weight loss was never his idea in the first place! His friends and family told him he needed to lose weight and he promised them he would.
As we continued our discussion, what was clear was that eating was something he did because life felt stressful and overwhelming. He told me that if he had a magic wand; he would love to experience less stress and accept himself the way he is. Together we explored the fact of innate health and wellbeing and the built-in capacity for resilience. He began to recognize that his body and emotional wellbeing was voting for him. He began to see whether his body was big or small, he was ok.
Within a couple of months, his food choices shifted from inside out, his energy grew, and his desire to invest that energy through movement and exercise grew. Weight loss was now more effortless and managed by his inner wisdom vs. by standards, strategies, and techniques. He is well on his way down a sustainable path of health and wellbeing being directed from a deeper place inside of him.
We all can change, grow and achieve. It also turns out that we have the perfect internal navigation system onboard to not only discover where we want to go but can provide us the insight and energy to get there.