It is safe to say that we live in a culture of change. As trends come into fashion and expire in the blink of an eye, one could think our society has grown accustomed to change. In many ways, our lifestyles have adjusted accordingly and we as consumers have come to expect constant novelty. Yet, while we are grown used to superficial alterations to our daily lives when it comes to more meaningful transformations in our professional and personal lives, we harbour a resistance to change. This year’s unexpected turn of events has questioned our lives on a deeper level, pointing towards new perspectives. While the winds of change are blowing hard, we have remained stuck in this in-between phase. This week, we take a closer look at why we hold such resistance to change and ways to change your life in favour of your personal growth
2020 – Embracing change in favour of personal growth
2020 will certainly go down in history as a year of operating amidst uncertainty. As the global pace of the world has slowed down, this extra time on our hands has pushed many of us to ask ourselves what truly matters when looking at the big picture, many of us have conducted 360 reassessments of our lives. Studies have shown that the current situation has driven many to consider career changes or radical life shifts. Some are starting a new business from their home, while others are preparing a move to live closer to nature. Yet, it has been difficult to set things in motion.
This year could be qualified as “liminal”: an enforced “down” time between a situation we no longer wish for and a future we have yet to reach. Saturated with uncertainty and potential for change, this challenging period is indeed of great value if we choose to use it wisely by going inwards. We may prepare the grounds for change by building momentum through identifying and releasing internal blockages. Limiting beliefs, unresolved trauma, negative thought patterns and lack of clarity may stand in the way of smoothly transitioning to the next phase of our lives. Also, whether the change we wish to see is personal or professional, these two are not very far off from one another. This exceptional liminal year presents us with the unique opportunity to conduct proactive introspection and equip ourselves with the tools to embrace change, thus laying the foundations of a more fulfilled life.
Identifying our resistance to change
Change and uncertainty go hand-in-hand. However, as humans, we are all more confident striding into a direction that is clearly outlined and become fearful as lack of visibility creeps in. It is completely human and natural to harbour resistance to change, for many the word “change” represents taking risks. The image of stepping into a thick fog comes to mind… Would you run straight ahead? Or would you rather turn back and wait for things to clear up a bit?
In 1992, business consultant Ken Blanchard outlined several reactions commonly observed in individuals when facing new situations. We know them as the 7 dynamics of change:
- Feeling awkward or self-conscious
- Focusing on things you have to give up
- Loneliness and feelings of going through this experience alone
- Feeling overwhelmed in the face of so much change
- Unequal readiness to embrace change
- Wondering if there are enough resources
- Seeking safety and ease by reverting to old habits
Which behaviours of the above did you adopt last time you tried to change something about yourself? Investing in oneself and observing what indeed needs resolving internally can help us pull down the barriers of risk-averse thinking and our resistance to change.
On a neurological level, embracing change requires greater energy. To learn a new way of doing something, or a train of thought, our prefrontal cortex has to work harder to create new connections. This is why old habits die hard and tend to hold us back because they are comfortable and easy.
Unresolved trauma or unacknowledged blockages may also contribute to a solid resistance to change. Kinesiology’s holistic approach explores all three aspects of our human experience: mind, body and spirit. By delving deep into the root causes of discomfort and stress, we may unearth and resolve these hidden causes and embrace change with greater ease.
When we choose to push through our resistance to change, we may begin to develop new behavioural patterns and improve our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. In the context of this lockdown, committing to understanding ourselves and how we can see or do things differently helps us embrace change.
On the other side of resistance to change stands the promise of greater self-knowledge and empowering ourselves to overcome the challenges that await us, both internally and in the external world. Suddenly we are no longer avoiding change, we are embracing it by investing in ourselves.
Thriving on change
Too often, we wait until the situations we no longer desire become so uncomfortable that we have no choice but to embrace change. Perhaps you are experiencing this right now?
What if, rather than nurturing our resistance to change, we chose to thrive on it? What if you were to use this extended liminal time to become open to new ideas? Aura & Meta’s unique blend of executive coaching and kinesiology can help you revaluate your life’s mission and establish new empowering daily habits, one step at a time. For this, taking this time for introspection means identifying both your strengths as well as your blockages. In other words, personal growth involves overcoming resistance to change by investing in yourself.
How do we do that? First, we begin by learning to sit in stillness, which is what the next article of this series will explore.
If you are ready to embark on an inward journey of self-exploration but do not wish to go it alone, your first step may be joining Aura & Meta’s unique programme Reset, Realign, Restart: STOP existing. START LIVING. Launching February 2021, this 8-week programme blends executive coaching and kinesiology to help you reconnect with your authentic self.