Personal change necessarily involves a struggle within. A struggle between the part of you that wants to change and the part of you that doesn’t. And, in order to tip the balance, you must first understand the nature of the struggle to change.
The struggle to change is good
Luckily, the struggle itself is good news, because the very fact that you experience it, is a sign that you believe that you can change. And, that is half the battle. For, all that it takes for change to be possible, is quite simply the idea that change IS possible! Once this happens, the game is on.
It’s almost like there are two voices within us. One that clings to the security of the old, no matter how unhealthy that may be, and one that sees a better way. And acknowledging both sides is very valuable because it allows you to burn the candle from both ends.
Working from both ends
What often happens is that the voice resisting change steals the show. It takes up all the air space, reinforcing the belief that you must stay where you are. And this can go on for years, working in the background away from your conscious attention. But, as soon as you notice the part of you that disagrees with this voice, you have a way in. The simple act of seeing another possibility creates opportunity. The opportunity to work from two ends, to
- Investigate the nature of the resistance, and;
- Encourage the part of you that does want to change
And the two help each other — one pushes and the other pulls.
Push and pull
Perhaps, your resistance involves hidden beliefs about what you should and shouldn’t do? Perhaps, it’s fear of the unknown, or perhaps it’s largely force of habit? Deeper investigation can help you understand the nature of the resistance and thus to release yourself from its grip (to push). Often, many of the barriers to change are psychological barriers that we create for ourselves. And they can so easily hide from us, that is why it’s important to look more deeply at resistance. It is a very fertile area.
Similarly, noticing the other part of you that wishes to change means you have the chance to amplify its voice (to pull). To support and encourage it wherever possible. For example, you may consider changes to your environment and daily routine that allow this part to show itself more. Nurturing and growing this side of you, by creating familiarity with the new, will help you let go of the resistance. On the other side, working to understand and let go of resistance will encourage the change-seeking part — for it now has more space to grow. Push and pull thus support each other.
Embrace the struggle to change
The struggle to change is good news. It means that you can envision a different path, a different way of being. It means that you believe that change is possible. What comes next is finding the courage and determination to run with it. With time and effort, the balance will tip, especially if you work from both ends. Remember too that there are no shortcuts. Lasting change doesn’t happen overnight.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.