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Change

January 31, 2011

I am excited for the interviews lined up for Monday’s “Live Your Story” Series but I wanted to take a small break this week and talk about change.   I  came across an article that caught my eye from Psychology Today entitled, “Do We Really Want  To Change?”  I read the article through the lens of people getting off their butts and pursuing the passions that reside in them.

Blunt Question: Do you really want change or do you really just want to sit at a safe distance and entertain the possibilities?

See, possibilities don’t rock the boat called anxiety, they don’t demand change from us.  When I say, “possibilities”, I am talking about it in two ways.  First is the context in which I lived a good part of my life.  It is the living of life on the day-to-day while fantasizing what life could be like if YOU were different.  If you were that athlete or entertainer on TV, if you were as smart as that disheveled but brilliant professor you heard speak the other day.  We waste too much time dreaming the dreams of other people and because of that we never see the realization of our own dreams.  We just end up watching too much television.

The second possibility I am referring to is that of trajectories placed upon us by ourselves or others.  Many times these trajectories (also called hopes) are a good thing.  These trajectories are a combination of who we are, what we are good at, and how high the ceiling of achievement is for us.  These trajectories can either propel people forward in life because of their supportive nature or they can create a rut for people to safely live out their days, free from having to prove anything to anybody.  What I mean by the latter is that for some, it is better to live with the possibilities of a bright future opposed to the potential acknowledgment that we aren’t as good at something as once perceived.  We can tote around our possibilities like a trophy we never had to earn.  In this case, the idea/reality/excuse that is said over and over in our heads is, what would life be like if THINGS were different?  It’s the things in our lives that get in the way of us doing what we dream of doing. We let house payments, kids, bad economy, etc all keep us from testing out our trajectories.

All this said, change tests us.  We say we want to change but often times we have our inner most feelings guarded like Fort Knox.   Our anxiety stands in the way of change. Because of that, change is both confrontive and conflictive with our nature.  As we start the change process we need to take into account what the actual change act will bring with it.  Most likely there will be a loss of something and a gain of something else.  Change will create a vulnerability within us that we will consciously and unconsciously defend to the death.

Do you really want change?

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