If you’ve ever tried to make a change for the better in your life, you may find yourself running up against a bunch of questions, especially if you’ve been working hard at the change for a while and don’t feel like the hard work is paying off.
You may start questioning yourself or your efforts by asking yourself –
When do things get easier and when will I start to experience the benefits of these changes?
Have I already started to experience the positive effects and benefits of the changes and if I have, am I actually recognizing them?
As much as we wish there were crisp, clean, and definitive answers to these questions, I’m pretty sure there aren’t and am guessing that path toward change is more of a learning process and maybe a long learning process that’s much longer than we’d like it to be!
So then this raises corresponding questions of determination —
How long do I stick with these changes?
How can I tell if I should stick with the changes at all?
If you find yourself becoming frustrated or impatient with the pace of change, try reminding yourself that you’re probably in the uncomfortable and messy middle ground, in order to help stay the course and keep pushing forward, as it’s in this middle ground where, at least in my experience, you’ll begin to find and realize the benefits of the changes you’re trying to make.
If you happen to be the type of person that’s pretty good at sticking to a plan once you develop it and find that carrying the plan through to completion isn’t a big problem, you still might find a different problem emerge, which can be as big, if not a bigger, impediment to realizing change.
This problem leads to a third question of determination –
How can I tell if the changes might need to be adjusted along the way, rather than just keeping my head down and continuing to barrel forward with the original plan?
I tend to fall into this category and the problem I’m talking about is here is captured by this question. This problem is the difficulty that we may experience when it comes to letting ourselves recognize when it might be time to change the original plan and be flexible enough to start making those changes.
On the journey toward change, this difficulty seems to arise when we approach intersections or places where we have to decide on choosing one direction over another. During these times, you may also experience yourself existing in that middle ground again, between the way things have been and the way that they’re going to be.
To avoid this type of problem on your journey toward change, rather than just charge forward, straight ahead, try to reminding yourself that the forward direction can point toward a long expansive horizon and not just a laser-focused point on the horizon.
If you’re the type (as I am) to set a course and charge full-steam ahead until you reach the destination you set before the journey began, you might have the tendency to also zero-in on that laser-focused point on the horizon and charge toward it, oblivious to any other indications or signposts that may have existed along the way to guide you along an easier and better path.
I personally still have to consciously fight this heads-down tendency and find that at least being aware of it reminds me to keep my eyes up, open, and wide, while also being aware of indications or signposts, allowing them to guide me on the path forward toward the more expansive and wider horizon.
If we can remember to do this, we may find that rather than continually struggling toward what you thought was your ultimate destination when you set out, that things begin to get easier as the signposts guide you down a better path.