Change: Nightmare or Dream?

by sbhill on January 8, 2011

Most people think about what they want to change and how to change it. Or when faced by change, they wonder how to deal with it. The problem is that they skip the most important question:

What is your relationship to change?

Why does this matter? Because it tells you:
How strongly you believe that you have the power to change yourself or circumstances
• The type of emotional reaction that a change is likely to trigger in you
How likely you are to succeed or fail in your attempt to change
Does that give the question enough weight to be valuable? I think certainly yes it does!
The problem is that the answer to this question is stored in your subconscious mind, and we’ll need a little trick to uncover it. Please take a pen and write as fast as you can on a piece of paper as you finish this same sentence with as many different words as you can think of as often as you can:
- Change is___________________

The words most people come up with are:
hard, scary, exhausting, dangerous, too much, too fast, resisted, overwhelming, uncomfortable, difficult, not going where I want it to go, forced upon us, pushes my buttons, creates resistance, shocking, hurting, painful, sad, inevitable, nerve racking, too costly, too expensive, a waste, uncomfortable, makes me nervous, challenging, not sustainable…

A few people say change is:
exciting, interesting, new, wonderful, killer of boredom, the salt in the soup of life, necessary, exhilarating, sexy, desired, delightful, joyful, growth inducing, comforting, safe, inspiring, positive, life.

Look at your list of answers and notice if you have more positive and attractive associations with change, or more negative and avoidable ones.

What kind of beliefs about change did this writing exercise reveal so far? Explore those attitudes by answering these next questions (add your own at the end):

- Change is always______________
- Change makes me_______________
- Sometimes change can be_____________
- When I try to change myself I___________
- Regarding change I’m_____________________
- …

Here are a few more questions to help you define your relationship to change:
• How do you usually feel when faced with a major change in your life?
• Seeing your list of words and answers to the previous questions, how would you describe now your relationship with change?
• What is your role in that relationship?
• What is a metaphor for your relationship to change?

Please take the time to feel into your answers on this page. Together they create a powerful change-paradigm from which you approach any kind of change in your life. Can you see how your attitudes, confidence and actions derive from it?

Last questions for today: Is your change-paradigm serving your goals in life? Is your relationship to change a dream one or a nightmare one?

I’would love to hear about your realisations and your comments. Just scroll down and write into the comment box below.
Thank you!

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