One of my favorite quotes is "Self-knowledge without self-change is self-abuse." - Dr. Eleger Ben-Joseph. What a thought? Upon first hearing this quote, most agree that there is an undeniable truth behind it. We become aware of (or are already aware of) the negative, unhealthy consequences we invite into our lives because of some of the activities that we choose to continue to do, toxic relationships we continue to have, and daily discomfort from working a dead-end job that we detest, yet we do nothing to change these damaging patterns once they are within awareness. It is as if people are most resistant to making the changes required to better themselves in ways that will help them become healthier and happier.
Why do we resist change? Why are we content to torture ourselves with damaging habits that we continue as part of our daily routine for the sake of avoiding change in our daily routine? Even when change will result in vast life satisfaction improvements in the long run, people still remain firm and stubbornly resist any temptations they experience to change thier lives. I say that change results in entering "unknown territory". This can lead to a person becoming fearful when they do not know how to predict what is likely to occur in the future, walking in "unexplored terrain".
Although change is difficult, it doesn't happen over night. I have found that large chagnes are actually a culmination of baby steps of change rather than big strides. This enables us to dip our toe in the water of the unknown to gauge the temperature. When that's not too bad, we feel more comfortable slowly ascending the steps into the unknown waters of the pool, anxious if the temperature will bring a good or negative sensation. Yet, we finally find outselves neck deep and nearly submerged in goldilocks waters that are not too hot or cold, but just right. When all is said and done, we are happier, so what took us so long to overcome out fears of changing that we wasted preciiuos time worrying about something which did not come to affruition.
This story embodies what I see people doing everyday, in all walks of life... avoiding making changes to their mindset, beliefs and subsequently, their behaviors. We get stuck in a rut this way, and it's not always a healthy rut, it's a vice. I will remind you again that it has been said "Self-Knowledge without Self-Change is Self-Abuse," and I challenge those who are now aware of this truth to take an honest look at how they are living their own lives.
How can this be a call to change for the betterment of self be put it into use in our own lives? Ask yourself, "What changes could I make in my life today that would shift things in a more positive direction for tomorrow?" I bet you can think of at least two or three minute changes, perhaps its a habit that has been beating you down and has lead to an unhealthy addiction, perhaps it is ignoring yourself and not noticing that you serve to have a voice and deserve to have you voice heard. Perhaps it is to let go of blame and see that we too live in a glass house and therefore, should not throw stones. No one is perfect, there is no perfect. Healthy self-love is promoted by keeping what works, making positive changesfor promotion of a healthy lifestyle, having better behavioral choices, and improved interpersonal relations with others.
This week I challenge you to find one thing that has been holding you back or causeing you a great deal of worry, grief or is dragging you down into a depressive state. Ask youself, "What can I do to alter this situation to suit my needs better?" If leaving that situation, relationship or employment position is the only way to enable you to start feeling less stressed and more wellbalanced, you may want to weight the pros and cons and plan a bit before drastically changing your life. Beginning the planning process in itself is one of the 5 stages of change called Preparation. I'd love to get feedback on what others have decided to commit to changing this week within themselves to help them enjoy the here and now more and worry about a future which has not yet arrived less.