The inner journey

We all say we want to change, but for the most part, we don’t. We only want our circumstances to change. We want to be richer, healthier, happier, more loved, and more fulfilled, but we don’t really want to change ourselves. Unfortunately, accomplishing the first requires risking the second.

We are unlikely to achieve new levels of success if we hold on to our old levels of thought, behaviour and emotion. But abandoning those familiar patterns means leaving our comfort zones and risking failure, loss and rejection. So, we’ll experience the feelings of change that stop us from any fundamental transformation because it’s simply too scary.

From self-help books to motivational speakers and professional conferences to personal therapy, we spend lots of money to learn how to change, but the issue is rarely how; the problem is finding the courage to do what we already know.

The truth is this: the most significant obstacle to change is that you are too afraid to do it. You probably won’t admit that; you won’t even realize it; instead, you will say to yourself that you are too poor, too busy, too smart, too dumb, too old, too young, or too ugly to obtain what you want.You’ll do what we have all done: try a method for a while and eventually abandon it for a new scheme that you think will lead to the change you desire without ever changing the core of your problem.

The core of the problem, then, is about something other than finding a new strategy or a miracle cure. It’s about confronting the deep-seated fears and insecurities that keep us from making meaningful changes. This requires a level of honesty and vulnerability that many find daunting. Admitting that we are the ones holding ourselves back is a painful realization, but it is also the first step towards true transformation.

What follows this realization is a journey that is as much about unlearning as it is about learning. We must unlearn the patterns of thought and behaviour that have kept us stuck in the same cycles. This is not a simple process; it involves reevaluating deeply held beliefs, questioning long-standing assumptions, and often, rewriting the narratives we’ve told ourselves about who we are and what we’re capable of.

This journey requires patience and persistence. Change is not a linear process, especially when it involves personal growth. Setbacks and failures will occur along the way. However, these are not signs that we are doomed to stay the same forever. Rather, they are opportunities to learn and grow stronger. Each setback teaches us something about ourselves and brings us one step closer to the person we wish to become.

Moreover, this path requires support from friends, family, therapists, or mentors. Change is hard, and trying to do it alone makes it even harder. Having a support system provides not just encouragement and accountability but also perspective. Others can often see in us what we cannot see in ourselves, including our progress and the potential to go further.

Ultimately, the quest for change is a quest for authenticity and fulfilment. It’s about becoming more in tune with our true selves and deepest desires. It’s about shedding the layers of fear, doubt, and insecurity that hold us back and embracing the vulnerability and courage it takes to become a new version of ourselves.

The irony of change is that while we seek it to improve our circumstances, we often find that the most profound shifts happen within us. And it is these internal transformations that eventually manifest as the changes we wish to see in our lives.