Sometimes I feel like throwing up.
Sometimes I feel like throwing up when I watch my kids. I feel woozy when they are playing with sticks, rocks, bugs, or when the ride their bikes. Especially when they ride their bikes. With their well-fitted helmets and training wheels, I see their chicken legs wobble, and sweaty hands begin a tug of war with the handlebars.
The handlebars always win.
My gut knows exactly the precise second when they are going to eat dirt, grass, or concrete for dinner. And through the cuts, scrapes, and running boogers that fall into their mouths when they cry, I let my spawn do it again.
Why? (I know, I sometimes ask this question myself.)
I let them because I know that my kids will be more resilient through this process, and eventually in life. Is it easy? No. It makes me nauseous. Yes. When it gets to be too much, I remember to take a breath. And then another one.
Now, it’s your turn. Take a breath and close your eyes.
Where do you need to make a change in your life?
If you don’t know right away, try to think of something small you want to change.
It could be like cleaning your car or your home. Or it could be a bigger change like improving your health or finances. You might go for a huge change and decide that you are ready to put yourself first. Perhaps you need a whopper change. Maybe you want out of a relationship. Or maybe you are ready to enter one. Most of life’s changes are possible, but to be successful, it’s essential to have a map for the stops along the way so you can stay on course.
Five Steps to Make a Big Change in Your Life
- Embrace the change
In the beginning, change almost always sounds fun and exciting. When my kids got their new helmets and shiny bikes, they wanted to start riding right away. None of the cells in their body could hear the word, “no.”
When it comes to a new change in your life, you do need this momentum to get the wheels turning. If you have been stagnant in any area of your life, it takes more energy to move from just an idea to actually take action and do the work to attain your goal. So when you have an inkling that you want something new or different in your life, use that “rider’s high” of excitement and start peddling in the area of your desire.
- Make peace with the temporary fear
My kids in their excitement didn’t hear my “no.” They peddled with crazed enthusiasm into our Christmas tree. After a shriek and a scream, they fell to the ground. My heart stopped. And then they start laughing and trying to ride in the house again.
When you decide to do something daringly different, if you let enough time pass, your reptilian brain starts to kick in. You start to feel fear. Some of it’s real and some of it is imaginary. In fear, you second-guess yourself. You question your beauty, your brains, and your judgment. And sometimes you even ask if your happiness is even worth it. Don’t do it. Understand that anything that worth doing will stir feelings in you because you want to avoid pain.
And guess what, that’s okay. That’s normal. So make peace that the fear is rational, but that living an amazing life takes guts. And you have that too. Feel the sensation of fear, but remind yourself that you have done things in life that you thought you couldn’t do and you did it. When you feel the doubt or fear again remember that again.
- Prepare your mind for the time
When my kids finally were able to go outside to ride their bikes, they thought they would be able to figure it out in a blink of an eye. This is expected. They are five and seven. But honestly, we all expect results faster than we can produce them. When it comes to making a change in your life, give yourself a generous timeline. This doesn’t mean a never-ending timeline, but a realistic one. If you want to lose fifty pounds in a month, this wouldn’t be realistic. You would lose all the momentum and excitement. A better goal might be to walk for thirty minutes as a first step for the next thirty days. This works the same if you are trying to find your dream job or dream lover. Make your steps and changes small and measurable so that you can attain success and build upon it.
- Feel all the feelings.
Just the idea of making a significant change can create a huge range of emotional landscape. You will go through the cracks and bumps of excitement and despair. You will go through the valleys and hills of potential and pain. Some days it will suck. But don’t stop. Acknowledge the feelings of the journey and know they are all helping you to get to the next point of your map. Your feelings will also give you important feedback about this huge change. You will know if it’s worth it. You will know how much life energy you will devote to this change.
You may also find out if it’s time to leave or stick it out. My boys were happy, sad, scared, angry, rebellious, disgusted, whiny, fierce and silly all in thirty minutes when it came to riding their bikes. Watching their transformation from fear to fierceness reminded me of my own joy ride when it comes to big changes in my life.
- Find the gratitude in every step.
You will find creating a major change in your life takes many steps. From dreaming about change to speaking the ideas out loud, all these steps lead to a new creation of you. Enlisting outside help from friends and family or other sources may be needed to attain your change. You may need more time and patience. You always need more kindness toward yourself so create that as a step. When you become challenged or tired and don’t think you can work toward the changes you want in life, think about all the effort you have put forth so far. Reflect on the wisdom of what you have experienced or learned. Think about the people who love and support you in this new change, and feel the gratitude that comes with this. This will carry you over your bumpiest roads. And isn’t creating a new life for yourself worth it?
Whether you are aware of it or not, we are in a state of constant change. My boys will eventually master bike riding and I’ll take fewer Alka-Seltzers. If we embrace the flow and grab the handlebars of the change we need in our own lives with small steps, resilience and love for ourselves, we may just experience the ride of our lives.
Wear a helmet. Namaste.