Change is a PROCESS. A gritty, uncomfortable, and vulnerable time. Yet, it is also beautiful and empowering.
Whether it's habits, hobbies, or people, transitioning life seasons is indescribable. Mainly because every single one of us goes through the process differently. Our emotional makeup, personalities, and circumstances all affect us in ways no one else will experience. So, since it is an individualized experience, we often navigate change feeling misunderstood.
As people we innately judge off habit. Have you ever said " Oh I'm just like that" or "Oh, she's never going to change that" ? I know I've done it plenty of times before. We assume people can't change, or believe we will continue failing. Though now, going through a personal change myself, I realize how unfair it is. To tell someone or yourself, you will never break free of the habits and characteristics holding you back. What gives us that right? Better yet, why do we allow those doubts to paralyze us?
For a long time, I was tangled in doubt. I focused on everything I was still doing wrong, yet completely missing the things I was doing right for a change. Instead of celebrating the small victories, I always allowed myself and other people to shift my focus toward the stuff I was still struggling with. Side comments, passive aggressive remarks, lack of acknowledgement all pushed me into the mindset of "This is just who I am I guess".
I'm here to say do not believe that.
Do not lose a grip on your progress. You CAN change.
No, it's not going to be easy. You will put in a lot of effort, yet still be seen as the same person. For the five steps you take forward, you will fall back for a moment. And people will magnify the mistake, using it to justify their "She'll never change" statement. Ignore it. Ignore the embarrassment. Ignore the overwhelming feeling of failure. Because at the end of the day, change is an internal process. What people say and believe should not dictate how you feel about yourself. You messed up? Understand for yourself where you did, correct it, and move forward.
Many nights I laid in bed, feeling the weight of a thousand words. Persecuting myself over past mistakes I can no longer change. Yes, I hurt people. Yes, I made bad decisions. Yes, I screwed up royally. Yes, yes, yes; all of it. But what is laying in bed in 2019 crying, going to change about something that happened in 2015? When I started to build faith again, when I started believing in the person I know I can be, that is when I truly started to release the pain. Forgive yourself.. Let go of issues you internalize. What kind of life is worth living if you are always submerged in regret? I lived in that space for too long and I can tell you first hand how destructive it was.
The more you focus on yourself during personal change, the faster the process might actually go. Waking up every day to celebrate what you are improving, rather than worrying about what people are thinking or saying behind your back. Instead of looking down at the dirt, look up to the sky. See the light of where your going. Be empowered by the progress you've made, not discouraged by the road you have left. Just because you haven't immediately hit your goal in a week, does NOT mean change is impossible. If you are making active choices and slowly improving day by day, you ARE changing. Transformation is not an instant process, but it is possible with patience.
Work on yourself in private. Everyone doesn't need to know intricate details. Find people you trust, who will sincerely listen. People who correct AND encourage you. The ones who will smile with you on the good days and tell you to believe in yourself on the bad ones. Let go of trying to hold onto people who've given up on you. Because you will feel like a lost cause continuously trying to make people see growth in you who choose not to. In time they will see, but proving it to them should not be your motivation. Working to prove people wrong tends to breed vengeance, shifting your focus off yourself. Don't waste your energy like that. Most importantly, celebrate. Every single day you wake up, you are one step further away from what held you back. Every day you exercise, eat right, avoid a bad habit, handle a situation, do something good, whatever it might be you're trying to overcome: celebrate. Little by little you are making strides toward the person you want to be.
People change. We CAN change.
We might not even be close friends, but as someone changing her life right now, I will say I'm here in this with you. I believe in you and am sending you love and light. Keep pressing on, you can do it. :) I'm always a post or message away if you need to be reminded. <3