Are you good at working out? Are you consistent in your effort to exercise and transform your body into a leaner, fitter you?
What was it like when you first started going to the gym? Hard, painful, tiring? How long did it take to develop a rhythm and ease with your routine? Do you find it easier today to do those same exercises you found so difficult back then?
Your change muscle needs the same consistent workout that your body’s muscles need to keep it healthy and strong.
Why is exercising your change muscle important? Almost any goal you have requires a change of behavior or a change of action to achieve it.
Having “strength” to manage the change required will increase your chances of achieving new things you want to try, do, or experience in your life.
Whether it is a change in a relationship, a job, a location, or life situation, change requires an internal strength to successfully navigate it.
If you have not practiced managing change, an unexpected occurrence in a known plan can be overwhelming. Suddenly it is like being expected to bench press 250 pounds on day 1 at the gym. Most likely it is going to be a disaster for you.
Taking baby steps can help you manage larger and greater change over time. When you exercise your change muscle in small ways now, you are preparing to manage larger change in the future.
Being able to manage change is key to empowering yourself to choose what you want to create in your life.
So what are some things you can do today to begin building a strong change muscle?
1). Change Your Routine. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Pick one small thing in your daily or weekly routine that you could change now.
Example: I could take a different route home after work. It may cost me some time, or it may present some different obstacles driving, or maybe it actually may be a much better driving experience. A change of routine can bring new energy into a stale situation.
2). Be Curious. When an unexpected event occurs, choose to be curious about what is happening. Curiosity gives you strength to remain in the tension of the change without freaking out about it.
Example: If I find myself in a traffic jam and it will cause me to change my immediate plans, instead of being angry, I can choose to observe human behavior. Who is helpful and courteous in the situation? Who is having a really bad day? How can I contribute to this situation to make it better for others and myself?
3). Practice Being Uncomfortable. Change is often uncomfortable. It creates unfamiliar situations for us, and our instinct is to return to what we know and what we deem safe. Instead, push your limits.
- Take a cold shower a few times a week.
- Learn to be ok in physical discomfort.
- Engage talking with someone in a topic you feel uncomfortable discussing.
- Learn to be present with emotional discomfort.
- Learn a new skill or hobby.
- Live in the discomfort of not knowing, but learning.
By engaging in small changes of actions and behaviors, you can equip yourself to manage greater and greater change in your life.
Some change we create ourselves, other change is thrust upon us. In both situations, having a strong change muscle will help you successfully manage the change before you.
What are your best ideas to grow and strengthen the change muscle, so it can support us through any change event we may experience?