Change is a complex and often challenging journey that we all encounter at some point in our lives. Whether it’s wanting to change the way we feel, think, or act, the decision to embark on this transformative path requires introspection and determination. I’ve spent some time wondering about the following questions: what is the difference between wanting to change and willing to change? Is it important to see the long-term perspective for change? Do we need to remain hopeful during the process?
To initiate any change, it is important to envision the bigger picture. What are you striving for? Seeing the long-term outcome helps us cultivate hope and motivation, providing a clear vision of what we can
achieve. Without this perspective, it becomes challenging to break free from our current state. When we acknowledge the possibility of a different future, we can begin to believe in our ability to create positive transformations.
Our sense of hope will fluctuate throughout the journey of change. There may be obstacles and moments of doubt that challenge our hope; uncertainty is natural, and change is not a linear process. During these times it is crucial to give ourselves grace and compassion. I’ve never met someone who was 100% hopeful, 100% of the time through their transformation. Embracing these fluctuations with kindness and self-compassion allows us to navigate the challenges of change with resilience and perseverance. This reminds me of a butterfly. Within the chrysalis, the butterfly experiences moments of vulnerability and uncertainty. Yet, it gracefully allows itself the space and time needed for its metamorphosis to unfold.
When we contemplate change, we often find ourselves comparing our current selves to an idealized version of who we aspire to become. This contrast can trigger emotions such as anger or sadness towards the present version of ourselves. However, it is essential to recognize that change is natural; the butterfly goes through 4 distinct life changes. And like the butterfly, experiences and environments shape us, leading us to seek personal growth and become a new version of ourselves.
The willingness to change is a fundamental step in the transformative process. It requires us to evaluate how our current situation serves us and acknowledge what we are ready to let go of. Change goes beyond superficial actions; it demands a shift in mindset and readiness to embrace the challenges that lie ahead. Although the path of change may be difficult and unfamiliar, it offers the opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.
In conclusion, desiring change is just the beginning; true transformation requires willingness, dedication, and perseverance when confronted with times of discomfort. By embracing the long-term perspective and recognizing the roots of our desires for change, we can begin the journey towards personal growth and empowerment. With hope, grace, and self-compassion, the challenges and setbacks encountered become opportunities for learning and overcoming. Though these challenges are not easy, the rewards are immeasurable, just ask the butterfly.
By: Ellie Bender, MA