The "game" of change - challenge yourself!
If we keep thinking the way we’ve always been thinking, we continue to behave in the same way we’ve always behaved and we see the same results. That’s great if we like the results we see in our life and have zero desire or intention to change even one little thing. Ask yourself this question – do I love EVERY aspect of myself and my life? And is your honest response - there’s nothing to change, nothing to see here, nothing to grow into or out of. Well then…..wheeeee…. skip on by this blog post! You’re the only person on the planet who has nothing to change! IF, on the other hand, you’re part of this group we call humans and might like a bit of a tweak or a slight adjustment or have a desire to grow into more than you currently be, keep reading.
If we suddenly quit our job, move, dress differently, go on a diet and start working out all in a short period of time, guess what happens???? The body and mind resist that much change all at once and we rubber band back to where we started and promptly settle back into our relative comfort zone. Big change by sheer will power is not sustainable by any means. It’s like going cold turkey in an attempt to kick the habit of being, well….. our current selves, in our conditioned, familiar behavior. By doing ALL that we threaten our perceived comfort, safety and security and it will likely feel like “Danger Will Robinson! abort mission!” Yikes!!
How about this??? Instead of drastic, sweeping change (which BTW, we tend to subscribe to that at the beginning of each new year) consider the 5% technique instead. Slip in a little bit of change every day and condition your body and mind to think and accept little changes. Small changes create an accumulation of change over time, a feeling of “change acceptance” and are just as powerful as large leaping changes. And yes…. small changes and change acceptance do mean that those big changes will be more readily accepted when they come thru this place of “I can do this, I’m OK, I know the drill"
Ready for a challenge??
Do something a bit different every single day in a very conscious, aware way. Notice what you’re doing and how you’re choosing something different (key point of the game BTW). If you put your socks on first then your pants, switch the order. Or put the left sock on before the right. Brush your teeth with the other hand. Shower before breakfast instead of after. The trick is to invite simple little changes into your daily life.
Again…..become very aware of your response and reaction to those little changes. Just notice what happens. Do you suddenly feel your day is messed up or out of order? Do you feel out of sorts because your routine changed and you’re vowing to retrieve it tomorrow? Are you flowing with the tiny adjustment with enjoyment, curiosity, and wonderment? Do you look forward to tomorrow’s new choices?
The first key is to notice how you feel about the slight change. If it throws you out of whack, notice it. Simply notice it and say to yourself – “I see you”. That’s it. No struggle against it. Tell yourself - maybe I keep the change, maybe I go back to the other way. You give yourself permission to be aware, awake and really noticing your responses. Notice how your body reacts to the slight changes as well. Just notice.
The second key is to remind yourself that you can adjust that reaction with repetition of slight daily changes so that your body says “oh, I remember this, things change a bit and I’m still OK”. Your body/ mind will become accustomed to changes and be more inclined to flow with them as they’re presented. This may at first be a stark contrast to the “waaaaaaait! We don’t do things this way! Go back!! Go back!! Stop it!”
Then try taking a different route to work or for errands and see what happens. Yes I know, we have our direct most efficient routes, and that’s OK. Just vary it once in a while so that you jostle yourself to pay attention instead of just zoning out in routine. That’s all.
When I REALLY want to see how conditioned and habitual I am, I shop at a different grocery store. I notice my reaction – I fret about where things are located, how long it takes to get thru the store, the different store brand offerings and all this stuff I’ve gotta think about. Sheesh! I recall years back when our local Lucky store remodeled and the entire layout of the floor changed. I was annoyed. I just needed to pop in and out for a few things (I’m not a fan of grocery shopping). I couldn’t see the change as positive and helpful, I just saw the change as an extra effort outside of my routine. Wow! I could have approached it with wonder and curiosity and created an entirely different experience for myself just by thinking about it differently! I do remember my thoughts were along the lines of “ let’s just get this over with, I don’t know where anything is, all of this is mixed up, what a pain in the butt, I don’t like this at all”. We’ll no wonder the experience wasn’t pleasant!!
Creatures of habit we are!! I notice I park in the same area in the Costco parking lot, or choose the same station and the same pump when I fill up my car with gas. Hmmmm….. yes, I understand there are methods to my madness – choosing the closest/easiest location to the shopping cart return and ease of parking at Costco. But then I notice I go into autopilot. I see other parking spaces in other locations. I pass them by and head to my usual place. Now being a personal growth junkie, I really have to look at that. I especially notice when I’m with my hubby, he parks us somewhere different, and I notice I get a bit uneasy about the change (and truthfully…. want him to park in the right place instead of there). Really???? For goodness sake it’s just a parking space! And right place??? Come on! All the places are just parking spaces and there is no right or wrong.
I’ll choose different restaurants too while playing this game. That for me is a bit larger than the 5% but what the heck! It gives me a chance to watch myself and my thoughts. Am I curious and open or am I a bit fearful, not knowing what to expect. Do I search for items I normally choose on the menu or do I choose something completely new. And how do I feel when I do either? Just notice. That’s all….I just notice.
The thought occurs to me that I’m a walking experiment of myself. And I like that. I want every single day to be different in some slight way from the last. I want to teach my body and mind that the unknown and change supports me and brings about wondrous new things as a result. So I’m training my body/mind with the 5% technique every single day, teaching it that change is cumulative and results in something unexpectedly wonderful, something to be embraced and welcomed. Make it a game and try it for yourself. You’ll be amazed at the powerful results!