As a whole most of us do not like change. Change takes us out of our comfort zone and so by avoiding it, we ‘think’ we know exactly where things are going. However despite us seeking any opportunity to avoid change, it’s only when we look back at photos from years ago it hits us that actually everything has.
I know I’m definitely not the only person, guilty of scrutinising themselves whilst looking back at old photos and thinking “why the hell did I ever wear that outfit” or “who told me to pluck my eyebrows that thin!?”. However, ask yourself this, do you remember the moment or period of time (after those photos were taken) where you actively decided to change your sense of style or go less heavy on the tweezers?
Most of the time, we cannot pinpoint the moments when things changed (unless it’s related to certain events i.e having your first child, getting married or losing a loved one). However large events aside, from our friendship groups, to our hairstyles, to even the choice of clothes we wear. We can easily go through life completely oblivious to the changes going on right underneath our noses.
For me I never utilised change, I knew things did change because ‘that’s life’, however I didn’t actively go out of my way to alter the things I didn’t like about my self (or life). The reason for this is because the things we complain about are also the things that make up our comfort zones. So by avoiding change we feel ‘safe’, even if we remain in circumstances and mindsets that make us unhappy.
Me personally, I used to always pick my flaws apart, over analyse the mistakes I’d made, yo-yo diet and constantly compare my self to ‘Jo Bloggs’ on Instagram, who seemingly had it all (the list goes on). Although being worlds apart from that person now in both lifestyle and health, the main reason I had engaged in these behaviours for so long was because it was all I was used to and it seemed easier to continue being this way then to do anything about it.
It was only when my dad took his own life, I actively pushed my self to do things outside of my comfort zone and intentionally seek opportunities to alter my life (in a good way). I developed better eating habits, used exercise as a way to heal my body instead of destroying it. I decided to start this blog AND move to the other side of the world. However, the worst part in all of this is that it shouldn’t have taken losing my dad, to actively change the things I wasn’t happy with in life. But if there’s one thing that the past year has taught me, it’s that you should never just give in and become a product of the things you can no longer change and instead become a product of the things you still can.
So even though I had absolutely no idea if making these significant changes to my life would pay off. I knew it was more important to face my fear of failing and do the things that both terrified and unsettled me, so that I wouldn’t look back and ask myself “what if?”. I wanted to use change to help create my own circumstances, instead of becoming ‘victim’ to the ones I’d found my self in.
Despite all of the above, to this day I do still have my regrets (I’m human after all). I wish I would have spent more of the last 3 years with my dad (instead of shunning that meal because I was too concerned with the calories). Told him I loved him more and most of all, I wish the last time I ever saw him, I would have hugged him for a few seconds longer (instead of getting back to my run) not knowing it would be the last time I would ever get that chance. See that’s the problem, we wish for things but don’t make them happen and instead like me, are quick enough to regret not doing so after the opportunities have passed us.
So remember this, you are entitled to become who ever you want to be and it’s never too late to do so. If you want to stop surrounding yourself with negative people in a bid to better your own head space, do. If you need to part ways with someone close because they are encouraging a habit you need to stop, then do it. If your job is making you ill from stress, change it because your health is never less important. The bottom line is that if you are not happy with something, do something about it.
You should never wait until its too late to make changes in your life. You are not expected to be the person you were 5 minutes ago, let alone 5 years ago BUT if you don’t like the life you are living or the person you are, then you owe it to yourself to start working on that right now.
Change isn’t always easy or comfortable. Change doesn’t always mean wiping the slate clean either, sometimes it involves completely re-grafting it but when you really think about it… How exciting is that?