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The journey towards personal growth

Change is one of my favorite topics. When I was a freshman in high school, I attended a retreat and remember the leader talking about how the only constant in life is change. He even played the Blind Melon song Change throughout the weekend to reinforce the point. It stuck with me - everything changes, and nothing can stop it. We can either embrace it or resist it.

As humans, we have this amazing ability to adapt and evolve within our own life. However for most of us, changing is a struggle. Sometimes it is based on comfort - we get so used to how things are that change feels incredibly uncomfortable. Or based on fear. If we make a big change, there is a level of uncertainty about what will happen which feels scary to most people. Thinking the devil you know, is better than the angel you don’t. And let’s not forget fragile confidence and perfectionism. Being so worried about changing to something new and won’t be good enough, can keep us stuck for years or even a lifetime.

What happens though when you are ready to change? Not life-interrupted change from personal tragedy. Rather actively choosing to do something new. Being tired of your own stuff and wanting something different. However you are not sure of where to start, need courage or to get out of analysis paralysis.

Scientifically, our brains have the capacity and ability to change through neuroplasticity. The brain can form new neural pathways through learning and experiences. Our minds are welcoming us to change! For changes to be long-lasting, patience and repetition are key. The brain does best with steady, progressive change to integrate the newness in us and make it stick. This helps to not shock the nervous system but allows the patterns you are forming to take hold. Improving our well-being through rest and healthy habits, along with enriching our environment to learn also increase neuroplasticity in the brain.

Getting away from the scientific and into mindset, using the concept of compassionate observation can be a powerful tool to influence the internal changes you are working on. Being consciously present with yourself and noticing your reactions to change without judgment. Then with gentle awareness, modify as needed. The definition of mindfulness.

Other practical tips to usher change into your life include:

  • Embrace it. Cultivate a mindset that views change as a positive force. Understand uncertainty is part of the journey, and not knowing the future is okay. Actively choose and work towards the change you desire. Let it become a part of you.

  • Create affirmations. Develop powerful phrases that resonate with the change you're undergoing. Repeat them, embody them and share them with the world. Positive reinforcement aids in solidifying your commitment to the transformative process.

  • Blend planning and dreaming. Structure is essential for achieving new goals, but remain open and excited about unexpected twists. Embrace the idea that even your plan to change can, well, change! Be receptive to unforeseen opportunities.

  • Celebrate success. No achievement is too small to recognize. Appreciate the positive impact in your life. Pat yourself on the back, and let the small wins fuel your motivation for further growth.

Change is a force that moves us toward personal growth and fulfillment. By understanding the science and adopting a mindful approach, we can navigate the challenges of change and emerge on the other side stronger and more resilient Enjoy the journey to experience the keys (changes!) to unlock and live your best life.

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