The kind of change most people have learned to handle is outer change. Outer change is like changing a job or a house, you are still the same person at your new job, you are taking your old stuff to your new house. So, what has changed? A different order of activities, new faces, new name on your paycheck, new address your bills are being delivered to, etc. Under normal circumstances, we can handle these kinds of changes because we are equipped with the tools to organize our outer lives. Even if we don’t like the new boss or the new neighbors, we think we know how to deal with them.
Sooner or later, the same issues creep up. The new job starts out fresh and then once you learn the ropes and get to know the people, you start seeing parallels between this and the old job. You start having the same old feelings, the same itch and dissatisfaction. You immediately start evaluating and re-evaluating the situation and think of ways to either change things or leave for greener pastures. And the cycle will repeat itself.
They come back, the beliefs. They come back to remind you of how important they are. They come back to take hold of you. They come back for you to recognize who is really in charge. When you let them be in charge, when you become their follower and believer, you are comforted. All is in order once again. The place you were uncomfortably hanging out at, where you thought you could change the belief, or let it go completely without replacing it with anything else, no longer exists. You are not wobbly and fearful anymore. All is as it had been before. You are safely held in place. This is when you think and experience life as one outer change after another.
If however, you take any opportunity for outer change as an opportunity for inner change, then things will get interesting! That is when you find yourself in the uncomfortable hanging out place mentioned earlier. Inner change is not comfortable. It is not familiar; it is not validated by anyone or anything out there. Inner change is lonely. Inner change is uncertain. Inner change is not easy and that is why most people won’t go through it voluntarily. Why would they want to, when they have all of their old beliefs supporting, comforting, and defending their old self, or the way things used to be.
Life’s biggest transitions are opportunities for inner and outer change. Unfortunately, they are usually involuntary and feel like they have been done to us (e.g., loss of a job, loss of a loved one, divorce, etc.). The truth of the matter is that if they hadn’t happened, we would not have made the changes that would guide us towards living a more fulfilling life. Hanging on to our stories and beliefs is a safe and cowardly way of living. For some it is the only way they know how. If you are still reading this article, chances are you are not one of them. You are ready for inner change. You are ready for living a different life. Listen to the voice that has lead you here and take action, get help, there are lots of resources waiting for you to declare your readiness and make the choice for deep inner change. Congratulations!