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How to Really Change

How to Really Change

We all have things about ourselves that we’d like to change or improve upon, but why is changing so difficult? It’s easy enough to identify what we’d like to change about ourselves, but the real challenge is figuring out how to accomplish it.

The tricky thing about change is that almost anybody can be different for a short amount of time. Most of us think that it’s the first step that’s the most difficult — that getting started is the real challenge. And don’t get me wrong — it is difficult, but when you’ve finally made up your mind to do something different, you have momentum.

But what happens when that momentum dies out? What happens when your old habits start looking appealing again… and much more appealing than your new ones? The question then becomes: what does it take to truly own change and take it home with you instead of just trying it on in the dressing room?

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you are trying to change your life is to be patient with yourself. As much as it would be great to think that you can change overnight, real change takes time. It probably took you years of being frustrated with your bad habits to finally decide to make a change, so it will probably take a while for you to reverse them. There will be times when you’re tempted to go back to how you used to be or tempted to just give up completely.

It can be extremely frustrating to not see the results you were expecting to see or to feel like you are vainly putting in a lot of effort. It can start to feel like your new lifestyle isn’t really for you because it doesn’t feel as good as it did when you first started.

This is when patience can be your biggest ally in changing. If you allow yourself to be patient, you’ll be kind to yourself when you struggle. If you allow yourself to be patient, you’ll find a way to work through the obstacles that make changing so difficult. If you allow yourself to be patient, you’ll see that some of the greatest transformations happen in the most unexpected moments.

You can change — really change — but you must give it some time. In the meantime, enjoy the journey because it’s just as beautiful as the destination.

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Image Credit: Ian Sane / Flickr

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Erika Oglesby

Erika Oglesby is a freelance writer and wandering nomad currently located in Grand Rapids, MI. She is dedicated to helping people better their lives through self-knowledge and alternative therapies -- especially women of color and women diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Visit her website at http://www.erikaoglesby.com.

44 comments

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6:46PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

10:52PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

great advice

3:27AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

Thanks

3:30AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

Thank you for the article.

2:25AM PST on Dec 27, 2012

Thank you :)

1:53AM PST on Dec 15, 2012

ty

6:44AM PST on Nov 13, 2012

Thanks

8:57PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

I'd like to know the steps involved to make a change lasting- other than patience. I am perfectly patient about commiting to a change.

12:58PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

thank-you. I'm currently vegan after a year of being a bad vegetarian. Every now and then I slip up and eat something containing dairy knowingly. This advice is great. Being forgiving and patient with yourself is important.

6:00PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

As I am currently trying to change myself, this was a good article to read to remind myself not to be so hard on myself when I know that it takes time to see the progress of your commitment to change.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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