I have been actively working to change for a long time now. Change is slow. Change should be slow. I have found that if it isn’t, then it rarely represents actual metamorphosis. When I try to rush myself through change, I revert back to my old ways again. What I have found is that I follow a similar process every time I approach it. It goes something like this:
1. Recognize that there is something that isn’t sitting well with me.
2. Identify the ways this unease is impacting my life.
3. Notice the feeling of unease when I am experiencing what I’d like to change (I usually have to stay with this one for a while). It usually involves a lot of debriefing after situations are over. Often the conversations are something like, “I wish I had done/said this instead,” and include planning for how I’ll react the next time.
4. Observe unease in the situations where I’d like to make change. This is what is often referred to as ‘witness self’ – where I know better, but observe myself doing the behaviour I want to change anyway. I often have to be mindful of being patient with myself here!
5. Observe myself acting in new ways some times, moving toward more often.
There is only one thing I can control in this world – myself. So I try to listen on every level. Then I try to just do things. Even my small actions initiate transformation.