What Emotions Arise by NOT Making Change?

Posted July 15, 2013 by Monica O'Connell in Career Moves

This month’s Experience Life magazine really inspired me at the gym this week. For those of you who don’t know, Experience Life is the magazine of Lifetime Fitness, a Minnesota-based fitness chain.  A few friends get a little eye-roley about the things that inspire me because they usually happen when I’m in a workout class or at the gym (I’m so open to inspiration there and in nature, hmm I wonder why?) and they’re usually really basic things that I think revolutionize my life.  Things like… Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.  Yup. I probably talked about that one as a mantra for a good three days.  Call me cheesy, but I’m open to the smallest miracles when I’m sweating or holding a pose or preparing for another rep.

What was most inspirational about this month’s stories was this article about change.  They spent a long time diving into an old article about the why’s and how’s of change.  What really struck me was a paragraph about not changing.  The author suggests you call up the emotions you’re experience by not making the change that you’d like to be making.

Gosh. Are you ready for that? Think of that experience of saying, “I’ll start on Monday.” or that experience of noticing that I’m stuck and just passing through it or drinking through it or eating through it.  Or maybe even saying out loud to my best friend that I’m for sure gonna take action. That I’m ready to do something differently.  And then not.  For whatever reason, life happens.

I’m not talking about re-adjusting our goals to better fit or working towards accomplishing a goal and realizing that a different one is so much better for us.

I’m talking about sitting in the experience of what if feels like to not change.  Most of us don’t spend much time there because it’s often painful.  Pain comes in a few forms; some of the feelings that might appear if we sit there are fear.  What will happen if we take the risk of change? We are perhaps afraid of the results or afraid of the perceived failure that might come with taking the risk

It might be kinda ugly to be there and it might be uncomfortable and/or painful.  It might also be just the catalyst you need to take action today.  Not huge gigantic action necessarily but maybe baby step action toward change.  Maybe something that’s enough to say I’m not going to sit in my “not changing” any more.  It might mean sending that email on tuesday night or working out on Sunday instead of waiting until Monday.  And that might totally be worth it.  Let me know if you try it.

About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”