One of the things I find so frustrating is the glacial pace of positive change. It feels like life is taking me for a ride while I’m being told by the self-help gurus that all I need to do is make particular changes in my attitude and choice-making to experience the quality of life I desire.
I discovered early on that simply knowing what to change does not guarantee that these changes will be implemented nor do the changes I successfully implement result in immediate positive change. What I have discovered is that change is a process rather than a single decision. Once the decision to change has been made the process of implementation begins but that is not the end of the process but rather the beginning of it.
The momentum of old habits and thinking wield a powerful influence on my ability to maintain the changes I have made and progress is slow. I realized that my frustration, at the snail’s pace of change, can quickly turn to disappointment at which point I am most vulnerable to throwing in the towel and giving up. Of course this only amplifies my frustration and undermines my confidence in ever realizing the quality of life the Guru’s have been promising and I have been seeking.
The answer came to me when I understood the gap between my expectations surrounding the change process and the actual pace of concrete change in my life. So long as I held to the belief that once the change occurred my life would immediately improve was the central problem to be overcome. I realized that I had not considered, nor sufficiently respected, the nature of how change occurs. It is not one titanic decision but a series of baby decisions, made multiple times every day, that grows into the significant changes necessary to experience the benefits that positive change promises. The cumulative effect of these baby steps is a gradual momentum shift from an ineffective way of living to a more effective way of living that brings with it the by-product of an improvement in my experience of my life.
As Lao Tsu noted in verse 63 of the Tao Te Ching
“In the universe great acts are
Made up of many small deeds
The sage does not attempt anything very big,
And thus achieves greatness”
So if you, like me, grow frustrated with the rate of change in your life perhaps you may want to consider modifying your expectations from instant transformation to a more realistic pace of change when growing into the life you want to live. Give yourself a break and stop expecting yourself to magically transform the life you’re living into the life you want to live. Change takes time. Easy does it and remember that the baby steps you take will eventually, and inevitably lead to growing confidence and competence in living the life you desire for yourself.