Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dare to Accept Change

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I love this quotation. Unfortunately, I don't know who to give credit to for it. "We can't change what happened, but we can change what is happening now."

Okay. So things aren't going quite like you planned. Maybe you're a little frustrated. Or sad. Maybe you are mad as hell. Doesn't matter. Your emotions—you know how you feel about it—are your first clue.

So now...here's where you pull up your bootstraps and take stock. Not too long ago I read something Bob Monroe wrote about taking stock. I liked the exercise and want to share with you.

He said, "The major underlying cause of human worry relates to the Law of Change....Some worry that change will take place, others that it will not." Think about where you fit. He also reminded us to understand there are things we tend to worry about that are simply out of our control. For example, we can't change the weather no matter how badly we want to have our pic-nic. You cannot control the stockmarket or how someone will react to you or a situation.

To move away from a state of worry or angst consider the following exercise (also attributed to Monroe).

Reality Check:
Make up a list (called list A). Place on this list all your worries and concerns you can't fix, control or change. On this list place all the things you cannot control.

Make up a list (called list B). Place on this list all your worries and concerns that you can do something today.

Make up a list (called list C). Place on this list all your needs, hopes and desires whether large or small, which have yet to be fulfilled.

Now...

Take List A and throw it away. Allow the destroying of this list to be permission to yourself to let go of the worries and concerns you have included.

Take List B
and take action today to eleviate some of your stress. Pay attention and do something about at least one issue listed. Simply by acknowledging and making decisions about actions to take, you are making your load lighter.

Take List C and target at least one item to address, whether large or small, that moves you in the direction of your goals and aspirations.

Continue this process until you have no List A, no List B and all of your energy can be focused on List C.

The above is a rather simplistic way to explain. And of course, new things will appear in your life that will need to be added to either List A or B. But if you continue to work the lists and rid yourself of the things that don't serve you and to make decisions about how to handle others, you will find yourself in a much better place...promise.

Here's another exercise you might find useful.

Examine What's Stopping You and What's Pulling At You:

I am afraid of ...
Before I did something about it I had to include things like speaking in public, asking people for favors or asking people to help me or telling people I wanted something from them (like a job or contract work).

I owe _____ money ...
Many do. If you are one of those folks who is feeling squeezed right now, then face it. Put it on paper. Make a plan. Call your creditors and establish payments. Seek advice.

Some other questions to consider—

I feel ...
I want ...
I need ...
I am ...
I weigh ...

Add any other statement you need to wrap up your reality check.

Now that you have a good idea of where you are. Consider what you want to change. Take steps to begin changing it...immediately. Don't think you have to take on each issue at the same time. Pick one to three that are most pressing and start from there. While you do this relax about the rest of it and don't get bogged down in the "how". But most importantly, don't worry too much about the outcome. In time, as you make changes, you WILL find yourself in a different place, which will also need to be evaluated.

Have you ever heard the ship metaphor? Think of it like being the captain of a ship. The compass (okay, it's much more sophisticated than that now, but go with me here) is there to help you stay on course. When you've strayed a little off course (which you always will d0) the compass gives you feedback.

A captain will keep adjusting her course to get to her destination. Consider the feedback you get from your emotions as well as the feedback you get when you evaluate the plans/goals you have made as course adjustments.

"Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever."
—Kerri Russell

8 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I like the list idea!
I discovered when doing research for my book that 96% of all worries never come to pass. Wow! That's a lot of wasted energy...

L. Diane Wolfe
www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
www.spunkonastick.net
www.thecircleoffriends.net

Allyn Evans said...

Interesting comment, Diane. And you are so right...what a lot of wasted energy.

The hard part for me and others is keeping worries and concerns out of your mind. Saying I'm going to forget about what I can't change doesn't always mean you will!

Although I hate the tag: affirmations, I have discovered coming up with and using a sentence or phrase that moves you away from worry or angst is an excellent strategy. You can't hold both thoughts at the same time...the worried thought and the replacement thought (affirmation) are mutually exclusive.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Allyn, I've been reading and listening to The Secret. I believe repetition is a good thing, too.

Best,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest Best 101 Website pick, www.sharin

Barbara Techel said...

I like the comment about wasted energy also. So often are thoughts are just thoughts and they don't come true. So there we wasted all that energy worrying about something that never came to pass... whew! Human nature I know and it does take lots of practice not to do that!
Barbara Techel
www.joyfulpaws.typepad.com

Allyn Evans said...

Thanks for all the comments.

Prill Boyle said...

Great post, Allyn! Love the quote! I also always say that we can't change others, but we can change ourselves.

Allyn Evans said...

Thanks the additional comment and lesson.

Tony Eldridge said...

This is a great post! So much power is in it for those who dare to follow its advice!