Most of us know that we need to make changes in our lives. Change can enrich our lives or the lives of others. Change can also help you become a better and more effective person. The change may be relatively minor or it could be a major life change. Either way it is going to be painful.

Think about any major change to your life; graduation, marriage, job change, childbirth, moving, financial progress. Have any of these changes been easy and painless?

I have experienced several major changes in my life. All required me to experience pain as I went through the change.

I decided to change when;

  • I decided to leave a company I worked at for over 10 years.
  • My wife an I decided to buy the houses we have lived in.
  • We decided to get out of debt.

Changes happened to me when:

  • I had to confront a life threatening illness.
  • My wife and I found out we were having twins.
  • I was laid off from a job.

Each of these major changes were painful and difficult. Whether you make the decision to change or the change happens to you, making a change is about the same amount of pain either way.

There is significant pain in being self disciplined to make the change. What is painful is that you dont have anything pressing you to make the change except for your own motivation. It is difficult to keep yourself motivated when you are making the choice to change. Your natural tendency is to go back to follow the momentum of your normal life.

  • When I decided to leave the company I worked for, I struggled with staying in the position that was known to me and was comfortable. It was painful to leave and find another job.
  • With each house we purchased, we struggled with wanting to stay where we were comfortable and how we were going to afford it. It was painful realizing we were leaving our neighbors, family and the life we knew.
  • When we decided to get out of debt, it was painful leaving our old way of spending money. We had to keep our eye on the long term benefits we felt we would have by becoming and remaining debt free.

If you wait, pain will force you to make a change. Being forced to change is painful because you are not in control. There is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty and it feels like the change is happening to you rather than you happening to the change.

  • When I was confronted with a life threatening illness, many decisions were made for me. Sure I could have decided to not have the surgeries but are those really decisions? The physical pain of recovery was nothing compared to the pain of the uncertainty life.
  • When the doctor told us we were having twins, I struggled with how we were going to manage. I remember how much change was applied to our lives when we had our first child, now we had to deal with how to manage two at the same time.
  • When I was laid off, someone else decided it was time for me to change careers. It was painful because I worried about my ability to earn an income and wondered what I would do next.

Even though making a change is painful, I suggest making the change yourself when possible. Visualize the pain you will experience later if you dont make the change now. Make the visualization as real as possible. Write it down, record it on a video recorder, talk it through with a friend or family member. Then committ to making the change.

I have a few quotes that inspire me with this topic:

Not all change is positive growth but all positive growth requires change. Dan Miller

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I dont believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are people who look for the circumstances they want, and if they cant find them, make them. – George Bernard Shaw

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin

What changes have happened to you that you didnt have any control? What change are you considering right now? What could happen if you dont make the change?