How Change Increases Happiness

What Is It? Trust Me, It Isn’t What You’re Thinking…

What is the change? Okay, no it isn’t what you’re thinking. At least not what I immediately think of when I hear the words “the change.”  So. Not. It. The Change (as it will be called forever more) is what happened after I realized that I could have more of what I ever expected or dreamed of. The Change is what occurred when I realized that I could have love, family, success, and of course happiness.

To be fully transparent, I have struggled with happiness. For a very long time, I was a glass is half empty kinda girl. I lived in fear. Fear of what could happen, fear of failure, fear of being alone…

I had trouble finding the good in life, and often let the past consume me to the point that it dictated my present. It was almost as if I was looking for an excuse to not have anything good in life. Because that is what I expected, or assumed that is all that I deserved.

Don’t get me wrong, I fooled everyone! On the outside, hey, I had it going on! Well, that was my perception…..

Fabulous?

In my mind, I was single, fabulously. I had a home, a career, and did pretty much whatever I wanted. At times my personality would be loud and animated, all the while returning home and sinking into myself, or questioning why I didn’t have more, despite telling myself throughout my entire adult life that I wouldn’t have anything. Confused much, right?!

So what exactly is change?

Change is defined by Merriam-Webster as to make radically different, to TRANSFORM. The word itself has power. How awesome is that?

For the longest time, I didn’t think that change was necessary, because I conditioned myself to think that everything was fine. However, that all changed after completing my vision board.

It was as if something in my brain clicked, I realized I do want a family,  a husband, and children. I wanted more out of my career and to accelerate in my profession.  Acknowledging this was the first step in this process. To manifest these changes, I would have to do much more than what I was doing at the time. I knew I would have to transform! With all of this excitement, it dawned on me, I had no idea where to begin.

What Now?

So, because I totally like to nerd out in my own nerdy little way, I did some research. I realized that I needed to change the way that I viewed things, that perhaps I needed to start putting myself out there. I mean, I can’t expect to get anything different without doing something new, right?

What I knew for certain was that changes needed to occur, and I knew that I needed to make myself uncomfortable to do it. I knew that I would never meet anyone hiding in the house.

I knew that I would never improve professionally if I didn’t continue learning and networking (gasp).

Most importantly, I knew that I would never improve my life personally having the horrible negative thoughts that I had.

So What are the Benefits of Personal Change?

Comfort Zone Much?

Yep, the comfort zone. Complacency. The mundane. I’m sure that this is something that we have all experienced before. Sometimes we get so stuck in who we are, and what we know is comfortable, that we forget that there is more to see and learn. Personal change gets us out of that rut of complacency. It affords us the opportunity to grow, and learn more about ourselves and others.

Adaptability

Getting out of the dreaded comfort zone is hard. Most likely because there is a semblance of safety there. Don’t judge, but I had a semi-regular routine of coming home, and plopping down to become one with my couch at least several times a week. Can’t say that I’m proud of it, but that was my activity. Thinking back on that time, I accomplished absolutely nothing, because I did nothing. There was no learning, growing, creating, experimenting, meeting new people, nothing. My desire to change forced me to MOVE! In more ways than one, it allowed me to be open and adaptable to new and exciting adventures and experiences. In removing myself from the couch, I met new people and learned new things. Don’t get me wrong, it was crazy hard at first, but it got easier as I kept up with it.

Just Say YES

When you are more open to new things, experiences, and people, there is a lesser likelihood that you will say no. After all, the whole purpose is to begin anew, to gain new insights, to change your thoughts, mind, and your behaviors, right? You definitely can’t do that constantly saying no. There is an awesome book by Shonda Rhimes, where she discusses her desire to do just this.

Self-Awareness

Not all of this process is about behavior, some of it is also about internal improvement, and this begins with introspection, and becoming more self-aware. Take some time, and be honest with yourself and identify the things that you like and don’t like about yourself. Are they based in fact or are they things that you have created in your mind? If you’re anything like me, it may have just been your perception. One of the ways, that I challenged my thoughts are to write them down, so I can understand if it is something that is actually true or something that I created.

Happiness

Of course, this should occur, this is the goal! If you have changed your mindset, and are no longer focusing on the bad, the world is seen through a much different lens. By changing your mind you begin to start looking for the good, rather than focusing on what may be going wrong.

With my intentional change, I noticed these things (among others) occurring within myself. It was less fun to sit, and do nothing. I recognized that my desire to have those things that I mentioned willed me to get up and out, to become more adaptable by stepping outside of my comfort zone and being more accessible to others. Lastly, I recognized that some of the thoughts that I had were created by me, and weren’t actually based in any reality.

Have At It

Have you ever just known deep down inside that you needed to make yourself uncomfortable to change, for the better? How did you come to that realization? What are your benefits of personal change? Let me know if the comments below!

 

 

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