Joe, we have a problem.
If you're like most people I know, there is probably something about your life that you'd like to change.
If you're like some people I know, you've probably engaged the change process to some extent.
And you've probably experienced distress and disappointment because you didn't accomplish what you set out to do.
One of the most discouraging aspects of change can be the time it takes to actually experience the change. Let me tell you a personal story...
This past weekend I was working on a home project. We're remodeling our house and doing many of the projects on our own. If you've done this, you know that you have to check off portions of the projects at different times. Career, kids, and life still have their demands on your time. We are re-doing every bathroom in our house.
So on labor day, I am working on the bathroom light fixture. I killed the power, took the old fixture off and something was askew.
There was an extra grounding wire. It was coming out of the wall. I didn't understand it. I also had to drive to the hardware store because I needed electrical tape.
The hardware store is a good twenty minutes from my house. About halfway there I realized I wasn't angry.
Let me explain.
Due to a variety of factors from my past, my mind typically runs to how I am a screwup and the problem with the projects is my fault.
If I'm going to be vulnerable here, my outer voice used to scream quite a bit too. So a number of years ago, I started coming up with strategies to not allow the outer voice to escape. I game planned physical responses that involved walking away, counting backward, taking deep breaths, etc.
And to be honest, for quite a few years now, I've had success with my outward behaviors. During this time of outward success, I've been working on my inner voice.
Monday, the problem with the light was just a problem to be solved. It wasn't me. It wasn't something wrong with me. It was just something that I didn't understand because I had never seen it before.
I was able to solve the problem and the light is in and currently working. But that's not the point.
To experience my end goal of change took years.
The point of this post is that to experience my end goal of change took years. To be honest, I have no idea what my brain will do the next time I encounter a problem. I do know that I'm trending in the right direction.
I share this story with you because I want you to know that it might take you years to experience true change. You will probably experience small successes followed by setbacks. That's OK.
In fact, it's normal. It's part of the process. Success comes in spurts. Stay the course. Don't stop. Evaluate what's going on, plan, and evaluate again. Then make adjustments.
Above all, do not quit.
Don't give in to the voice in your head.
You are not the problem, you are simply encountering problems to resolve.
Change is a daily process.