We can say as much as we like that we wish to change, but often, unless we are actually ready to make that change, it will likely remain only in the realm of the words ‘I want’.
Equally there is that comforting idea that ‘at least I’m now aware of what I want to change’. But as a colleague once said – perhaps harsh-sounding:
“Cemeteries are full of aware people”
A genuine wish for personal change can emerge into clear focus. However, the discovery of what it means to embed that change – no small achievement in and of itself – might well remain stuck in an initial stage of: ‘Aware but not yet ready to do anything about it’.
What if, instead of delaying actual change until we’re ready for it, we first of all make the change, which then brings us to readiness for it? A personal-development version of the cruder ‘fake it till you make it’ and experiential ‘do it and understand’.
We often expend as much energy (possibly more) thinking, considering and procrastinating about doing something as actually doing it.
In the same way, we invest more fear into an idea that scares us than the thing itself, while actually – finally – doing it.
I suspect that the idea of being ready to change, however truthful to our feelings that is, may be misleading and sometimes simply not that helpful.
Consider the times you delayed doing something because of fear, only to discover that the beast is perhaps a quarter of its size in reality.
A useful question to ask ourselves in the face of such a fear is “What in reality is the worst-case scenario if I perform this action?”.
Remember that brilliant action-statement by the one whose turn it was to find the hidden others:
“Coming – ready or not!”
The spontaneity of children doesn’t have time for all that readiness which as adults we seem to demand.