Do you need instability to create change?
It may sound odd, but if you’re coming from a place of complete stability; a place where you feel safe and secure, no matter how vulnerable or unhappy it may be making you feel, can you create change?
I was thinking about this recently in relation to movement in general. You may already be aware that the more stable you are, the more difficult it is to move so when you’re sitting back in a big comfy arm chair, it is much more difficult to get out of it than to hop off a tall stool that you were perched on. Walking is, in itself, an act of being unstable which creates the ease to move in any direction. Unfortunately, it can sometimes have a negative effect, particularly if you’re going a bit wild on the dance floor! In other words, in order to create change, we need to become unstable in some way.
So how does this relate to our emotions? Well, if you’re stuck in a rut, no matter how unpleasant that rut may be, then it can be hard to create a change in direction. Often change comes about because of some other circumstances that finally have the effect of hurling you forward and once you’ve been knocked from that stable position, it suddenly becomes easier to at least think about change.
This can come in any form and relate to any part of your life; a negative comment that motivates you to lose weight, one last broken promise that inspires you to release that person from your life, the final straw at work that motivates you to look for another job and on it goes. It could even be that a random act of kindness from someone you don’t even know just gives you the strength to pick it up and run with it to somewhere that will feel better in some way. It can be that simple a way to create change.
We never know what is going to inspire us, motivate us or even force us into a change of thought, emotion, belief or behaviour but the key thing is that often it’s a trigger that, at that moment in time, forced some level of feeling less stable in where we are and therefore open to changing in some way. You often read the quote, ‘if you do the same thing, you’ll get the same result’ and that’s very true but when you feel secure ‘doing the same thing’, how do you do it differently?
Going back to my original point of how movement comes from being less stable, then whether it’s a physical movement or an emotional one, we have to come back to the same theory that in order to create a change in direction, something has to alter. And sometimes it will come from an external influence such as a comment or reaction to someone else’s behaviour, and sometimes it will be an internal force, that light bulb moment when you wonder what on earth you’re doing.
Just like a car, if you’re parked up with the handbrake on, you’re not going anywhere fast. The only way to create change in any aspect of your life is to take that first step, that first shuffle towards the edge of the sofa. The first step towards any form of change is usually the scariest, but guess what, it can also be the most joyful, liberating, positive step you’ll ever take.