Shot of a woman posing with a chalk illustration of flexing muscles against a dark background
Shot of a woman posing with a chalk illustration of flexing muscles against a dark background PeopleImages

You be the change that's needed

Have you ever heard the phrase "wherever you go, there you are”? I use it quite frequently but what is your interpretation? I explain it like this.

Have you ever moved on from a friendship, a relationship, a job, town, country or continent believing that if you changed that part then everything would fall into place as you wanted it to? What happened? What changed, if anything?

The chances are that it probably felt like a great choice at the time, you got excited by the new opportunities it would present, went through with the change and then waited, expecting things to be different and improve. Then maybe days, weeks, months or years later you found yourself in the same position with the same frustrations and disappointments. What was going on?

If that's ever happened to you and you think back to that time and what it was you wanted to change I would suggest that the main reason or driver for the change was an external one. In other words, something outside you was causing some discomfort; a relationship, job situation etc. And it's an indication of how we can get caught up in the belief that if we change the circumstances we change the outcome and, while that may be true in some cases, often it's not.

The answer lies within.

The only thing you have any control over when it comes to change is your self; that complex, unique and fascinating blend of everything you have experienced in life so far that makes you who you are (values, beliefs, culture, events etc) and gives rise to your thoughts, mindset, emotional response and behaviour. You do not have the power to change anyone else; you have to be the change.

So, it starts with you and the changes you are willing to make but, if you are unwilling or unconscious of the need to change, then your experience will fit Einstein's definition of insanity "doing the same things over and over expecting a different result”.

How to change? Internal shifts are needed and it's time to explore where you may be getting in your own way and creating what you don't want rather than focusing on and working towards what you do want. Once you become aware of any internal barriers, you can start to make small changes (coaching supports this) and you'll find improvement follows quickly.

So, if you recognise yourself in the "wherever you go, there you are” adage, then perhaps it's time to stop running from what you can't change and recognise that the grass is just as green where you are if you change your perspective. It's time to start looking within.

Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned:

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