Dillan DiGiovanni

This isn't working.

Dillan DiGiovanniComment

You know that moment of truth? When you realize what you're doing isn't working?

It can be a humbling, painful experience. But there's no growth or change without that moment. 

In my research for my grad school degree and in my own life experience, the pain of stagnation or dissatisfaction is the prompt needed to create change. It's the pain of "this isn't working" that is the impetus to making things work better.

One reason most people don't change is that they never let themselves feel this deep, dark discomfort. They distract themselves away from the pain of feeling like crap. They numb the innate warning signal that something is wrong. 

Bellyaches, migraines, fatigue, acne, chronic pain, boredom, dark circles, anxiety, infertility, forgetfulness, depression, bloat---these are all alarm signals from the body that something is off. But people just complain those symptoms away or take a pill or something else in the hopes that things will improve "someday". 

Or we humans like to think we aren't part of what isn't working. We don't want to think we could be doing something that is creating a problem and if "everyone else would just _______", things would work so much better. I've worked with some people who think their age or work experience entitles them to respect or makes them an authority. Or others who keep naming the faults and flaws of others and not as much time looking that their side of the street. These folks are so invested in their identity that they fail to see they aren't actually being effective in their work or relationships. The communication breakdowns couldn't possibly be a result of their ego or personality quirks---it is all because people just don't listen to them. The problem is outside of them.  

Another reason people don't change is because if they DO allow themselves to be honest about what isn't working, they aren't willing to actually commit to making it feel more right. It takes a long time to turn old habits and patterns around and getting that momentum going can feeling incredibly overwhelming. They feel like it's too late, they are too old, they don't have enough time, it would take too long, they don't know enough, they won't do it right---etc. 

To avoid change, we surround ourselves with people who also live life this, who stay wrapped up in a story that things are fine as they are, that "nothing is wrong here." Misery loves company, and there's nothing like a good bitch fest, right? 

Until that gets old. And tiring. And you realize your whole life is one day after another of discomfort, dissatisfaction and complaints. The tipping point for you is when you realize your whole will be like this---and that's a lot of days, weeks and years.

Change doesn't happen until the pain of staying the same becomes bigger than the pain of doing something different.

That moment of truth is painful but important. When that flash of reality hits us, it's an undeniable truth that is first unsettling but then deeply REAL.

To feel the serenity of surrender to this feeling of REAL, we have to feel the pain of something not working. Then we have to overcome the pain of the familiar. Then, we have to commit to the process of doing something new and scary---THE very thing that would help us feel and work better.