‘In cemeteries or in chains I see men cry, but the only real change comes from inside’. This is a verse from J. Cole’s song titled ‘Change’. The words are quite clear and need no further explanation.
My friend calls me and tells me that I should help her, she needs me to wake her up at 4am every day for the next one week. Without hesitation, I take on the task even though I had grown accustomed to waking up at 5:30am to 6:00am. On this night before I go to bed, I set the alarm for 4am. It says that I have about five hours and thirty minutes of sleep. ‘Wow!’, I think. I had been sleeping for seven to eight hours and now here I was going to sleep for less! The alarm finally rang and I called my friend. After this, the debate about getting out of bed began in my head. Through it, I managed to convince myself that there was nothing so important that I needed to do so early. So, I went back to sleep.
I did this for the next two days. On the third day, however, I decided to sleep earlier so that I would not have trouble waking up so early. It worked! I woke up and started working on something that was pending, the work that I had procrastinated for two days. During the day, I found myself getting occupied with other things such that I could not sit down and do my personal work. I was so grateful that I had managed to wake up early to handle the assignment. Obviously, I would not have completed the pending task.
Change is normally hard to accommodate for most people because we get accustomed to our comfort zone. So, most times when change comes, we treat it as a threat more than a blessing in disguise, which it could probably turn to be. We have all created routines that we stick to because it serves our purpose. This has made most people rigid. When change comes knocking they will be armed with such statements as, ‘you cannot teach an old dog new tricks’. It is funny that some will ask you if you have ever seen a lion eating grass. They say it is impossible.
So the weapon wielded against change is fear. Just because people have grown comfortable around known circumstances, they become afraid of putting their feet in the unknown. They could be right because they do not know the outcome. People have forgotten that change is the only constant thing in life as aspects that affect our lives keep changing and never remain the same, ever. A lot seems to change from childhood to adulthood. There is physical growth, mental and emotional growth, which some people call maturity. Even maturity has no standard of measurement because people are considered mature for different reasons. People are subject to change.
Most of us would feel comfortable taking charge and controlling change. Control is another name of humankind. Perhaps they want to feel proud of themselves, for whatever reason. Or maybe we just want to find reason and be able to explain to others what is happening to us. Change itself has adverse effects in our relationships. If one party begins to do things differently, then the relationship suffers because they leave a gap. Those who depended on them to do certain things in a certain way then begin to realize that they are not dependable anymore.
Most people watch their weight. They would easily cut their food portions if they realized that their body weight had increased. They would freak out if they were not in control of their body weight. To some, weight gain and loss just happen without their control. I have heard of some cases where people just lost weight and could not regain it however hard they tried. Weight in this society is such a thorny issue and most people begin to panic if they realize that they have lost their control of either loss or gain of it. It could cause depression. Generally, they have grown afraid of losing control of change.
Ironically I usually take minimal time to adapt to change. Sometimes I do not know what new experiences the change might bring along. When I changed my diet a year ago, I only knew one thing for sure, that I was going to lose weight, but I did not know to what extent. I also did not have all the alternative foods I needed for the diet but I convinced myself that I would get them along the way. I was not in a position of purchasing my own food so I depended on the type of food that was available. I found myself consuming more starch and vitamins and less of protein. The reason was that most people in the house consumed the type of protein that I had dropped from my diet. Nonetheless, I pushed on, with the rare chances I got at consuming the food that felt right for me.
Most times I would get a little scared of not getting all the nutrients that my body needed but I had forgotten that it was my body that was driving these changes. I actually wasn’t in any control of it. I would go and research on the food that I ate only to find that the nutrients were sufficient. Much later when my new diet had stuck, my close family who had known about the change started getting afraid for me. They had realized that I had lost a lot of weight and also they thought that I would lack some important nutrients. On the contrary, I was feeling great. Besides, they had challenged me of going back to my old diet in less than a week.
As it is apparent when you begin to accommodate change you usually separate yourself from the rest. They obviously feel afraid for you and try to get you back and if you have faltering faith then you will go back to the old routines for sure. How does one break free from old patterns and routines? We have the power really, once we realize that the decision is ours and ours alone. You are in charge. If you want to change, first you consult yourself before you consult others.
You have to trust and have faith in yourself, believing that the change is good for you.