“Change begins when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing”
Isn’t that the truth!!
Whether that statement is applied to work, relationships or life in general, it just rings so true for me.
You’ve probably been there, maybe in a job or relationship that you knew in your heart wasn’t going anywhere.
If you’re happy with that, if it suits your current circumstances, then you plod along and change isn’t an issue.
But if it’s not what you want, then why would you want to be in a job which is unfulfilling or with someone who is controlling and damages your self-esteem or perhaps just isn’t into you enough to show any real commitment?
The thing is, you wouldn’t.
But work or relationships don’t start off in such negative places, they usually start off with hope for a new future.
With relationships, it’s usually lust as you go through the honeymoon period then become familiar with each others routines and idiosyncrasies.
Then they either settle into a pattern or fail as you realise in the early days that the gulf is too big, that what you want is too different, that there is no common goal.
But the longer it goes on, you invest more time and effort, you build trust and togetherness and a common purpose. Maybe you plan to live together, have kids, maybe its complicated because you have kids already.
But you want to make it work so you keep investing your time, going up against the odds, stubborn to make it work, even although you’re friends are already saying .. why the feck are you still doing this?
At some point you realise that what you wanted from the relationship isn’t happening, but by that time, you’ve invested too much to simply walk away. So you speak to your partner, determine if there is compromise and the common goal is still on the agenda.
If it is great, but things have to change, no words or promises, words are cheap and only actions matter.
But if the common goal has been lost, or the promises have never came, then you lose faith in that relationship.
The problem then is that you know you need to change, but change means giving up your comfort zone, getting back out there, knowing full well that it isn’t going to be easy .. particularly if you are still hoping for that common goal .. it’s hard to find from a cold-start and the thought of looking for someone new is just not what you want.
So you shut up and stay, but in your heart you know that you are selling yourself short.
And all this time the clock is ticking .. resentment is building, the gulf is getting wider.
Then it happens, after one sleepless night too many, you wake up and think enough .. Enough.
Now the pain of facing the change, is less than the pain of staying and you know that it is time to go.
I’ve been there, it’s not easy, particularly when you love someone and hope that you can work out your differences.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible and with that wonderful thing called hindsight, you realise further down the line, after you have went through the pain of separation and your life is back on track .. that you should have ended the relationship sooner.
A male friend of mine has been pouring his wee heart out to me about being in a similar situation and he’s desperately unhappy.
My advice to him is give it his best shot to get back on track, but if there is no compromise, then make the change and make it soon, the clock is ticking and none of us are getting any younger.
Embrace the change, it always brings new hope and new possibilities.