Blog Archive

The Wisdom to Change Yourself

October 27, 2020

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I’m changing myself.” – Rumi

There’s a lot of conversation about the necessity to change. Indeed, change is all around us, especially recently, so it should be something we’re both familiar and comfortable with. However, that isn’t always the case. In fact, it’s much easier to embark on a journey or project to change something in the world than to begin where change should really start, which is within you.

A Foggy Sunrise in the Woods

Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash

Why is change so difficult for us to do? Why do we resist, sometimes vehemently and persistently, even in the face of facts that should convince us otherwise? We lack confidence in our ability to follow through on what’s necessary to effect the change. More likely, we don’t want to change. We’re happy or satisfied with things the way they are. We like our cigarettes, our favorite cocktail, watching sports and drinking with our friends, indulging in risky behavior, and taking chances. In some ways, we even wear our behavior as a badge of courage, a symbol of our identity.

But facing our inner truths and being willing to change that which should be modified, altered, or completely transformed? That’s tough. That takes a certain amount of wisdom.

Fortunately, most of us will acquire sufficient wisdom over time to permit ourselves to change. If we truly value certain goals and are determined to succeed in achieving them, we’re going to have to make some personal changes. We may not like the process. We may hate facing the truth about ourselves and cringe at the prospect of the incredibly demanding work self-change may require, but if the goal is something we really want, we’ll one day be ready – and wise enough – to change ourselves.

What do we do in the meantime? Take small steps. Make it a point to learn from mistakes so that we can see alternative paths to take. List our strengths and weaknesses and see if there’s something in either column that will provide a roadmap to follow in our desire to make some personal changes.

Enlist the support of friends, family members, co-workers, and others in our desire to change. It’s important to have encouragement when personal change is the desired outcome. That’s because the natural tendency is to fall back into our more comfortable ways and give up the tough work that change requires.

Keep an eye on the goal and reward yourself for each incremental success. This will also add to your wisdom – knowing that you’ve made some smart choices in your quest to change.