Stop Changing; it Doesn’t Work!

As someone in media and commentary, I always dive into articles with unique takes. I’ve decided to highlight perspectives from cool experts who’ve caught my eye. Check out these opinion pieces in my “Consider This” blog, thanks to “The Elephant in the Room Editorial.” Enjoy an Opinion Piece by Transformational Doctor and certified Change Practitioner Dr. Patricia Anderson in this round.

The new year is right around the corner.  Are you reflecting on what has to/needs to change in 2024?  Are you choosing to be healthier? Start (or resume) a gym membership? Engage in lifestyle changes such as a change of diet? These actions are usually short-lived, and there is a reversion to previous activities (or non-activities), indicating the binary aspect of change. The short amount of time that our typical New Year’s resolution lasts is proof that change doesn’t work.

Think about subcutaneous fat versus visceral fat.  Subcutaneous fat is easy to see and get rid of, visceral fat on the other hand is not visible and harder to get rid of. Change represents subcutaneous fat, and transformation represents visceral fat, which is not visible and takes longer to get rid of.  Change is driven by actions (activities, tasks), and transformation requires an internal mindset shift with corresponding behavior.  Your mind and belief system have to transform for you to be effective and have lasting effects.

Change is focused on the current and the past states. We may look at a past photo of ourselves as the new goal. This past photo becomes the imagery or the vision to change our current body shape. We juxtaposed our current weight with our past ideal weight. The change, then, is prescribed by that vision. Transformation, on the other hand, prescribes a vision. Transformation sets the stage and establishes the pace. In transformation, you are progressing, as a caterpillar does, toward becoming a butterfly. Transformation is about the long game.

In change, you can move from state A to state B, i.e., going to the gym at the beginning of the year. You can also reverse that action—regress to not going to the gym. Change also involves your mental assent only. “New year, new me!” activities are based on mental assent only. Think of the Undo/Redo button that you use in document editing. They highlight the temporary aspects of change. The fear of mistakes is not as bad when there is a clear and easy option to simply hit the Undo or Redo buttons. However, Undo does not work when transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly. There is no way for the butterfly to simply decide that it is no longer satisfied with its new glow and revert to being a caterpillar. Transformation cannot be reversed; there is no path backward. In transformation, you burn the bridge, the ship, and the map!

Involvement (change) and commitment (transformation) are both symbolized on your breakfast plate (of life.) When a chicken provides its eggs for breakfast, it is simply involved.  The bacon represents a fully committed transformation. Let’s try an exercise right now. Write your full name and title with your dominant, then non-dominant hand. Writing with the non-dominant hand represents transformation; you can continue to write with it until you gain proficiency or simply revert to writing with your dominant hand. The temporal aspects of writing with your non-dominant hand and then reverting to the dominant hand represents change, while the pursuit of proficiency with the non-dominant hand represents transformation.

As someone who has endured debilitating, controlling panic attacks, I can tell you that emerging from that grip is a transformation, not a change where you snap out of it immediately. There is self-talk, prayer, breathing, focus, etc., to exit the panic. Sometimes, it takes a trip to the ER. With panic attacks, your fear is not commensurate with what you’re facing.  Once your mind has arrived you regain breathing normally, your reality is no longer skewed, and you feel in charge again.  I lean into Ephesians 4:8 as it relates to panic attacks: “When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive…” That which held me captive, I now capture. I have repurposed the word PANIC to mean Patricia Anderson Never Is Controlled.  Transformation is on for 2024.  Are you in?

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