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When the Budging Ain’t Easy

  • Change
Photo by Mario Azzi on Unsplash.

You’re restless inside. Change has been on hold for too long. Success is something you remember or dream of rather than experience. You might be numb, tired, or humorless. Maybe all of that! But another day goes by and you’ve done nothing about it. You don’t budge. You can’t budge.

I get it. I have lived this, and I’ve seen it in my work as a personal coach.

Change can be hard. We tend to stay put when big things—such as our identity and security—are at stake. We stick with what we know, even when a better version of ourselves lurks inside, asking to be brought to life.

I’m posing several questions that might help. Find a few that jump out at you, and the ones you resist. Spend time with both.

Why We Don’t Choose

Unclear Priorities

Have you ever tried to fix everything at once? You decide to take the weekend to deep clean the house. You also plan to grocery shop on Sunday (buying only healthy food) then get to bed at a reasonable hour for the first time in months so you’re ready to hit the gym just as the sun comes up on Monday leaving time to show up to the job you don’t want anymore a few minutes early wearing a new outfit. The commitment to all of this lasts through Saturday afternoon.

Is there a better starting point? Which one or two of those things would matter most? Is the most important thing even on that list? Is there a small change that offers leverage? And, what if all of this is just a distraction?


Of course! The unknown can be so scary. Name it.

What could go wrong? And how might you prepare for that?

Internal Conflict

Here are a few common challenges: security vs. freedom; challenge vs. comfort; money vs. meaning. We want both. Or, we have enough of one that we think it makes up for the other.

What is the conversation when those parts of us are given voice? What might each of them need in order to give a little? Does it work to find both to some measure? Where is the balance?

And If I Don’t Decide?

Not deciding is deciding. You think about going to an event or taking a class that would be fun or beneficial, but never sign up. You have chosen “no” by missing the deadline.

This fun Ted Talk is filled with amusing graphics that show what happens when we put things off. But near the end (spoiler alert), Tim Urban also makes clear that things without deadlines—things such as our dreams and wishes—are the hardest to begin. Beware the indecision!

How difficult is it to change when things aren’t horrible the way they are? What’s the first small step in walking toward your dream? What is that dream? Do you keep it a secret from others? From yourself?

What is Different the Moment I Begin?

Change can shift our relationships to people, places, and things. It shifts our relationship to the world.

What happens when we ask for what we want, step into our own light, or leave something behind? Change sometimes has a price. Sometimes that price is high.

Something will be different as soon as you make the first move. Whether that launches you into a whole new orbit or allows you to realize there is even more you must do, you are have become more resourced. You’ve become more capable of taking a step, of making another decision.

Are You Ready?

I hope these ideas have stirred something inside.

If the energy still isn’t flowing, coaching can help. The process offers heightened self-awareness, accountability, and increased clarity. One option is to start with an exploration:

  • The Web of Life
  • A Values ranking
  • Vision Into Action

Allow me one last question: If not now, when?

Susan McDowell is a personal coach based in Central Vermont. Contact her to schedule a half-hour consult (no cost, no obligation).

Read more of her blog here.

1 thought on “When the Budging Ain’t Easy”

  1. Love Tim Urban. He helps us see ourselves and laugh as well.

    Change is scary for a reason. Our mind keeps us safe in the familiar. It’s very primal. Unfortunately, it’s not so useful anymore in order to evolve, but it is connected to our intuition.

    Nice post. Very relatable.

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