Be aware of the different stages of change. What this means is we all go through our personal resolutions in different stages, different ways, and in different times.
To each their own. And with each is their own pathway. Everyone has their own lessons to learn. And to each is their own motivation. We all have our own reasons and individual purpose.
I am me and you are you and even if we are together or on the same page, this doesn’t mean we are at the same place in life or have the same understanding. We might be parallel but we are all unique.
I have worked at different jobs throughout the years. I have watched supervisors lose their patience with new hires because new hires were in the early learning stages and made simple (or stupid) mistakes. They made rookie screw-ups the same as the supervisor did when the supervisor was a rookie. But oftentimes, the supervisor forgets what it was like to be a new little fish in a much bigger pond.
There are times when we lose patience because people in our life don’t seem to “Get it,” or worse, there are times when we see people on the verge of their change and they fall or fuck it all up. This is a hard place to be when you care for someone because a piece of us wants to yell or scream. It’s hard to watch someone make the same mistakes over and over again. And you know they know what to do. You know they know the difference between right and wrong, but still, right or wrong, they blow it all up in spite of their so-called efforts and flush their lives directly down the drain.
I get it. This is hard to see.
There is a quote from Malcolm X that makes sense to me.
“Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because [He] doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.”
I had to learn that terms like easy and difficult are always relative. I had to learn that everyone learns and interprets information in their own way. And, more importantly, I had to learn that even if we love someone as much as we can and support them with all of our might, still, they will still ruin things or sabotage their life.
This is true. I know this because I have witnessed people with the best of intentions and saw them give way to the worst of their demons. I have watched people drown in their own contempt for themselves and drink their life away. All the while, they give into the excuses and say, “This is just me.”
I have sat by and watched people judge the process of others; meanwhile, to each their own is still a very ture thing to say.
The stages of change begin with precontemplation. This is so for all personal changes. Maybe this is the part where change is not believable. Maybe this is the part where we sit on our old ways of living because we understand this more. Maybe this is the part of us that doesn’t want to change or refuses to. Maybe there is too much unknown. Maybe there is fear here. Maybe the comfort of knowing what comes next and understanding the rules of engagement is what keeps people in this phase.
Or, maybe the “Thing” that causes change just hasn’t happened yet. Maybe the catalyst has yet to be revealed and the motivation remains untapped.
But let’s say it is. Let’s say something happened. Give it a name and call this a life altering occasion or an eye-opening event. And now the blinders are off. The key to this change is the moment of awareness.
After awareness, the next stage is contemplation. This is when the ideas and possibilities come along to whet the appetite. There is still ambivalence. There are still the unknown factors and the insecurity. There is a need for direction. There is a need for answers. More appropriately, there is a need for resources and answers to quell the fears and soften the edges of the unknown doubts.
Encouragement is needed here. Tough love has its place in some battles but not always. So please, be mindful. Be patient. Be aware that we all learn at our own speed and unfortunately, some never learn until its too late.
Of all things to learn; the best thing to learn will always comes at the unforgettable moment of self-realization. Others can come to the realization for us but nothing is as retainable as the moment when we become personally aware. Nothing is retained to memory as well as moments like this. These are the “Ah-ha!” moments when the light bulb comes on, and suddenly, we can see clearly.
In the case of new changes or new information, we need to come to our own way of relating to information. This way we can move from the stages of contemplation to the following stages of determination, which is followed by action.
Determination comes with strategies and plans. This is goal based. Next is action. This is when we implement the plans to achieve both our short-term and long-term goals. This is how we reach achievement. This is how we satisfy our goals. This is also where maintenance comes in because without maintenance, we run the risk of losing our personal and mental fitness.
And if we lose this then we run the risk of relapse or recurrence. Then we find ourselves back at the beginning again.
The truth is we all change at our own pace. In many cases, failure is actually an option. Sometimes we choose this because the internal laziness is triggered by the concerns of work, effort, and maintenance, and so rather than face the struggle, we give in and remain as we were. This is what kept us in the early stages of precontemplation to begin with.
I agree though. It is tough to watch people toy with their own life. It’s tough to watch someone fail to move beyond their self-imposed limitations.
I agree this is frustrating. Perhaps this is no different from the people that were frustrated with me for the mistakes I made. And yes, some of my mistakes are pretty BIG!
So are yours. So is everyone else’s. Even when people say, “I may have made a lot of mistakes, but I have never done anything as stupid as that!” The truth is, we have all made stupid and big mistakes. So relax. Don’t be so quick to point out flaws or shake your head and be frustrated with other people. There was a time when you were stuck in your own head and did stupid shit too!
We all have our own way of learning. We all have our own way of failing. And even the best have fallen. However, the reason why they are still the best is because they learned to get back up and start over again.
Humility is a precious thing.
Remember: Pride comes before the fall—