What Stops Us From Initiating Change
by Sarah Gottesdiener·
A lot of us are reemerging from the last few years as different people. What we need is vastly different, as is what we are willing to tolerate. Boundaries are what help us navigate our needs, wants, and relationships. As we make the shifts that are necessary in our lives, better boundaries must be included.
Over the years, I’ve given Tarot readings for over 1,000 people, and facilitated transformational change for over 2,000 more. Humanity is not a monolith. Everyone’s experience is nuanced and complex: it’s not a one size fits all hero’s journey. However, there have been some common themes I have witnessed that block people from creating change. Below are 3.
What Stops Us From Initiating Change
1. Grief. The first emotion that usually surfaces when thinking about big change, alongside anxiety and fear, is grief. There’s grief that we are leaving our past self behind. There’s grief that comes with the recognition that we could have changed this years ago—lost time, lost joy. Grief is one of the most painful emotions we experience. Humans will do a lot to avoid it, including staying in stagnant scenarios. In general, our society does not have good tools for dealing with loss or death of any kind. The avoidance of that grief can stop people. Denial, which often accompanies grief, can prolong the process.
2. Loss of relationships. This is a big one. Humans are relational animals, biologically built for connection. We want to belong. We want to be seen and loved and accepted. Our brains will equate belonging with survival. Many of us intuitively know that when we make positive change in our lives, our relationships will shift. They could end. If we’ve been raised as people pleasers, or attached our worth to other’s approval, that might be enough to stop us from setting boundaries or making much-needed change.
3. Uncomfortable sensations, mysterious new terrain, and trauma responses. This is a vast one that includes our past trauma, a dysregulated nervous system, how unequipped we are to deal with the unknown, the ego and exiled parts of us trying to protect us, and more. Folks with trauma will often process ANY change—even the good!—as “bad.” Uncomfortable doesn’t mean “bad,” but our sensitive nervous systems don’t always know that. That’s why it’s especially important for sensitives and those with a trauma in their history to 1.) go slow, at the speed of their window of tolerance and 2.) do fortifying nervous system practices consistently, to widen their window of tolerance into more resiliency.
During this Eclipse season, you might want to think about what’s holding you back from experiencing more freedom, more of yourself, and more fun. You might think about what needs to be processed in order to create the change you’re craving. Reflect on this list. Do any of these blocks resonate?
The first step to addressing these blocks is mindfulness and acceptance.
Noticing what’s going on is important, as is accepting where you are.
Once we do that, we can begin to take action.
You might want to do this work with a therapist or other experienced facilitator.
I will often approach making change in my own life with practices that support my grounded somatic state and keep my nervous system regulated.
Grounding, meditating, rest, cold showers, exercise, walking, deep breathing, shaking, energy work are all examples of daily practices I use to help keep me in my body.
Understanding that growth does not always feel “good” is a necessary part of transformation.
Knowing that there will be some tender and activating moments helps me try to find compassion and joy for myself.
Ultimately, doing change work and working on better boundaries are about integrity. If I am to stay in my values, I must live in them. And living in them isn’t always easy. Authentic embodiment doesn’t always feel natural. It is a practice.
In my upcoming workshop series, Better Boundaries, we’ll be exploring boundaries from an intrinsic perspective. We’ll explore attachment styles, the nervous system, energetic boundaries, the shadow of boundaries, boundary magic, and boundaries for work.
If it’s time to move forward towards the change you’ve been craving, we’ll be addressing ways to make it happen in our upcoming Better Boundaries workshop series. You’ll leave the sessions with knowledge and practical information about intrinsic boundaries, attachment styles and nervous system regulation, energetic boundaries, boundary magic, and boundaries for business babes.
I’m including special information for us Highly Sensitives, because the ways we must approach boundaries has to be slightly different than some of the standard advice out there.
There will be guest workshops, taught by some fantastic facilitators. Click here to learn more and enroll.