The Subject of Change

“No pain, no gain, no pain, no gain. Do it and smile” that’s what I have been hearing every morning during my daily workouts.

My workout lifestyle started in March 2015 when we had an instructor, a brother in Christ, who used to come to my previous job place, and we would work out as a group and sometimes would be just a couple of people from 5:15 to 6:15 pm, one hour three times a week on weekdays. Most of the colleagues would travel frequently to field work, so there would be time it could be just you and the instructor.

It was a transformation period for me. For years I wanted to become physical fit and healthy, but I never took a step to start working out. So each time when I looked at my stomach I kept reminded that I needed to workout. I didn’t have a really big stomach, it’s just when I ate my stomach would kind of expand, and when my stomach didn’t have food, or was empty, or when I was hungry, my stomach would be somehow flat. And I wished my stomach would always remain flat.

I have never in my life exceeded over 130 pounds weight, so I consider myself slim, though somehow I may look like I have gained weight, maybe because of the type of clothes I would be wearing.

I said I wished instead of saying I had a goal because if it was my goal to have a flat stomach I should have taken action to do something about it.  My wish then was apart from becoming physical fit and healthy, I wanted to develop muscles so that my stomach will be flat all the time. I didn’t want the severe muscles or in other words ‘six-packs,’ but just lady kind of muscles; you know what I mean.

Like I said before, for years I wanted to change my lifestyle and to start exercising and working out, but somehow I couldn’t take the first steps. So in March 2015, I started this journey of working out to get physical fit and healthy. And for me it was a lucky situation. It was in March 5th, 2015 around 5:15pm I believe. I heard the sound of music; it was a little bit loud, but I didn’t bother to go and check out what was going on. As I closed my office door and got out of the main door, I saw a group of colleagues working out with an instructor. You have no idea how happy the first day I was to saw some of my colleagues working out just outside my office door. It was Thursday during the weekend, even though I had plans that evening but because I was excited I decided to go to the mall to buy workout clothing and shoes. And the following week I joined them.

And I have to say that when you are working out, it’s not pretty as sometimes it may seem to be. There may be times you would like to take a break when everyone is moving because you get tired and your body doesn’t want to cope with the movements. It’s funny, during the first days when I started sometimes I would be in a situation where, when everybody else was moving, I couldn’t even lift my leg..hahaha… But later I realized that the reason why they were able to keep going with ease it was because they set their eyes on the prize, and not the pain or how hard it was. And the minute I also shifted my focus it wasn’t as hard, things changed for me. I began to look forward to each workout session.

There are two things you have to know about change; it is inevitable, and it can be good or bad depending on which side it hits you. An example to show you that change is inevitable is getting older. Whether we like it or not, we will eventually get older. An example to show you change is good is technology change. Almost every month technology is changing, and with these new technologies tools and innovations, we can do so much awesome things. Bad change is bad when we get results of things we don’t like or want in our lives. When you notice you are saying a statement like this, “I don’t know how I got myself here into this worse situation,” its a sign you are in a bad situation that requires to make a change.

So if we know change is inevitable and most of the time is for our own good, why is it then when it comes to us, sometimes we resist it? I did my research and I have come up with the following reasons.

Not everyone is a risk taker, therefore one thing that makes people resist change is because change brings uncertainty. Since change is meant to bring something different, there is a lot of uncertainty going on because you are not sure if it’s going to really work for you. So fear of uncertainty makes people avoid change.

Another thing that makes people resist change is because change requires more from you. This could mean more money, is time consuming, more effort and work. Not all people are willing to change because when they think about all the things they have to do in order to change, they avoid it. Or they try in the beginning and give up later on because of the much work they have to do. Things like becoming more discipline with our time, money, creating good habits like eating healthy, exercising every day, and so on, they can become very intimidating to some of us.

A third reason will be most of us are indecisive. They have this saying that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. This means only those who are determined to see change in their lives they will actual succeed to make the change. You need to decide to change even if the change will bring the discomfort into your life, even when you don’t feel like doing it, do it anyway. The key point is to decide and stick to the plan until it comes through. To want is not enough; you have to be willing to do it in order to make changes in your life.

Incompetence is another reason people resist change. Perhaps they think they don’t have what it takes to make the change; they lack confidence and think they cannot do it. Henry Ford has been quoted saying, “Whether you think you can or you can’t – you are right.” It’s all up to you.

Another reason people resist change is because of loss of control. People do not want to go to unfamiliar places; they want to stay to familiar places where they are familiar of everything and have control of everything.

Past experiences are another reason. Most people do not try new things because of their past experiences. I know this someone who does not want to eat anymore Asian food because one day her boss who is Asian invited her to this Asian restaurant. So the boss took her to a restaurant that offered buffet menu so that she could try variety of food. I guess she didn’t read all the food she was getting. So after finishing eating, she commented to her boss that the food was really great, especially the chicken. And the boss said, there was no chicken on the menu, what she eat was the frog meat. And since that day she swore to never eat Asian food again.

The last reason will be people behaviors’, cultures, and beliefs about things. For instance here in Tanzania, few local people in some regions do not use spoons or forks to eat their food because of the traditional and the way they have been raised. They prefer to use their hands when they eat their food. Some other people only wear certain clothes and do not eat some food because their beliefs or religions restrict them. So to them changing their behaviors or cultures may not be welcomed.

As you can see with above reasons being said in order to make the change you want to see in your life you have to be intentionally with it. If you know you are required to change and for your good, then its best if you willingly decide to do something to help you make the change you need. Sometimes change is necessary in order to move up to the next level, or get better results that you want to see in your life.

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