“Ouch!” Change is Uncomfortable!

Take the time to take a good hard look at where you are today, and where you want to be in the future.

You are here, yet you want to be there. Your children are here, and you’d like to guide them there.

What is stopping you from being in your ideal situation right now? Whether you want to lose weight, stop yelling at your children, find Mr. Right, or leave Mr. Wrong, you keep looking at a goal that you have not yet achieved.

Let’s explore why not.

Try this experiment: Simply fold your arms across your chest. Notice which arm is above the other, where your hands touch your elbows, and how effortlessly you were able to position your arms.

Now, it is time for the change: Uncross your arms, and re-fold them across your chest, this time the opposite way. That’s correct, if your right arm crossed over the center of your left arm, then place your left arm above the right. And vice versa.

I have seen rooms filled with people laughing and twisting their arms in awkward directions, in an attempt to fold their arms in the opposite manner!

If changing the way in which you cross your arms is an uncomfortable, unnatural process, we can glean some wisdom as to the dynamics of human beings experiencing change.

Staying in the same position is more comfortable than changing positions. Thus, we can find marathon runners who use the remote control to switch the channels, instead of walking across the room. They do not dislike walking; they simply want to remain comfortable.

Therein lies the secret of achievement; the ability to acknowledge and understand that the changes you will undergo will be uncomfortable. Denying yourself the usual chocolate treats, in order to reach your ideal size, is not a pleasant sensation for your taste buds. Forgoing a shopping trip in order to spend the afternoon with your child, may not be as relaxing a way to spend your free time. Taking a deep breath and counting to ten after your child’s explosion will require genuine emotional fortitude, instead of blowing up in the manner of the old habit.

When you understand that making changes will involve some discomfort, even some pain, and you are ready to embrace the positive long-term changes along with the negative short-term changes, then you become unstoppable.

It is not education, socio-economic status, gender, nor ethnicity which will propel you towards success. Your dreams, and ultimately your children’s dreams, will be realized because of your newfound perspective. It is the courage in your heart to overlook the heavy weight of the boxes you are carrying that will move you towards your goals, since you know that there are diamonds to be found within them.

Go ahead and begin a change in your life. Write it down, and share the goal with your friends. Embrace the discomfort, cross your arms, and proceed resolutely towards success.

And when you achieve your goal, and meet someone on the road to making changes, ask them to cross their arms, and inspire them with the courage to succeed!

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  1. Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post last week’s five ways to show love…I found it very insightful and am trying to use it to better understand my kids (as if that’ll ever happen). Keep up the good work!

  2. Tzivia Tabak says:

    Hi Ellen,
    About six weeks ago I went a new raw food diet. In the beginning it was fun and interesting. I felt energetic and lost weight. But as the time passes along I need encouragement and more motivation to go on full speed ahead without looking for rational excuses to drop it. After reading your message of today, I was prompted to stand up straight, cross my arms, look myself in the mirror, and just march forward in my new adventure.
    Thank you from keeping me from eating just one lttle teensy piece of cheese cake!
    Tzivi Tabak

  3. Thank you for your website and encouraging articles.
    I was not brought up with hugs and kisses. I had and still have to teach myself to reach out towards my children every morning for hugs and kisses.
    For me that is going out of my comfort zone but I know the returns are worth it.

  4. marjorie says:

    What an encouragement. I am a single mom with 100 goals for myself and my two princesses. Life often interrupts progress but if I really want to accomplish those goals that I’ve set, I MUST be willing to go through moments, days, of uncomfort to reach the ultimate goal of satisfaction. I got it and I’m looking forward to the journey.

  5. Ouch is right! I have been through weight watchers, la weight loss, a program at a private club called biometrics, and have successfully lost weight. However……..it keeps coming back. hmmmmmm I am able to change for awhile, then I just say the heck with it, life is to short. So here I sit. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ll try it AGAIN.

  6. Tina Messer says:

    I was quite inspired by this article. I have been struggling and I found some solitude in this article to go ahead and make some changes that I have been to scarred to do. Thank you

  7. I was recently at a parenting workshop and the counselor stated “the most frightening six letter word in the english language is – change”. How true this is.
    It’s so good to read your website and realize that we are not alone in this!! What encouragement!

  8. I really liked this and just two days ago vowed never again to smack my children.Not because of the raised eyebrows of others but because it was teaching them to do it to their siblings and two days ago I cried when I realised I was hurting the one thing most precious to me.This reinforced to me that it will be hard to change the habit- but so worth it!

  9. I enjoyed reading this article because it clearly focused on the fact that we all, as parents, make mistakes. We can make small and/or big changes that will effect our children in ways we may or may not see…..in future generations to come. Funny how people “parent” the way they were parented because it’s all they know or what we are all comfortable with. I have 4 small children of my own…over time I have worked to examine the ways I was brought up and make CHANGES with how I want my children raised. This change has not been natural to me, yet I like how this process has made me take charge of my own parenting. And, most importantly, not repeat patterns that do not represent who I am as a mother.

  10. It is truly amazing how God amswers prayers. Your article came at exactly the right time. I have been struggling with a personal situation and going back and forth with myself about making a decision to change and stick with it. Reading your article inspired me and gave just the encouragement I needed to make that change. Thank you so much!

  11. Ellen,

    Thank you, thank you!!! You continue to awe & inspire me!
    God bless!

  12. I made a decision a few weeks ago to change my eating habits and to incorporate an exercise program that is realistic for me in my very busy schedule. I was starting to give up on being “in-shape”, thinking it was impossible to get back on track. Then I realized that it’s never too late to start. Making that change helps you find that bright spot in you future. Knowing that time is on your side and there is no reason to rush helps you maintain a realistic attitude about this lifelong change. Your article came at a perfect time to keep me inspired. I do not like to set a goal for myself and then fail at that goal, therefore I decided to keep things real so that I can achieve my goal and not feel like I failed myself.

  13. Anuradha says:

    This is really true, and you have a lovely, simple way of explaining things.I will try to think of the this example everytime I feel like giving up with trying hard enough!Love reading what you post,although don’t write in!You make a lot of sense.

  14. This article came at just the right time. I’ve been looking for a “sign” that a job change was in God’s will for me- a change that would be painful, but one that I think is right for my family right now (just hoping to be offered the job)… It also reminds me of all the things I said I would do differently than my parents, and haven’t really suceeded in changing. I printed the article to carry with me- to always remind me that what I’m striving to do for my family is worth whatever “ouch” comes my way! Thank you so much!

  15. concerned says:

    I am often looking at your postings and I am so thankful for all your thoughts on parenting. I work for Children’s Protective Services and sometimes wonder if this site would be helpful for my clients. I see this as a support group in a way and think it would be great for every parent to see.

  16. very realistic and motivating.i will now embrace the discomfort instead of the burden from the jobs i’ve been putting off. I now feel eager to get started on the tasks i’ve been neglecting.


  18. Great article. We can always say that the importance of understanding change is very essential in the process of changing. Thanks for sharing this.

  19. Nice blog. I simply like your thoughts about change. It speaks so much about the reality we face in being able to cope up with change.