Craving Change?

Key in handI’ve been thinking about feeling stuck lately.  We all have those moments when we’re waiting on something to change.  Maybe we aren’t ready to make the change, or someone else isn’t ready, but either way, we have great ways to cope: we buy something nice for ourselves, maybe we get a tattoo, or we take a little vacation somewhere. As a woman, I have a multitude of little cosmetic changes I can make to pacify that feeling: I can change my hair, get a mani-pedi, or buy a new dress.  People redesign rooms in their homes, or move to a completely different one, or buy a new car.  Now I’m not saying any of those aren’t nice things to do just because you want to, but there is a specific desperation to these activities when we are avoiding a big change by making a smaller, more temporary one.

How do we identify whether we just really want that new gadget because it’s fun, or if we’re seeking some sort of greater fulfillment from the newness of it?  There are a few surefire ways to identify whether we are treating ourselves or running from a bigger issue.  Take a good look at your in-the-moment, impulsive desire and ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Do you feel like you HAVE to have it, or your whole day is ruined?

    • If so, you are probably using it as a substitute
  2. Do you need an excuse to buy it?

    • If so, is it because you know you don’t really need it?
  3. How long is this thing going to make you feel like a new person?
    • Sometimes a treat is nice, but if you’re craving “new person,” ask yourself if the thing you’re craving is *really* going to make you feel that way after the first week, month or year.

If you answer these questions honestly, you may find that the long-term gain of that short-term desire is so small you no longer feel like it’s worth it right now.  You may also find that you just want something nice or different and you have the money for it, and that’s fine.  But the first question in particular is important – that desperation for something superficial is usually an indication that we NEED something much deeper.  How do we figure THAT out?

First of all, if we’re to the point of restlessness/needful shopping/upending our household, we usually already know there is something amiss.  And I would venture to guess most of us already know what it is that is causing the feeling.  But change is scary for everyone: ourselves, our significant others, our friends and family members.  No one wants to upset that many people (especially all at once)!  Maybe we know the problem, but it doesn’t seem like something we can change.

For now, that’s ok.  Just acknowledge that there is something a little uncomfortable about being stuck.  Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Big life changes are ALWAYS uncomfortable until they become routine.  Next week, I’ll talk about how to figure out your stuck place and make changes that will make you happier long term!

Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 14:20