What drives change? Motivation. This is true for social activism as well as for our own personal healing and professional growth. I’m going to break it down into 3 categories.
When our desire to grow outweighs our desire to stay in our current circumstances then the choices we make from that point forward are made with that new shift in mind.
1. On healing ourselves and personal growth: Building new habits, new relationships and changing our internal and external foundations are difficult things to do. I don’t say this to be trite, I mean it quite literally. When we are stuck in an unhealthy cycle it is because we have allowed for complacency. We go on living our daily lives performing habits that keep us in our current state, be it a comfort zone or an uncomfortable zone. We repeat these patterns because it is what we know. It’s learned behavior that perpetuates our current circumstances.
(Key Point) It is not until we become aware of our desire for change and that desire turns into a motivation so deep that we make the choice to act on it that we will experience change. This could show up as a feeling in the pit of your stomach of dis-ease; a constant day dream, thought, or desire; or a recurrence of appearing in your surroundings.
Will there be discomfort? Inevitably. We can’t expect to break away from the cycle of life we’ve built for ourselves on habits that are no longer serving us without our old patterns, habits, and ego crumbling or fighting the change.
Will it be worth it? Most definitely.
2. On claiming your title of entrepreneur and growing your own business: I am sure I’m not the only person who grew up believing that a desk job working 9-5 was the standard. I had to quit or be let go from job after job until I allowed myself to believe that my desire for entrepreneurship wasn’t far-fetched, was attainable, and that I had no choice but to go for it. I knew it would be worth it. I started and stopped countless times over the past decade. But every time that I went back to a job, it ended up reaffirming my desire for entrepreneurial freedom that I knew I could not attain working under someone else’s roof.
A personal note on the discomfort of choosing my entrepreneurial dreams over reliable monotony: Last year, I was going through so much personal trauma with family, intimate relationships, and self discovery at the same time, that I found myself at an interesting impasse.
I knew that I wanted to move out and quit my job simultaneously but I couldn’t realistically afford both at the same time. I had to choose one of the two to start my journey of growth and practice extreme patience as I bore the weight of each decision until I could afford to do the next.
What happened as a result? Which did I choose first? I quit my job. I think in retrospect I believed it to be easier than packing up and finding a new house right away. And the motivation I had to start my own business became a constant voice in my head that I felt needed immediate attention.
Making this decision caused a shift in my reality that became the impetus for me moving out and growing in my business. Being in the house every day while I was working on growing my company increased the uneasiness I experienced with my roommates. Ultimately, no amount of aesthetic changes or conversations at home could make it a safe or comfortable place to live or work.
So, the decision to quit my job made the severity of my situation at home that much more apparent and ultimately gave me the strength and motivation I needed to get the heck out.
3. On civil rights and activism:
The civil rights protests occurring right now, and the fight for equality and representation that has been occurring for decades, is due to an oppressive system and toxic cycle of hate that is harming our brothers and sisters, and we have had enough.
Social media has brought visibility to the atrocities occurring close to home and far away. What we’re seeing now domestically and globally is an awareness that has sparked a desire for change that is greater than our desire to stay the same.
I challenge each and every one of you I am fortunate enough to reach today with this article to push through the discomfort. Allow your motivation for change to be the impetus you need for personal, professional, and communal growth and transformation. It will all be worth it.