When is the best time to change? (Hint: Sooner than you think!)

 
 
I woke up this morning reflecting about change. Through looking at my life in retrospect, I can think of two ways in which change came about: Either 1) as a result of a crisis, or 2) as a conscious decision.
 
When you face a crisis, that chaotic state is so painful that it becomes unbearable and you feel it’s either change or death. You go into survival mode and a forced change is the only available option.
 
When I was 9 years old, I would sneak out my mother’s self-help books and once I read that the word crisis in China means both chaos and opportunity. Although the thought of that calms me down, today I know better and I don’t always see chaos as the best opportunity for change.
 
Very rarely big changes take place when you are in a state of joy and optimism. Everyday life is as good as it can get, so why change?, you think.

 
I personally admire people that steer change under normal circumstances and when things are going well. What makes them spectacular is that they can see beyond the status quo and feel that things could be even greater. They’re determined to go against the current and do things differently.

 

In other words, they don’t wait for an emergency to give them permission to do the uncommon.

 

Mediocrity vs. greatness

 
Now I want you to think back: What moment in your life did you display amazing greatness like that? When you did things differently and couldn’t explain why?
 
The excitement of a new prospect feels amazing. You’re unstoppable and you don’t care about any kind of pain or discomfort. Because you have that one thing in mind. You act differently and people notice. You sense that others think you’ve lost your mind, but you couldn’t care less. “Did she go mental?” “Why is she doing that now?” “This doesn’t sound like her.” “Why is she dressing all pretty now?” “She’s acting strange.”

 

La révolution

 
I no longer wait for a crisis to give me the right to do things differently. People thought I was crazy by leaving a top job and a top pay at the world’s number one investment bank. But I was so busy changing, that I didn’t have time to explain what was going on with me. I had more important things to do – I was in the middle of my self-directed revolution!
 
This is where you don’t give a *bleep* about what others think. Because you know the resulting greatness at the end will explain it all.
 

 
So here’s 4 strategies I want you to start thinking about that have personally helped me embrace change (rather than dread it):
 

1. Never wait to hit rock-bottom to do the uncommon

Change in a state of desperation doesn’t always result in good things. In fact, it severely reduces your capacity for control.
 
If you want to look slim and chic, why wait until your trousers explode, or a public humiliation, or a health problem??
 
I’ve found that change is more enjoyable when I’m in a state of excitement – for the sake of evolution and irresistible growth.
 
 

2. Give yourself permission to do something unusual

Do something where others will think: “Uh, that’s very unlike her?” “Did she lose her mind?” Yes, you have.
 
As neuroscientist Dr. Joe Dispenza says: “You need to lose your mind in order to create a new one.” For new synaptic connections to form, you first need to break those from your old habituated self.
 
A proper brain riot!
 
The beauty of this is that you can think of it as your own revolution towards evolution, against what you’ve always done and what others expect from you. Why wait for a disaster to be exceptional?
 
 

3. Surprise yourself – and surprise others

Start with simple things to test your capacity for change.
 
- Wear red lipstick in a yoga class even when nobody does.
- Get a manicure if you’ve never had one before.
- Buy a pair of red shoes and let the office corridor be your catwalk.
- Dress pretty for your loved one so he gets to see the best version of yourself (the poor guy deserves more than just messy hair, pyjamas and complaints).
- Change your hair colour or look for a better hairdresser.
- Use your finest china for dinner (don’t save it for others like our grandmothers).

 
Revolutionise your life with small daily things. I can tell you one thing: You’ll feel a bit mischievous and probably smile more – both are slimming.
 
 

4. Run the Tuesday test

Can you remember anything about last Tuesday? Anything?
 
If your days are unmemorable, you’re denying yourself of the best things in life. The best memories come from doing something out of the ordinary. New experiences send a strong signal to your brain and prime it for evolution.
 
Why not surround yourself with more beauty? In your lunch break, get flowers for your desk – and let colleagues ask you about it.
 
Allow yourself to create new memories now and don’t wait until you’re a hundred pounds thinner.
 
You won’t need to explain why you’re not your “usual self” when people wonder. You’ll be too busy changing – and getting thinner!
 

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P.S. I’m running the Tuesday test in the comments below! Please defy me and tell me if you remember anything about last Tuesday!?!?
 

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13 comments:

MarianaMarch 1, 2014 at 10:54 amReply

I will try the red lipstick, sounds cute!!

Your blog Rocks, you’re teaching us things that no one tells you about!!

THanks!!

MAriana

Sarah Michelle BrownFebruary 1, 2014 at 11:39 pmReply

I loved this article! My biggest take-away is the Tuesday test. It’s a great reason to do something unusual and memorable every Tuesday (if not everyday). Thanks for the tips Alejandra!!!

Alejandra RuaniFebruary 2, 2014 at 12:57 pmReply

Sarah, you’re most welcome. How nice to hear that you loved it and that the Tuesday test resonated with you!

LacyJanuary 20, 2014 at 11:15 pmReply

Ooooo… Love this post! Learning to live with more intention is high on my list of importance this year!

Last Tuesday I felt like crud because I was battling a terrible head cold. But I picked myself up, dusted myself off, put on a pretty dress and flatironed my hair—because I had to go give a presentation to a moms’ group! Fake it ’til ya make it, right? :)

Alejandra RuaniJanuary 21, 2014 at 12:32 pmReply

I’m impressed to hear that you have “resurrected” for your presentation. You’re fantastic, Lacy!

Silvia BiancoJanuary 18, 2014 at 5:05 pmReply

Loved this post Alejandra. As someone who has learned and grown through pain more times than I care to say (some of which was in my control and some not) I think I’m now in the master class. I’ve made a conscious choice to learn and change through joy. But I think this is only possible if you’ve really learned and live pain’s lessons. Conscious change is so much more fun. Your 4 suggestions are right on!

Alejandra RuaniJanuary 20, 2014 at 1:40 pmReply

Thanks for opening up about this, Silvia. Our pain is our super power, it teaches us and helps us evolve.

Claire MJanuary 17, 2014 at 10:53 amReply

I will implement the TUesday test because all i remember is working and eating! this is my favourite blog post, have shared it with my sister and friends, we tend to abandon ourselves and forget we are women and that we need to wear more red lipstick, love it and need to start doing that again. thank you so much, your words are changing my life week after week Alejandra
hugs
claire

Alejandra RuaniJanuary 17, 2014 at 10:56 amReply

so sweet, Claire! I love red lipstick!

Sonja KellerJanuary 17, 2014 at 10:35 amReply

Hi Alejandra, I totally resonated with this post. You’re right. Crisis brings change and that’s a plus, but why let ourselves get to that point in the first place! Thanks x

Alejandra RuaniJanuary 17, 2014 at 10:57 amReply

Thank you Sonja! Indeed, why wait for a crisis to change if we can do it now in a state of joy and control?

Melissa BurkheimerJanuary 17, 2014 at 5:59 amReply

Alejandra,

I don’t remember anything from last Tuesday. Oh and your #2 is right where I’m aiming. I’ve wore leggings every day this week and I’m dying for a pedicure. I’m adding it to my calendar – STAT!

Alejandra RuaniJanuary 17, 2014 at 10:58 amReply

You go girl with those leggings and pedicure. Connecting with our feminine side is slimming!

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