Tiny Wisdom: When You’re Not Sure If You’ve Changed

“Change is not a process for the impatient.” -Barbara Reinhold

A while back, a Tiny Buddha contributor commented that she was feeling like a fraud for struggling to take advice she’d offered in an article. I told her I could relate. I’ve written more than 600 wisdom-themed blog posts over the past few years, meaning there is abundant potential for me to contradict something I’ve previously explored in my writing.

Sometimes when I am not mindful, or kind, or stress-free, or clearly happier and more peaceful than I once was, I start to wonder if I’ve even changed at all. My black-and-white thinking kicks in, and I question my growth all because of one moment of weakness or struggle (or sometimes, two or three).

Then I remind myself: Change isn’t something that happens in an instant and then makes everything permanently different. Change is a moment-to-moment choice.

Inevitably, we’ll make poor choices from time to time. Occasionally, we’ll fail to do the things we know are good for us. Or we’ll give advice to someone else and then struggle to follow it. Or we’ll fall back into ways of being that we thought we’d abandoned for good.

In those moments, we can beat ourselves up for being imperfect, or we can be kind to ourselves, increasing our odds of making positive choices in the moments to follow.

I don’t know about you, but I find it a lot easier to let go of a difficult moment and get back on track when I accept that struggle is inevitable, and then forgive myself when it happens.

We will never feel happy with ourselves if we pressure ourselves to do everything perfectly, because that just isn’t possible. It is possible, however, to choose change more often than not–to strive every day for more positive choices than negative ones so that we never let one setback devalue all our progress and potential.

Today, if you start wondering if you’ve even changed at all, remember: What really matters is what you choose to do right now.

Photo by antwerpenR

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She started the site after struggling with depression, bulimia, c-PTSD, and toxic shame so she could recycle her former pain into something useful and inspire others do the same. She recently created the Breaking Barriers to Self-Care eCourse to help people overcome internal blocks to meeting their needs—so they can feel their best, be their best, and live their best possible life. If you’re ready to start thriving instead of merely surviving, you can learn more and get instant access here.

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