We can change!

Change can be a very hard thing sometimes. Whether we are changing jobs, moving home, learning to drive or have to change a pre-consisting unhealthy mindset, change can be, and often is, difficult. I am sure you know someone who loves a bit of change and then you probably know the opposite too, those who would do anything to steer away from any change of any sort. As a previous sufferer of chronic pain and now an amputee I am aware that change can be very overwhelming, and sometimes even feel impossible.

I love the book ‘What happened to you’ by Oprah Winfrey and Dr Bruce Perry. Worth your time if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading it yet! In this book Dr Bruce Perry states one extremely powerful thing ‘Hope lies in the adaptability of our brain’. I am fascinated by our brains and something that is called neuroplasticity -the brains ability to reorder, change and adapt through experiences, memories and spaced repetition.

When my leg was still here, but in it’s chronic crippled spasm, I had three very young children. Having not been able to drive a car for years, we realised that we could get an automatic car adapted with a left foot accelerator. How cool is that, I could have the option to drive again if I wanted too. I could be able to drop any of the kids off to an activity, or even drive to a park. It felt huge and definitely something I wanted. But how do you learn to drive with your left foot if you have always done it with your right foot? It felt wrong to start with and certainly meant a few harder than normal slams of the brakes and some nervous times on the road not to mention roundabouts. The more I did it the more normal it became! My brain was adapting and what once felt overwhelming and almost impossible became normal and second nature to me.

Harvard Business review -the change arc

This image sums it up beautifully I think, because change can be difficult, costly and weird, but over time and by changing behaviour and attitudes, it becomes easier, more doable, rewarding and normal. Freidrich Nietzche, the Marmite of philosopher (for the non British -you either love him or hate him) said: If you have a why to live for you can bear almost any how.

If you have something big or small that needs to change, ask yourself: is it worth it to me? If the answer is yes, no matter how hard it will be, it is possible, because HOPE LIES IN THE ADAPTABILITY OF OUR BRAIN!

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