In a great and stable program of recovery, the recovering addict or alcoholic will no longer harbor secrets. Secrets such as resentments, desires, mistakes, petty jealousies, disappointments, and even secret truths can put sobriety at risk. They can fester within and lead to undesirable changes in behavior. The same is true for any life that is unmanageable, whatever the reason.
When change is desired or planned, that truth must be shared with those around us, at least those that care about us. It is not about seeking approval. It’s about opening your life up to others. It is about being kept accountable for your actions. It is about validating in your own mind that you are the agent of your own change and that you are in fact going to change. When you consider change you should believe it first, say it out loud to someone second, then go out and do it.
That gets us to step #7 of Transformation – I will make my plans to change known to those who know me. It is one thing to envision change and then roll it around in your head. It is something quite different to say it out loud to someone. In a way, keeping planned changes to yourself is giving yourself permission not to act.
Whether it is, as Dan Miller puts it, “comfortable misery”, fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of rejection or fear of losing control, undisclosed desires or plans for change is a recipe for stagnation and maintaining the status quo.
We need the influence, support, guidance, advice, and constructive criticism of those we care about and those who care about us. The only way that can be of benefit to us is through disclosing our desires, goals and plans for needed change. The only people you should not share with are those that seem preoccupied with holding you back, the chronic nay-saying nattering nabobs and you know who they are. Avoid them like the plague.
There is something liberating about sharing both your fears and excitement about making needed changes in your life. It is a confession of sorts – I don’t have it all figured out yet but there are things not right with my life; I know I need to make some changes; in fact I am going to make some changes and here is what I have planned.
Say that to the people who you care about and who honestly care about you and want to see you succeed. They will offer their steadfast support. Thank them and ask them to monitor your progress. Then, ask them to take a step to the side and watch you get to work!
Have you made plans for needed change and shared your plans with others? Or, have you been stuck “thinking about things” for too long?
Please return soon for another installment in this series on Transformation.