Authentic Living, Awareness, Growth, Personal Resonsibility

The Awkwardness That Comes with Personal Change

New attitude. New outlook. New way of being.

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery

New. New. New. Defined as “not existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time”, and also, “just beginning or beginning anew and regarded as better than what went before”. So, when deciding to change our current way of living, we’re embarking on a journey of uncertainty. Needless-to-say, we can feel a bit awkward with all this “newness”.

Certainty is like a warm, cozy blanket we can wrap around ourselves. Here, we’re safe from a whole slew of unsteady emotions like doubt, fear, failure, frustration, regret. Yes, certainty says this is a “sure thing” and “will probably happen” or “won’t happen”, so we have a good idea what to expect. And that’s preferable to feeling clueless.

When we have a shift in self-awareness it takes us into the unfamiliar, the certainty is gone, and I’ll just say, it’s feels more like walking a tightrope…with NO net!

The uncertainty magnifies a feeling of awkwardness. We’re thinking in a way we never did. For instance, what we used to allow irritate us, is now an opportunity to think differently about it and not take it personally.  What used to trigger judgment, is now an attempt to relax the social comparison instinct to dissect someone’s performance, searching for flaws to flatten their success and protect our self-image.

With self-awareness we’re trying to see things from a more neutral perspective, assess with defenselessness, process with lovingkindness, and deliver actions with gentle but firm boundaries. This “new” way of doing things doesn’t always happen instantly, or easily, or comfortably. It certainly doesn’t feel natural or normal for us. It’s…well, it’s awkward in the beginning!

Although circumstances may change in the blink of an eye, people change at a slower pace. Even motivated people who welcome change often encounter stumbling blocks that make transformation more complicated than they’d originally anticipated.

Amy Morin

Honestly, in the beginning, I felt like a phony. My self-talk was like, “This isn’t me. You’re such a fake. This feels weird!” I felt like I was posing as someone who wasn’t really me, OR, was I connecting with my true nature I’d long since abandoned? Have you ever felt this way?

Because even stumbling in my new approach to life…I felt better! I felt empowered too because I’d reclaimed the power I’d unknowingly handed over to others. I’d looked outside myself too readily, too often, and for too long to dictate what felt right for my life. This was the origin of living authentically. Awkwardness from the confusion and uncertainty I felt. It was growth.

Yes, I may trip up and fall back into old habits occasionally (which isn’t difficult considering their automatic nature), but I’m on a mission and I’m determined to know myself better and be a positive force in my life and for the people around me. I find progress tends to zig and zag more than run in a straight, unwavering line.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

Alan Watts

So, I’ve learned to let go of feeling self-conscious or discomfort in my clumsiness with my self-improvement efforts and have settled into being a “work-in-progress”. I do my best to remind myself that there’s a learning curve to life and as I live, I learn to make adjustments that stay true to what brings out the best of me. And now, that doesn’t feel so awkward. ❤

Keep it Simple,

Just Teri

Just Teri ©


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