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Change is Scary. Keep it Slow and Structured

Change is frightening. It scares the hell out of people so I want to let you know, if I know you or don’t know you I want to let you know that if you are actively seeking to change your life I consider you a courageous human being. Why do I say that? Because people that do things that scare them are courageous. And why is change scary or frightening? Well man, the fear of the unknown. See you know what your version of life is right now and you might want a different version of life, yet you’re unable to achieve it because deep down you might be scared of what’s on the other side. People have a fear of failure, people have a fear of success, people have a fear of trying, people have a fear of not trying. Whatever those reasons are, you got to look at yourself and say, “Hey, if I want this to happen in my life then I have to do this.” And one of the best ways to increase your motivation about if you’re scared to change is, okay, don’t change, but sit down and write down the natural consequences that will happen as a result of not changing. Be honest with yourself. “If I don’t make the changes I need to make in my life today, what will my life look like a year from now? Five years from now? 10 years from now?” Write it all out and then ask yourself a simple question – “Is that the life I want?” If the answer is yes do you, I don’t care, but if the answer is no then you got to keep tapping into that courage and doing what you have to do to change and overcome that fear. If you don’t know what it looks like down the line, like if you say one year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, that’s what I want life to look like, if you don’t come up with a destination this is what’s going to happen. Look at your past, look at the life experience you had in your past. Look at all the different areas in your past, and just know that your future is going to look the exact same way. And you might be saying, “How dare you say that to me? Are you just projecting? Are you just guessing?” No man. Nobody ends up in a specific destination without having a destination. We just keep repeating things that are familiar.

Slower is Actually Better

That kind of comes a little counterintuitive to people that are trying to change their lives because most humans in our society today are addicted to something called instant gratification. Now, you might think that there’s no addiction to instant gratification. Oh there is, and I’ll even go one step further. I will say that people that have drugs and alcohol dependency issues it’s not really the drugs and alcohol – it’s the instant gratification addiction that they have. Now they happen to use drugs and alcohol to get it, but instant gratification comes in so many different forms. I mean, look at social media for example. You want it now. Look at food, restaurants, you want it now. I mean, there’s people that go to a drive-thru and the line is like 30 cars long and they get pissed off. They’re like, why is it so busy? Don’t these people have a place to go? Why is it man, you’re sitting around a concrete building in your vehicle that is going to give you food through the window in a very short period of time? What’s the hustle here? What’s the pain? I got places to go. Well then, that means you just didn’t prepare. Instant gratification plagues us, and when people try to change they want it instantly also. Like homie is 100 pounds overweight and they want to lose 50 pounds in two months. Ain’t gonna happen. It’s just not. Someone has severe financial debt and they want to be debt free. It’s not going to happen that quickly. Can it at all happen? Yes, all of it can happen. Does it happen in the timeline your brain wants it to happen? Hell, no, it’s going to take a while. It’s a process. Are you willing to go on that process? I mean I say this every week for a reason and I hope some of you start to finish my sentence before I even say it. 

Your direction is more important than your speed. 

Your speed is irrelevant to change. Most people that go really hot out of the gates they fizzle away really quickly, and it’s the ones that are slow and steady, slow and steady, slow and steady, they get to where they got to get to. Because they understand that direction is more important than speed.

Change Requires Structure

Now, this is a kind of a different aspect to look at because a lot of people have a negative connotation to the word structure. They believe that structure means restrictive, structure means lack of freedom, structure means lack of creativity, and structure means lack of spontaneity. None of that is true. In order to change we must be disciplined and have structure. If you don’t you’re going to fall back to your old ways. What do your old ways produce? The same outcomes they did in the past. So if you want your future to look different you must implement some structure in the present moment that will allow for that change to take place. And here’s the thing. Someone says I don’t want to live a structured life, I want to have the freedom to do what I want to do, where I want to go, all that kind of stuff. That’s okay. Within the world of structure you can structure and plan time for spontaneity. It’s not like one or the other. It’s not a binary choice. It’s not zero or one, black or white. It’s not structure or spontaneity. It could be structured spontaneity. If that doesn’t make sense to you this is what I mean by it. If you have a structured daily discipline routine Monday through Friday, Monday through Saturday, on Sunday blank out like six hours to yourself to do whatever you feel like doing that day, going wherever you feel like you need to go, just relaxing however you need to relax. Because if you don’t do it that way you’re going to start setting up times to just do what you feel like you do. Here’s the thing, man. Nobody in life ever gets to where they want to get to in life by always doing what they feel like doing most of the time. You don’t feel like doing most of the things you don’t want to do. So we got to force ourselves to go through structure, allow that to happen.

Sober Living Needs Structure

I’m really big on structure in sober livings, I really am, because the individuals that are there, they need it the most. I’ve been there, done that. They need it the most because their life has no structure. I used to wake up at 11, you know 11:00 a.m. everyday, sleeping at 2 or 3, 11 is waking up. What am I going to do today? Probably just drink a bunch of alcohol and do some drugs, that was it. Today I wake up at 5 or 5:30, I’m ready to go. You don’t just go from that to this without structure. Daily progress over time and sober livings need it. I mean that’s one of the reasons why I wake them up so early on a Saturday, is to let them know that this is a life lesson, but the other reason is because there are sober livings out there, many of them, probably thousands of them just around where we live, some of them don’t care about structure. You wake up when you want to wake up, you sleep when you want to sleep, you go out when you want to go out with whoever you want. Some of them don’t even care if you use substances or not. I don’t believe in that model. I mean, how is that going to change a person’s life? So structure on a daily basis is one of the biggest life hacks to creating change. And if you don’t have a good relationship with structure I want you to rewind the tape to back when and where you created that thought process, because we all thrive with structure. Human beings are a communal society. We thrive by structure.

Structure is good for Creatives

By the way, for some of you that are like the creative types, the writers, the musicians that just need to come to you, I will tell you this. You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to when it comes to this next thing I’m going to say. Sometimes they think, well my inspiration comes whenever it comes. I just can’t sit down and do it. I know authors, like Stephen King’s one of them, John Maxwell is one of them, they write a few pages every single day. Go listen to them talk about it. They write a few pages of their books every single day. They don’t wait till the inspiration comes. They don’t wait till the enthusiasm, motivation, the creativity comes. They just write. Good musicians don’t just say I’m just going to play music whenever I feel like it. They play music because they play music every day. So those artistic creative ones, even though you see them and you think they’re just like free spirits or whatever they are, they’re not. The really good ones live structure. You look at these great athletes – oh they’re just so talented? No they’re not, they got a structured training program. They have a structured diet, they have a structured recovery program, like a rest program. Nothing that great people do comes outside of structure. Everything I do in my life is structured and I don’t feel rigid. If anything, I feel free. I feel free to have that structure in life. So I really encourage you to start building some structure in your life.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.