On Change

Have you ever felt the inner need to change yourself? Woken up one morning to an unpleasant, obsolete version of yourself staring at you through your child’s room mirror? Some call it a phase, some act. This last category recently aroused my greatest attention.

Immobility should be humanity’s worst enemy. We saw thanks to the last decades that progress endangers us but the absence of movement, of evolution (and well, if you are amongst these creationist people, please stop reading here) reduces us to the simplest versions of ourselves, sums of the education we received and the environment we were raised in.

“Time to change”

One day, the old yourself doesn’t fit anymore. At first you try harder, but these habits obviously are too used for you to walk around in them proudly. As the sneaky snake sloughing, you begin to drag yourself out that wrinkly skin you can’t see yourself in anymore. The extraction takes time, luckily, enough time for you to rebuild habits and construct a “new you”, before ending up naked, exposed to the public.

How does one change? The two categories of change I can think of are physical and mental.

Physical change includes new clothing and losing weight, it describes the changes you apply to your visible self. Some feel like changing clothes or general style: they switch from classic, serious clothes to the extremes; metal or hip-hop, colorful or entirely black, the message being: “I’m different, look.” And having a different look is inevitably going to change your mind. Distinction is the key to interpreting these changes better. Either distinguishing yourself from who you were before (in most cases) or differing from the people you frequent, a general environment you want to keep away or attract. Attract indeed because difference doesn’t mean separation and by affirming your character you will surely receive attention from unexpected people. Clothing is only one way to do it, but the intention of differing (at least from a previous self) stays the same whatever piercing, tattoo, hair color, you choose.

Mental change deepens the subject. You decide to fight one of your defaults, your habits, your conceptions to either become better or just different. Mental change includes life habits, everyday actions and so on (becoming a vegetarian, becoming a musician, not saying hello anymore – though this one would be particularly idiotic). These changes assure more self-confidence and will after a while change your way of behaving in public too. Self-esteem and appearance are, as you know tightly connected. One can imagine how feeling beautiful by changing one’s physical characteristic could improve self-esteem but the principle works equally in reverse. Modifying some of your mental features will eventually bring you to be more confident, improve your self-esteem, which will be translated physically: you will stand up straighter, make longer eye-contact and socialize quicker and in a more efficient way.

These changes often come with maturity. Being able to consider your relationships with others and yourself differently as time goes by is a proof you grow up mentally.

Change is good, and keeping track of who you were several years ago, where you were at in your life is an excellent way of measuring your personal evolution. It also can help you through a difficult period, to overcome a confidence issue but don’t overdo it; the snake doesn’t change skin every six month!

Written by: Alex Barbier





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