Ever struggle with making lasting change?
Are you holding on to past hurts that are keeping you stuck?
Want to know how to move forward and make positive lasting change?
Well keep reading! I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Blackwell, founder of The BrideMaker about his new book Saying Yes to Change:10 Timeless Life Lessons for Making Positive Change.
If you’re unfamiliar with Alex Blackwell and his blog I would highly encourage you to connect with him and begin your journey of positive transformation.
He has an unbridled passion for helping other live with greater compassion, love, and kindness, and is prime example of living out this purpose in his own life.
I hope you enjoy the interview!
First and foremost, as your book is about transformation and encouraging meaningful change, what do you believe makes it so difficult for many people to make real and lasting change? What gets in the way?
Joe, first, thanks for having me on your blog. I respect your work, and your writing. It’s an honor to be here.
I think the biggest thing that gets in the way of lasting change is fear. Even when we know what we are doing is no longer working, the fear of the unknown is even greater. As a result, we stay stuck in our comfort zones.
But to change we need to take that first step into the unknown, into the fear. The space that lives between our comfort zones, and on the other side of fear, is growth; and by walking toward growth, we change.
What is a good starting place to begin make change for someone feeling stuck or who seems to be struggling with willpower and falling into old habits?
The best place to start is by acknowledging what needs to be changed or be healed. We summon the willpower only when we accept our reality and then see what our reality is costing us.
In my book, I talk about how my wife and I stood at the brink of divorce. It wasn’t until I become painfully aware of my situation that I found the strength to change my actions. I was motivated to change. So, my desire to change had less to do with willpower and more to do with the fact that I was self-motivated to change because I wanted to save my marriage.
In the book, you explore freeing ourselves from pain and really offer some wonderful insight into what this means. Can you explain your overall view of what it means to “be free,” and how healing from our past hurts and pain is important in this process? Is it crucial to deal with our baggage before we can make true transformation?
To be free means understanding what happened in the past no longer has to define who we are now, or who we will be in the future. It means we are free to choose the life we want to live and the person we want to be.
To that point, the song, It’s My Life, has become my anthem. The song is a powerful reminder that nobody will live like I will live. Nobody will live inside my skin except me. This life is my shot to go after my heart’s desire.
So, yes Joe. To see the life we want, and then to begin walking the path to positive change to get there requires we deal with some of our baggage first. If not, we run the risk of it slowing us down or getting in our way in the long-run.
The book is full of advice and concrete ideas for living a more authentic and meaningful life. What are one or two main action step people can take to begin living from their true self or from a place of greater harmony with who they naturally are?
I believe the first step is to give ourselves grace.
We won’t always get it right. There will be days when we feel weak and tired. When these days happen and we believe we are not living from our hearts, we need to give ourselves a break, a little grace. If not, we can get discouraged before the journey starts.
The second piece is to take small steps every day. The race won’t be won in a day, week or month. But our journey will near its end when we stay focused on doing one thing, taking one small step, every day that moves us closer to where and who we want to be.
Anyone who reads your blog or has followed your work knows your family is one of the most important things in your life. How did your family play a role in your personal transformation, and how important do you believe it is to surround ourselves with supportive and encouraging people? Also, what can other people do to transform their relationships to be more inspiring and loving?
My family is the one thing that matters most. On my last day, I don’t think I’ll think about the size of my house, the balance in my bank account or how many awards hang on my wall. I think on my last day I’ll think about how my family loved me, supported me and encouraged me.
If you have a longing for a more nurturing, loving relationship with your family, then it’s up to you to show love to them every day: Listen when they speak; put their needs before your needs and love them unconditionally. Love is a verb and takes action.
All of the lessons in your book are powerful, but if there is one underlying message for people to remember and take away from you book what would it be?
Joe, it goes back to this – Creating positive change begins with discovering one powerful truth: You cannot change or heal what you do not acknowledge.
Thank you Alex for sharing these timeless lessons with us!
Please leave any questions or comments you have for Alex below and connect with him at his blog for more information.
Alex Blackwell is the Founder of The BridgeMaker. His first book, Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change is now available on Amazon. Connect with Alex on Facebook.