I’ve been listening to a really great podcast lately from Melanie Mitro called Women Empowering Women. Melanie is fantastic, having created a 7-figure business right from her kitchen table. She’s a fitness expert and lifestyle coach and have I said she’s amazing? Anyway, one of her mantras that has really resonated with me is this:

You have to want to change more than you want to stay the same.

Wise, wise words. Because the change has to come from you. It can’t be for a boy, or for a swimsuit, or for a high school reunion. You know why? Here’s what I’ve learned: when times get tough (and they will), that boy won’t be a big enough or important enough reason. When you get sore and tired and you hurt so much, that high school reunion will seem more and more like something to blow off, just so then you can stop with all the change and pain.

I get it. I’ve been there. I am STILL there.

But here’s the thing:

You have to want to change more than you want to stay the same.

About a year ago, I got braces. My teeth weren’t super out of shape (at least, to anyone who saw me), but to me, they were hideously bad. In fact, I was so upset by their appearance that I actually refused to go on dates, to meet new people, to take photos. For real.

So uneven!!! *cries

Finally, I woke up one day and said No More! I’m getting my teeth fixed. Of course, because I’m a champion procrastinator and Excuse Maker, it actually took like, three months before I finally scheduled my appointment and went for it.

The morning of getting the braces, I was excited, happy, soooooo relieved to finally be getting my teeth changed. In the orthodontists chair, I was even more excited, happy, and soooooooooo relieved. But the minute I got home…

I wanted to tear the braces off with my bare hands.

I wanted to go back and demand they undo everything.

My brain was going on rapid-fire with all the “very valid reasons” why getting braces was the WORST idea ever and what was I thinking???? Examples: You’re too old for braces; it’s way too vain of you to get braces; you can’t afford braces; you have better/bigger/funner things to buy; people will laugh and point and call you Brace Face. I’m not sure where that last one came from.

On and on it went. For that first day…honestly, for that first week…I was really upset by what I had done. And it really hurt, too! My God, I can STILL feel the phantom tension in my teeth when I think about it. *shudder. And why? I mean, I’ve been wanting to get braces for months. Years! I knew my teeth needed straightened. I knew that I’d feel more confident with straight teeth. So what was my problem?

Quite simply, it was because I was changing something about myself. And to me, a very big something. My teeth. My appearance! Something permanent. And it freaked me out. Even though I wanted it. Because change is hard and scary.

It was only after that first week passed that I finally got excited and happy and soooo relieved again over my braces. And it’s because I learned to live with the pain of change. (Not that I had a choice. Braces are really hard to remove with your bare hands.) It was because I had to live my life and continue going to work and meeting up with friends and eating and hanging out with family. And I had to do that with my change. I learned to live with it and with that living, I learned it wasn’t so bad. In fact, it was great. I came out of it with straight pearly whites.

The change was for good. My teeth began shifting right away. My mind…that just had to take a week.