5 Steps to Embrace Change

Go with the Flow

If you’ve ever moved house you’ll be familiar with the chaos and uncertainty that goes along with it.

* Will I like the new place as much as the old place?
* What if the new neighbors are a pain?
* How will I get to work now?
* I’m going to really miss this place.
* I don’t want to leave fond memories behind

I’m in the process of moving house, and so I’ve been pondering the effect that ‘big changes’ can have on our psyche.

For me, more often than not, change is a good thing. I crave change over routine and so moving house is exciting and exhilarating. But for many, change is a scary leap into the unknown.

Why do people fear change so much?

Change represents uncertainty.  As human beings, we like what we know. We feel ‘comfortable’ with what we know – because there are no hidden surprises and we feel in control.

Enter ‘uncertainty’ and our wheels start to wobble a little. The ‘what if’ questions start to filter through our minds, as we struggle with the prospect of not being in control.

In my experience, and I have struggled with ‘uncertainty’ before (interestingly I am OK with ‘change’ if I have created it myself), the worst thing you can do when you reach a crossroads or a period of uncertainty is to fight it.

Resistance to change and uncertainty only makes things worse. The tighter you hold on, the more slippery your grasp becomes. And so the best thing you can do is often just ‘let go and enjoy the ride.’

I’m not saying you should lie down and take every change that is thrown at you. You are in control of your life after-all. But once you’ve committed to a change (even if it’s scary) the best thing you can do is just go with it and be open to new opportunities in your life. Sometimes when we spend too much time looking backwards, we miss out on life.

I’ve talked about Open Minded Action before – and this concept ties in here. Take control of your life, but be open to the twists and turns of change – because believe me, nothing usually goes according to plan. And it’s the wise ones that are able to adapt and flow with change, instead of battling against it.

Why change is good for you

Think of change as a breath of fresh air! There are many, many positives about ‘change’. Here are just a few:

Change helps us to grow and learn
If we stay the same then we don’t learn and grow as a person. Change provides a rich environment for personal growth and invites us to understand more about who we are.

Change creates excitement in our lives
Imagine how boring life would be in a world with no change! Knowing exactly what each day brings with no surprises at all. Change makes life interesting and exciting.

Life IS change
The reality is – everything is constantly in a flux of change. Nothing ever stays the same. Our moods change from day to day, our relationships adapt over periods of time, even our bodies are changing every week. Buildings go up, while others are torn down, new businesses blossom, as others quietly fade away, new babies are born while the elderly pass away. The sooner we embrace ‘change’, the sooner we can roll with the ups and downs of life.

Simple Life Strategy: 5 Steps to Embrace Change

1. Start by altering the way you view ‘change’. Remember that everything is constantly changing each and every day and that nothing ever stays the same.

2. Instead of clinging onto old habits, make a concerted effort to proactively create new changes for yourself. These don’t have to be big life-changing things, start with small steps like making a small change your diet or your attitude.

3. Next time you feel a bit out of place, check in to see if it’s because you are experiencing ‘uncertainty’ about something. Often we are not even aware that  ‘uncertainty’ is the root cause of unsettling feelings. If uncertainty is the culprit – reframe your situation by trying to see the positives such as how ‘change is exciting!’.

4. Commit to personal growth. By embracing change, we start to learn much more about who we are and how we operate. Self-awareness leads to a more meaningful and happier life so by noticing the way you deal with change you can start to understand what you need to do differently to live a more fulfilling, successful life.

5. Accept change. Resist the urge to fight it and you’ll be surprised how much easier life can be when you let go and ‘work with’ change instead of against it. Go with the flow, live each day as it comes and enjoy the ride!

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Image Source: Kevin Dooley

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