How do you feel about change? Do you resist it or open your arms wide to embrace it?
Perhaps you take up residence in the Land of Denial and pretend that everything is going to stay just the way it is forever and it will all be just peachy.
Or maybe you go into hunker-down mode and try to control various aspects of the change… and negotiate with change: “you can change this but not that.”
Where change is concerned, if you’re not opening your arms to it you are resisting it. Resisting is futile. It won’t stop change from happening, but you might be dragged through the door rather than walking on your own two feet.
Speaking from my own personal experience (and having the metaphorical carpet burns on my shins to prove it), walking through the door of change is a whole lot easier and empowering than being dragged through kicking and screaming. Change will happen!
Change is the natural state of the Universe, so I find it intriguing that so many of us clench our fists, dig in our heels and resist the heck out of change.
Why is that? What are we really afraid of?
Change opens the door to the unknown. We’re taught the unknown is a scary place, because you don’t know what you will find there.
I suppose in part that is true. You may not know what to expect or what you’ll find there. Does it have to mean you’ll encounter danger and hardship? Instead, couldn’t you be walking through the door of the unknown into the greatest treasure of your life?
Growth leads to expansion and more life. Stagnation leads to death (literally and figuratively). So when we want to keep things in a locked or fixed position, like a snapshot in time, we are in essence draining the life out of it.
For something to grow and evolve it must change. Change is the natural process of growth.
And. Yet. We. Resist. We fuss and struggle and complain and whine and carry on like some great tragedy is unfolding. What if change was the greatest gift you could receive in this moment?
What if you could find a way to be grateful for the changes that are happening in your life, whether or not you wanted the change? I wonder how much smoother your journey through the changing landscape of your life would be.
I wonder how embracing and accepting change might blast open opportunities that you never knew existed because you weren’t in a place where you could see them. Because when we are in a state of resisting change, we are blind to the potentials and possibilities that change is ushering into our lives.
Resistance to change is often tied to our identity – who we think we are. So the resistance to change often masks the deeper fear of “who will I be without this in my life?”
I saw this with some of my clients when they were downsized from their management job or took an early retirement. They were like a fish out of water and lost their sense of self. They didn’t even realize how much their identity, credibility and self-esteem was tied to their job and title.
The change they experienced rocked their world. The women who continued to resist it had a difficult climb back to feeling good about themselves again.
The women who decided to embrace the change and be open to the next chapter of their life created exciting new opportunities and started having more fun. They allowed the changes to help them rediscover their true self again and began learning to love and accept themselves “as is”.
So if change is howling outside your door today, instead of cowering in the closet, drape a courage cloak around your shoulders and howl back: “Whoo-Hoo! I am ready to grow and thrive through this change and enjoy myself in the process!”
Here are some questions to journal about or dialog with yourself about… you can even talk about these with a friend. The key is to do it, honestly answer the questions, keep asking till you feel some emotion come up.
That’s a sign you’re on to something big!
A) If you are currently facing a change somewhere in your life:
- Where in your life are you resisting change?
- Why do you think that is?
- What is the fear behind the resistance to change?
- What is the chain of events that you think will happen as a result?
- Who would you be as a result of this change?
B) If you want to make a change in your life:
- What would you love to change in your life, work, environment, home, relationships?
- Why? What do you wish to gain from making this change?
- What stops you from making that change?
- What is the fear?
- When would you like to make this change?
- Who would you be as a result of this change?
C) Applies to both A & B situations
- What changes have you gone through in your life that may have scared you when it happened but actually turned out to be a good thing?
- How is this impending change similar or different?
- What might the gift be in this change?