The experts warn us that that not changing is unnatural. Everything in nature changes and evolves, so why shouldn't humans? The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said it best, "Change is the only constant." He believed that the universe is meant to be in a perpetual state of flux; seasons change, rivers flow, even the cells in our bodies renew themselves. Linda Ellerbee, journalist, is quotes as saying, "What I like most about change is that it can be a synonym for hope. If you are taking a risk, what you're really saying is, 'I believe in tomorrow and I will be a part of it.'" I love the idea that change means hope, don't you?
Afraid of change? Then flip the script. For every potential loss there's something to be gained. It's best to try and pinpoint exactly what's scaring you then try asking yourself, "What's the opportunity here? What would be different? What scares me? What could be great about this change?" Your answers may surprise you. If not, they'll for sure offer you insights into what is holding you back.
Other change experts say to write your memoir. Look back over the last five years and think about all the big changes that have occurred. What were the big obstacles for each of those changes? How did you overcome them? Now, imagine it's five years in the future. Your current struggle is behind you; answer these two questions.
- How did you get through?
- How did you use what you'd learned from the past?
So, what if you're not going through something BIG right now? Change is constant, right? And we do know that, eventually, another storm will roll in. There are little things you can do now to help you make peace with those changes when they do happen. We all love predictability in our lives; those little routine I mentioned earlier, like your daily trip to get coffee. Changing them, just a little when there's calm in your life, can actually help you deal with bigger changes later on. These are suggestions you can you when you're not in crisis...when your life is running smoothly. Instead of going for coffee what if, one day, you go sit in the sun and read for a few minutes? Or instead of taking your morning jog along the same path, find a new place to run. Every-so-often, I like to switch up my morning routine and take my swim in the afternoon instead of first thing. Even that small change can feel odd and uncomfortable, yet I feel exhilarated because I was able to do it. Learning to embrace change is important. And, more often than not, we find that the change was no where near as scary as we thought it would be. Maybe that change was the best thing to ever happen to us!
Facing change, head on, is tough for all of us but remembering that change is natural can offer us comfort. Think about a river. If it didn't keep flowing, what would happen? They become stagnant. The life that depends on them can't live. They begin to smell and, eventually, they dry up. Humans are kind of like that. Change is necessary to support life. When humans become stagnant, they lose their creativity. Life "smells" bad and becomes boring.
As a frog, I had no choice but to "morph" into the beautiful green frog I am today. It's just how nature works. But humans have a choice. You can face change, either with trepidation, or with an open heart and mind. And when you chose the later, change can be a beautiful thing.