The only constant in life is change. Heard that before?
The shame of it is though, we have probably heard that phrase so many times, that we don’t even think of how true it is. Because it is. Life is chaos.
Other constants of life include the fact that it never stops moving.
However, its capability to speed up, slow right down and change direction, sometimes simultaneously, is what makes the unpredictability of change either incredibly exciting or unbearably scary.
We don’t always know what lies ahead for us, however we do know how we can approach and react to whatever comes.
Much of the fear that comes with change is down to the discomfort felt around the unknown that change brings.
We can however embrace it, and (as the title of this blog suggests) even use it our advantage.
We Can’t Control It All
When change occurs, sometimes it feels as though we are like an autumn leaf, whose fate is decided by the direction and fierceness of the wind.
This is not a true reflection though.
We actually do have control; we just have to be ok with the fact that we don’t have control over everything.
Accepting this and reminding yourself of those things that are within your domain, is crucial to combat any feelings of powerlessness you may be experiencing.
With change, our focus can sway onto all those new things that we can do nothing about, as well as potentially ones we don’t know about quite yet. It can send us into a spiral of overthinking and panic. Remembering your circle of control and reaffirming it with yourself makes change much less daunting.
When you begin to feel yourself eventually gripping the wheel, you will feel much more assured and motivated at the prospect of navigating change and embracing what comes your way.
If you are feeling that change is engulfing your everyday life and altering everything you recognise as normal, we need some constants.
For this, there is no better place to start than with some self-care practises. These practises serve a few highly important purposes.
They give you that dose of normality and control that you may be craving whilst the world is shifting around you. They also get your mind and body prepared to embrace what is to come.
If you ignore self-care and spend all your time fighting for breath in a tidal wave of overthinking, fear, and what-ifs… how are you actually going to make the most of the opportunities that change brings?
Self-care could be anything that maintains and soothes you. A warm bath, a quiet stroll, or one that I would highly recommend personally, setting aside time to read and learn something new.
Seek new ideas and perspectives. Be open to trying new things
If there is something you dream of having or achieving, something needs to change for you to get it… or surely you would have it already.
Einstein actually said it is insanity to do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results.
Therefore, change should be welcomed as an opportunity to explore something new and add exciting things to our lives.
Crucial to this is having an open mind and keeping pre-judgements to a minimum.
When we are not fully onboard with change, we can actually taint those new ideas prematurely by convincing ourselves that it will not compare to what we have now. This is because we can fall into that trap of believing that if it makes us uncomfortable, then it must be bad.
A good method to combat this is to communicate with others about what is happening and seek alternative perspectives. This could be through conversations, however podcasts and online communities can be just as effective.
Celebrate your growth during change
It would be incredible if you lived a life that had never seen change. Actually, I would say… impossible. Therefore a great way to motivate you, to embrace whatever is heading your way, is to think back to previous changes, and how you grew and gained new skills during that time.
You may even remember how hesitant you were before developing these new attributes and how the hesitancy evolved into excitement and accomplishment. Reminiscing about these journeys is super empowering and can change your attitude and perspective very quickly.
You can also protect yourself against future feelings of uncertainty, by tracking your growth for the change that is ahead. Set yourself goals that challenge and energise you. Begin to plot your way through this next stage of your life.
This will keep you focused now but will also be a great source of encouragement when you next require it. Also, never forget to celebrate everything you achieve along the way!
Buy yourself a box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers or maybe just a well earned pat on the back.
Learn to live with uncertainty
Change needs to exist, for life to not be boring. If everything was known, understood and certain we would not need to experience anything new, because we’d know exactly what would happen if we did.
The best way that you can prepare yourself for change, and the things that seem uncertain to you, is to try something new every day and to regularly immerse yourself into the unknown.
Over time, your perception of the unknown will transform completely, and change will be much less daunting, and just another part of your journey to be fully embraced and explored.
It is an incredibly valuable exercise to reflect on your relationship with change. Until you do, you may not be aware of its true state.
Investing time, in working on how adaptable and agile you are, will mean that you will be more likely to thrive in whatever situation you find yourself in, whether it is a change you decided on, or one that has been forced upon you.
As I said right at the beginning, changes are like waves. They are a constant. The best thing you can do is not to try to stop the unstoppable.
You are much better off learning how to surf.
If you liked this blog, have a look at our short video summary here:
Alex & The Excel Team
P.S. If you would like to discuss any of your learning & development challenges for 2021, call us on +44(0) 1628488 854.
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