Your ability to embrace change shows you have potential and allows you to develop and create in a way that keeping the status quo will not. Yet, despite knowing that change is good for us, people have a nearly unanimous aversion to it. Lack of control, uncertainty and a fear of failure are all reasons we run from change. If you can master your negative reactions to change and instead learn to welcome the opportunities that change brings, you will find yourself at an advantage to those around you and more at peace with any turbulence in your life. There are small mindful steps you can take to help you learn to embrace change.
Control your ego.
First, when change is thrust upon you, you need to be able to control your ego. Setting your ego aside means accepting that you do not know it all, very likely you must learn something new, maybe even something that will negate any “expert” knowledge you enjoyed in the past. Humility can be hard for most people. Change brings challenge, and challenge brings an opportunity for success, or for failure. Yes, you might fail. You might disappoint those around you, you might lose money and you might embarrass yourself, but greeting change with doubt and insecurity has an unpleasant way of being self- fulfilling. If you think you will fail, you are more likely to fail. Conversely, if you think you will succeed, you are more likely to take the steps necessary to ensure that you do. Try to create a plan to introduce the change gradually into your life at predictable intervals. This way you are pushing yourself forward, but not all at once. Success and adapting to a new challenge won’t happen overnight, like anything else, if you practice, you’re going to get better at it.
Often, we can see change coming long before it arrives, but we seldom do anything to prepare. Being prepared means the change will feel less chaotic and will allow you to assist friends or colleagues in the same situation. Change is a wonderful opportunity to set an example for other people to look up to you. By initiating the goodwill and support necessary to succeed, rather than resisting change until acceptance is unavoidable, you can serve as a positive role model for those around you.
The best work advice I ever received is, “Don’t allow yourself to become too comfortable”. When you are comfortable, whether in your work life or in your life in general, you become complacent. While being satisfied and unworried in life may seem like a great place to be, complacency can have a devastating influence on your productivity, creativity and desire to engage with the world around you. In other words, imagine yourself in the sloth-like comfort of your couch in front of the TV versus picturing yourself organizing and planting that herb garden on your balcony that looked so lovely in the magazine photo. One version of yourself is safely nestled in a familiar routine, while the other is trying something new. Find comfort in being uncomfortable because it means you are becoming an even better version of yourself.
Ideally, our lives contain a balance of dependable comfort and routine, while also challenging us with new opportunities to grow and develop. So how do we keep ourselves from becoming complacent? That’s a good question. Our natural compulsion, when faced with a new situation, is to work to make our life predictable and reliable again, but when we’ve been following the same pattern for a long time it’s far less instinctual to seek ways to disrupt that pattern. Most people wait to deal with change until it is thrust upon them, which means overcoming that reluctance before you can even begin to react to the change. You would be wise to make change a constant in your life. Complacency has a way of sneaking into our lives so it’s important to consciously add new experiences on a regular basis. You can do this by participating in community events, volunteering yourself for new projects at work or daring yourself to try out new pastimes and hobbies. The results may surprise you!
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