This topic has come to mind as I’ve recently gone through a period of change in my life. Moving to a new house and changing jobs made me feel a little overwhelmed. I spent a lot of energy resisting the change in the beginning and the overall thought of it. Even though I was resisting change I pushed on through and did it. This got me thinking. Why did I waste so much energy resisting this change when it ultimately helped me to be a happier person? Why do any of us resist change when most of the time it helps us grow and bring about opportunities we could only dream of doing?
I gave this topic a bit of a google, read a book and came up with some sort of answer.
Why we resist change:
- Fear. We fear the unknown. I’m pretty sure most of us are aware of this. We avoid this necessary evil as much as possible. You may really want to change your job but figure it’s too much of a hurdle. Or, you may want to change the colour of your hair but are scared of what people will think. We always have this ringing in our ear that we will fail. I guess it’s easier not to try, right? It’s so much easier to be snuggled up on the couch in a blanket than to be out there pushing our limits.
- Change makes us realise nothing is permanent. This is pretty scary. We all want to live forever and change makes us realise we are one step closer to the unwanted friend knocking on our door.
- We like our comfort bubbles. We like routine. Comfort = routine and routine = comfort. Uncertainty is no fun. Most of us like to know what we are doing with our lives, where we are going to work and when we are going to have a holiday. If we don’t know these things we feel uncertain and fear creeps in.
- Our brain likes to know things. If we don’t know something then we make up an answer. Usually these answers are worst case scenarios. You don’t know where your living in a months time? I guarantee your brain has told you are going to be homeless. You are going to join a gym? I guarantee your brain has told you will quit within a year. We tell ourselves stories all the time to prepare for the worst. If we are prepared then there will be no surprises, no one likes being caught off guard.
- Change is an effort. Trying is hard, If it all goes badly then we have wasted all that energy for nothing. We don’t like wasting our energy.
How to stop feeling overwhelmed by change:
- Make an effort: Effort= progress. To make an effort you need to be thinking positive, feeling fresh and open to new ideas. One way I would suggest doing this is by taking time for yourself. Be still. Eat well, sleep well and exercise well. You need to have the right mental energy to be open to change.
- Tackle your perception of fear. When you tackle your perception of fear you can achieve things you only dreamed of. Things that were scary before become less scary as you explore your road blocks. For example you might want to move towns but are scared of having no friends and having to start fresh. If you realise this is not a bad thing but in fact a good thing that will help you to grow, then the fear automatically loses it’s power. I know this is easily said and hard to do but if you look after your mind by taking time for yourself (whatever that may be) then you will have the foundation to change your thinking.
- Learn how to get rid of feelings of regret. It is easy to say don’t feel bad about change but actually doing it is another thing. Coming to realise nothing is so serious you won’t function is important. Regret does not serve you. Shrug it off and put it to the back of your mind like a cloud passing in the sky. I recommend reading the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (read about it on my blog post by clicking here). This book will help you to change your mindset and realise there is nothing to be regretful for. No one is worried about what YOU do. Most people are caught up in their own wee worlds.
- Ride the wave of change. Let go, relax and meditate on all the possibilities you could have if you limit regret and fear. They don’t have to hold you back.
- Learn that it is okay to be different. Every single one of us are different and yes, we have some similarities, but we are not all the same. We are full of different genes, wants and experiences. Work with what you have and don’t be sorry. To get to this stage training yourself to have a positive mind is essential. (One way I train my mind is through meditation, check out my blog post on 5 guided 10 minute meditations by clicking here). Accepting you are different will help you to make changes that are not within the status quo and will ultimately lead to your happiness.
Overall, change can and does happen without our input and it is essential to ride the wave of change. It will always happen and all you can do is come to terms with this. When you do get the chance to make a change in your life big or small just go for it. Think a little, but please don’t think too much. Your brain is good at making things up.
I hope this post might of helped some of you struggling with change or at least provided you with a nice read.
If you have anything you would like to add please let me know. I am always open to new opinions and ideas!