Recently I worked with a forty seven year old Insurance Manager and she contacted me saying, “I’m so sick and tired of the same old thing every day. I know that by writing this email, I’ll be taking a step towards change, but just thinking about it makes me want to curl up in my bed and not come out for another year.”
People say that change is good, but what if you’re not ready for it? What if it’s too scary? In a safe and secure world, can change still be dangerous?
How we view our safety is within the context of our friendships, the environment we live in, our upbringing, and life experiences. Feeling unsafe is one way we can sabotage our chances of making positive purposeful change.
Change is good because it forces us to adapt, which is critical in today’s ever-changing climate. The only way we can survive the challenges that await us tomorrow is by embracing change and adapting ahead of time.
But change isn’t easy for everyone: you might be afraid to take risks, or you might be too comfortable with your current life situation–in either case, change will require some work on your part. But there are ways to make this transition easier and things you can do right now to start preparing for the future.
Why is it important?
Change is the process of becoming different. It can be a scary prospect, but it’s also necessary for growth. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, or if you’re not happy with your current life situation, it’s time to muster up the courage to make a change. It won’t be easy, but with the right mindset and a bit of confidence, you can change your life for the better.
To make the process of change easier, here are seven ways to become more open and accepting of it:
1. Observe your thoughts and feelings about change without judgment
People often shy away from change because they’re afraid of what might happen if they embrace it. They feel like they don’t know what will come next, which scares them. In order to feel less threatened by change, start observing your thoughts and feelings about it without judgment. If you decide that something isn’t for you, then tell yourself that’s fine – there are plenty of other choices out there for you.
2. Ask yourself what ‘comfortable’ actually means to you
When people say they don’t want change, what they really mean is that they don’t want to feel uncomfortable. However, not all change involves discomfort and still brings growth and improvement. Before you dismiss a possible change out of hand, ask yourself what ‘comfortable’ actually means to you. If it has nothing to do with your well-being and happiness, then ditch it!
3. Get out of your comfort zone
You might feel scared or worried about change, but that’s just because you’re used to the status quo. Staying in your comfort zone keeps you feeling safe and secure, but what’s the point of living if you’re not enjoying yourself? Push past those initial fears by spending more time out of your comfort zone. Your growth won’t be limited to the times when you’re actually in the process of changing!
4. Remember: no one can make you do anything you don’t want to do
If someone tries to convince you that change is good for you, and you don’t want to go along with it, then tell them no. It’s your life, so you decide what happens to it. No one can force you to do anything, so if they try, remind them that their opinion doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things – unless of course, they mean something direct to you (like parents or partners).
5. Ask yourself what change would get you closer to your life goals
Even if you’ve spent years trying to figure out what you want out of life, chances are that you still have no clue. Right? If not, then ask yourself what change would get you even one step closer to the life goals you don’t know yet. Don’t worry about whether the changes are small or big ones, just focus on how they would move you closer to the person you want to be.
6. Listen to your feelings
If something makes you uncomfortable – even just a little bit – then there’s likely some sort of resistance coming from deep inside of yourself. Work out what that is by talking it out with someone, or simply by observing your feelings about it. When you know what’s holding you back, you can work out how to best overcome that feeling of discomfort.
7. Decide the new ‘normal’ for your life
The prospect of change can be scary because it means that everything else in your life will have to be different too, which is why it’s important to decide the new ‘normal’ for your life. Make a list of what you want to achieve, and go after it! It might seem impossible right now, but nothing ever came out of negativity or complacency.
When you know what you want, then all that’s left is to be positive about the changes that will get you there. Remember that you can’t get to the destination if you don’t get on the road, and that’s where change comes in. Change isn’t something to be afraid of; it’s something to embrace because with growth comes an opportunity for happiness.
Fiona Craig is a life coach, psychotherapist, business mentor, and published author of the award winning self-help book, “Stuck in a Rut – How to rescue yourself & live your truth” helping women remove the fear, worry and guilt to confidently take the steps towards creating the life they want to live.
Fiona has been interviewed by The Australian Women’s Weekly, Women’s Fitness Magazine and The New Daily and written articles for Collective Magazine, Herald Sun Melbourne, Sunday Life Magazine, Career One, I Am Woman Magazine, plus Mouths Of Mums and other online publications. You can learn more about working with Fiona at www.lifebalancecoach.com.au or call 0405 433 217.