Change is the one constant element in our lives that can send our carefully crafted plans spiraling into chaos. It has a way of knocking on our door unannounced, demanding that we let go of the familiar and embrace the unknown. Sometimes that's in good ways; other times, not so much. As I reflect on my own continued journey of navigating ongoing changes in my life, I can clearly see that change has continued to be a catalyst for personal growth and a way to continue building my overall resilience.
When faced with unexpected changes in life, we can initially experience a wide range of emotions such as fear, worry, anger and other lower frequency emotions. Ideally, we all want to remain "comfortable" in our lives and we often see change as the opposite - uncomfortable, uninvited and oftentimes negative in nature. However, the more we resist the changes that are occurring, the more we can get STUCK in them and that is even more uncomfortable. In those moments, we might begin feeling trapped not only by the changes, but also by our reactions to them.
While "familiar" might feel most "comfortable," we are not meant to stay the same forever. This reflection has crossed my mind quite frequently over the past few weeks, especially as I'm coming up on several significant milestones of changes that occurred one year ago in my life and my career. The truth is, when we really think about it, there are always things changing around us throughout our lives - the people, the places we live, the jobs we have, the bosses we report to, the weather, the cars we drive and so much more. Some of those things are BIG changes that we definitely notice, while other things on that list happen sometimes without us even noticing.
Getting UNSTUCK from the uncomfortableness of change means having the courage to let go and go with the flow of what's changing, rather than fighting the currents around us that we have no control over anyway. Fighting what is happening in these moments of unexpected change only wastes time and energy and perpetuates more negative or low frequency emotions. And that's why we get stuck (and can STAY STUCK if we're not careful).
Change has a way of stretching us beyond our limits, forcing us to confront our fears and pushing us out of our comfort zones. However, in the midst of that, it can help to reveal our hidden strengths and untapped potential. Ask yourself these questions:
Can you think of a time when an unexpected change occurred in your life?
With that particular change in mind, think about how you felt at the time that it happened.
Now reflect back on the timeframe after you had navigated through the change and any positives that you experienced. What did you learn about yourself? What did it change for the better in your life or career from that point forward? What would you have never tried had you not had an opportunity to face your fears and step outside of your comfort zone and what was familiar?
So how do we GET UNSTUCK when it comes to CHANGE? It's when we can finally begin to understand the importance of embracing uncertainty. The more we TRY to control the changes that are happening in our lives and careers, the more OUT OF CONTROL we feel. As I continued my energetic transformation work, I began to ask myself how things would feel if I were able to trust that each change that was occurring in my life and career was an opportunity for growth and self-discovery, rather than seeing it as uncomfortable and unwanted.
As a result of being able to make that mindset shift, change became easier. And since I was no longer spending so much energy trying to control what was happening around me, it gave me more time for more important things such as exploring what I truly want in life and identifying paths that were a match for my true purpose, passions and values. The blank slate that change provided allowed me the opportunity to dream bigger and pursue an even more aligned and exciting future path.
Of course, navigating change is not without its challenges. There were (and continue to be) moments of doubt and uncertainty, when the road ahead seems daunting or I feel the familiar pull of wanting to regain "control" over what is happening. But with each step forward and continued practice reframing my thoughts around dealing with change, it gets easier every day. I am grateful for the transformative power of change. It has taught me to embrace the present moment, to welcome the unexpected with open arms and to view life's challenges as opportunities for growth. Change may continue to knock on my door, but now I am ready and willing to invite it in, knowing that within its embrace lies the promise of a richer, more fulfilling life.
So, if you find yourself facing the winds of change in your life or career, remember that you are not alone. Embrace the journey, trust in your resilience and let change be the catalyst that propels you towards a future filled with infinite possibilities that you never could have imagined on your own!
(Photo Credit: Josh Hild, Unsplash)