It was exciting, yet scary; it was a well-trodden path for others before me; but new to me. It was the turning point in my life. I had just left my job of many years. Being ‘out there’ was different, very different. Change had come into my life. I was outside my comfort zone.
The winds of change are always blowing through our lives. Change is that constant in life, that impermanency of life. Change is inevitable and sometimes even desirable and necessary like for me; I felt I had reached the end of the line but the uncertainty of not knowing what was ahead was better than continuing where I was. Some people yearn for it, others, it is thrust upon them. Sometimes, it comes slowly- without you noticing, sometimes, it comes like a rollercoaster-without notice. But one thing is clear; you have to make a choice, either resist or embrace change. I chose to embrace it and go with the flow, because every day in my past life felt like a small death: of my dreams, of who I really was.
Change is a real threat, make no mistake. It can change your reality as you know it; it can push you to oblivion or make you stronger, greater and better. Even though change can be abrupt and with a force that leaves you spinning, facing change with resistance and denial can cause a lot of pain, loss and isolation. The best thing you can do is to accept that change isn’t always bad, have a positive attitude and embrace it as it comes.
Change happens sometimes after an event or as a continuous progression of life as people and places outgrow their roles and lose their relevance in our lives. The death of a spouse, divorce, retrenchment or job loss, relocation to another country – all can bring about major changes. Following are some of the things you can do that make embracing change a lot easier.
Acceptance – accept that life can’t always be the same; after all, wouldn’t life be dull and monotonous? Try to understand what kind of transformation is happening and why. For me, it was a time of reflection, healing, spiritual growth and renewal. I realized that I had been so stressed and unknowingly close to a breakdown. God had plucked me out just in the nick of time. So make the necessary shifts or adaptations and allow the change to unfold. Do you need to move to a smaller house, take the kids to a cheaper school, sell the car or scale down your budget? Because I didn’t have a steady source of income any more, I was motivated to look for several ways to bridge the gap. This enabled me to deal with the change effectively and move forward. Remember, you cannot accomplish anything in life without moving forward. Acceptance empowers you to turn the events and circumstances round for the better.
Let go-there is a time and season for everything. Some people or things are meant to be with us only for a while, others for life. I lost a good number of “friends” because they thought I would become a burden- the kind that sees you and crosses the street because they think you’ll ask for bus fare-Yah. It is inevitable that you will lose some as you proceed with life. Learn to let go.
Be flexible-learn to adapt to new environments, situations and people. Get a different perspective and keep an open mind; to other cultures, people of all walks of life, ideas, places and ways of doing things. This brings about personal growth. You discover different aspects of life, gain new experiences and greater insight.
Positive attitude– change sweeps through our life in order to take us to another direction. I became a writer and entrepreneur after being in the insurance industry for ages. See it as an opportunity for growth and other new experiences that could bring about happiness and fulfillment. Realize that change can be for the better and could lead you exactly where you are going.
Life Values– changes like redundancy and unemployment can make one feel devalued, insignificant, frustrated and worthless. The secret is to learn to draw your sense of worth from who you are and not from what you do. Draw strength from your life values and belief system. Believe in yourself, believe that you can survive this, believe that there are better things and times ahead.
Change can be rewarding, liberating or painful, it can make you or break you. Embracing change helps us to face reality and can make all the difference between being slightly shaken and being totally shattered.