Whether you feel the need to buy a new house, start a family or move to a new city, SHIFTER columnist, Don Ayiti, offers four tips on how to accept and welcome change.
I used to dread the idea of change. It honestly scared the living hell out of me. With time, I’ve come to understand and accept that life is about change. Why would you want to remain the same person for 80 plus years when life can offer you so many opportunities to explore and discover different parts of yourself? Whether you feel the need to buy a new house, start a family or move to a new city, here are for tips on how to accept and welcome change.
1. Face your fears
Whether it’s the fear of the unknown, the fear of failure or even the fear of success (yes, it’s a thing), this emotion can be very paralyzing. It takes a lot of will power to face your fears and that’s something that a lot of people lack.
We’re all afraid of something. It’s normal. But it’s important to realize that some of our fears can be very irrational. We invent catastrophic scenarios in our heads and make decisions based on problems that we don’t even have.
Despite popular beliefs, fear is actually a very comfortable emotion. Indeed, instead of dealing with it head on, many of us choose to accept our fears as part of our lives. What we need to remember is that on the other side of fear, there is peace, and the best version of ourselves resides on the other side of fear.
Overcoming our fears is one of the biggest signs of personal growth. Once you’ve faced that one thing that you’re afraid of, that one thing that feels impossible to conquer, you will realize that you are no longer the same person. You will no longer be concerned by the things that once kept you stuck. I’m in no way saying that you will never be afraid of anything again, but you’ll be definitely be a better person for it.
2. Recognize when it’s happening
Change is an uncomfortable thing. It sort of just…happens. People can try to push it on you and patiently wait for it to occur in your life, but ultimately, change will happen whenever it’s meant to happen. When you feel ready to move out, every single part of you will start itching until you actually do it.
When you know you’re ready to leave a certain job, your mind will naturally start to wander towards indeed.com. That’s just how life goes. You find yourself and then lose yourself again until a new version of yourself pops out. This cycle will repeat itself over and over and over again and there’s no point in resisting it. That’s why it’s important to recognize that you’re in this process when it’s happening. You develop new interests and new hobbies, your priorities change, you have new concerns and your heart starts telling you new things.
The result of these changes will first reflect in the way you interact with your circle. Birds of a feather flock together. The people around you need to reflect who you are and what you believe it. Forcing the longevity of certain connections once they’ve expired will cause you more harm than good. Understand that it’s okay if the things you used to partake in no longer resonate with you.
3. Talk about it
Ask around and I guarantee you that you will easily find a dozen people in your life who have gone through whatever you are going through right now. Whether you’re buying your first house, becoming a parent for the first time or moving to a new city, there are certainly people in your circle who have experienced this change before. They can be older or younger than you, ultimately it doesn’t matter. A bit of outside perspective won’t hurt you. I don’t encourage you to go tell everyone about your life plans, but it can really feel good to talk to somebody who can understand you and who will listen to you. After all, that’s what friends are for, right?
4. Listen to your heart
I know. It’s easier said than done. Listen, I’ve had my share of regrets and bruises too. But ultimately, I’ve come to realized that the hard things we go through in life happen for us and not to us. All for the sake of our character development. Those events are outside of our control and in order to grow in life, we need to accept that.
Change happens in the heart first. Which means that when it’s time for you to start a new season of your life or to embark on a new journey, you will hear it in your heart first. Unfortunately, listening to your heart means that you will most likely get hurt and make mistakes again. That completely okay. That’s what life is all about. It’s a finite opportunity to explore the infinite unknown. You have to be exceptionally brave to do that without a manual or guide. So if you are ever feeling lost in the face of change, allow your heart to be your compass. Most importantly, let it remind you that you are alive.