Our last post focused on the reasons we generally avoid change, be they related to a fear of the unknown, or unwillingness to surrender the comfortable and familiar. This post will explore the flip side of the coin. Change can represent excitement, new beginnings, and adventure – a fresh start or another chance. Here are four reasons to welcome and embrace change in your life, even if it is negative.
Change Presents Opportunity. The Chinese symbol for crisis simultaneously encompasses the symbols for danger and opportunity. Thus, there is hope to be found in even the most difficult life transitions. Change also allows us the opportunity to grow, improve, and heal. When we venture to make a change, be it voluntary or not, we open our minds, hearts, and lives to new experiences. The greatest danger of remaining in our comfort zones is the myriad of opportunities we are liable to miss by doing so. Regardless of your age, there are people and experiences you have yet to encounter, which may have the most profound impact on your life to date. Fearing change will keep you from these potentially life-changing opportunities.
The Unknown Can Be an Adventure. As elusive and “scary” as the unknown can seem, it could be just as appealing and exciting! Think of those individuals who are constantly seeking new experiences either by changing career paths, travelling to far off places, taking chances in life and love, broadening their social networks, redecorating, or trying new foods! Granted, these thoughts may make you cringe, but it is important to recognize that while some individuals have a strong aversion to change, others have an affinity for it. There are always two sides to a coin. See what you can learn from the other side of this one. Even small steps towards challenging your fear should be celebrated.
Take the Opportunity to Reinvent Yourself. This does not mean that who you are and what you are is not enough, but rather, that if there is something about yourself that you don’t like, only YOU have the power to change it. Say you are the victim of unexpected heartbreak – a change you didn’t foresee and certainly don’t want. As we mentioned previously, a personal crisis presents both “danger” and opportunity. With unwanted change, take the chance you’ve been given to grow and learn from the challenging experience. World renowned psychologist, creator of Meaning-Centred Therapy, and concentration camp survivor, Victor Frankl said that we cannot control all the things that happen to us in life, but we can always control how we react to them. Individuals who believe this, do not fear change, as they know they are equipped with the means to confront any challenge or new path.
Change Challenges Stagnation. A lack of change and forward movement in one’s life leads to stagnation, which can carry a variety of negative consequences be they physical, emotional, social, or otherwise. There is perhaps nothing that drains our energy more than resisting inevitable change. For example, imagine clinging to an unhealthy relationship, staying at a job that makes you unhappy, living in a home you have grown out of, etc. It is natural that we should grow and evolve at every stage of life. We are not suggesting that finding comfort and stability are not important goals, but rather that avoiding necessary change is unhealthy and will ultimately catch up with you, making the adjustment more difficult when the bubble bursts.
We hope this post has helped you understand the positive and useful aspects of change, and encourage you to consider how you might try to invite change in your lives, especially when it is what you need most.