Life, I’m learning, brings with it constant change. When things are tough, we long for change. Or at least we SAY we do. Then when it happens we realize that even change we want creates the need for adapting, rethinking our priorities and finding out how we best fit into our new circumstances.
Change – even when it’s for the better – means letting go of what we know. Sometimes it’s actually easier to hang on to what is familiar, even if the familiar isn’t all that fabulous, because stepping into new territory means stepping into the unknown. But just think, what if the unknown is WAY better?! There’s no way to know unless we go for it.
My life right now is full of opportunities to adapt to all kinds of changes. The past few years brought a number of changes that weren’t necessarily changes I wanted, others have been changes for the better. But through both types of change, here is what I’m learning…
1. If you look for the negatives, you will find them.
2. If you look at the positives, you will find them, too.
3. Most change isn’t about you, even if it affects you. So don’t take it too personally that the world will never sit still. It’s just life.
4. Resist the urge to dig in your heels and resist necessary change. That just doesn’t work. (Believe me.) You can kick and fight, but you’re still eventually going to have to roll with it.
5. Realize that your response to changing circumstances affects the people around you. You could be a key influencer in your family, work, community, church, etc. if you proactively find ways to transition thoughtfully and proactively.
6. Let your heart be changed first. Once the heart to surrenders to the next stage of life, a new direction, or a new challenge, you are free to let your mind think rationally and objectively about how to make it work best logistically. (This will probably take some prayer, or it did for me at least.)
7. Don’t mull over the way things used to be – good or bad. That’s kind of like trying to climb a mountain on a treadmill. Move forward in your mind and be open to the fact that this change could bring about something far greater down the road than you can see (or even imagine) right now.
8. Consider that every circumstance you face holds within it the opportunity for you to become a better person. (I know, I know… but I HAD to say it.) As a rule, people who navigate change well are more successful and happy… and don’t ask for my scientific study on that. It’s purely an observation.
I can’t even remember how many things in my world have changed and changed again during the past five years. Even during the past week, I’ve been working through an upcoming change that could be amazingly wonderful or really tough. So I’ll be going over this blog myself in a few weeks to remind myself that the 8 things listed above have helped me adapt to new challenges up until now and could help me think through the next few transitions more rationally, too.
Change can be challenging and scary! But you can do it.