Every minute you put off change, is another minute you wait to be where you want to be!
For you and I to cope with the demands of life, we need to adapt to change. Like it or not, life is all about change. The weather changes, people change, the market place changes, we all grow, we live, and we also die.
Now this is not said to depress you – we must expect change. Our ability to be flexible, to make changes and to adapt, directly impacts on the quality of life we enjoy and the amount of stress we experience.
The laws of nature teach us much. Think of how trees withstand enormous pressure from the elements, but by being flexible, swaying to-and-fro in the wind, they remain standing when nature’s fury subsides.
Not all change is welcome. Some changes turn our worlds upside down; some changes feel as if they have the power to destroy our will to carry on. However, many of our greatest lessons come from changes forced upon us. We learn empathy, patience, endurance, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance.
Change comes from three main sources:
- Forced and unexpected changes imposed upon us and that are beyond our control;
- The inner developmental changes that are inherent in our physical and emotional growth to maturation;
- Changes that we initiate to achieve our goals.
The first two sources of change can precipitate a crisis which can lead to either an opportunity for growth or the danger of having a negative impact. When someone close to us dies, especially a spouse, we have to change from being an “us” to being a “me” again. When we lose a beloved child, we need to look inside ourselves and see how we can recreate a future of purpose, one that has been greatly altered through our loss. When we lose a job, as have many in this time of global recession, we need to dig deep within ourselves to find another path and way of doing things. For some of us it means simply working harder to earn less than we were used to. Following major changes, life will simply NEVER be the same, it will be DIFFERENT.
Change is part of the human condition and refusal to change can cause many emotional problems that directly impact on our mental health.
Change is also positive, in that we can decide at any time to make adjustments, improve on our life skills, our relationships, our effectiveness at work or any other aspect of our lives. To change takes courage. Sometimes we have to be “sick and tired” enough of a situation, before we take ourselves out of our “familiar but uncomfortable” zone and make the changes. Different results only come from doing things differently. Change can therefore also be embraced – all it takes is a decision to make the desired change. Remember, in life we often regret the things we don’t do, far more than the things we do.
The saying “one door closes and another one opens” is true. Be open to that possibility!