Happy 2020, friends! As we step into a new year and a new decade, we’re all inevitably looking back on the past year(s) and making resolutions for the year to come.
Funnily enough, my last yearly review is just two posts down (damn am I inactive!) and yet, almost every bit of my life has changed since then. It was a year of changes, choices, pain & heartbreak, learning to let go of things and people and adjusting to situations I had never been in before.
But damn it, it was a good year.
The topic of change is one of those universal topics that each and every one of us has to deal with at some point in our lives. It’s also something a lot of people seem to fear. Having gone through some major life changes myself, I believe that sharing my point of view might help some of you who are going through a change or plan on making one.
One thing I can tell you for sure: Change is inevitable and it happens whether we want it or not. We don’t always have control over the outcome, but we can choose not to become the victim by adjusting our mindset. Because the way we approach change has a huge impact on whether we perceive it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. So whenever change is coming your way, it’s important not to let yourself get overwhelmed by fear. But why is change such a big deal for us humans anyway?
Us humans are creatures of habit and routine. We like having security in our lives and feeling safe in our comfort zones. This has much more to do with instincts rather than lifestyle. Almost everything we do throughout our lives revolves around building a safe and stable environment to live in – the careers we choose, the relationships we build, the decisions we make. So naturally, we aren’t keen on making (big) changes unless we have a 100% guarantee that the outcome would be positive. This, of course, is something no one can guarantee.
Fearing change is an instinct. Letting it dictate your life is a choice.
Think about the last time you felt fed up with something. Did you think about what it would be like if you changed it? Did you actually change it?
The moment we take change into consideration, we start creating a list of pros and cons in our heads. However, more often than not, it’s not real arguments that scare us away – it’s the fact that something is no longer going to be the way it was. At that point, it doesn’t even matter how ‘good’ a change is – it’s still a change. And no, we can’t tell for sure how it’s going to play out in the long run. But we sure as hell shouldn’t let it stop us from doing it anyway.
So how do we muster the courage to make a change?
I’m a big fan of changes. Nothing refreshes your view on life quite like putting yourself into a new situation when you feel like it’s the right thing to do. It’s not always fun and it’s rarely easy, but I don’t shy away from taking risks when I believe it’s a change for the better. Some call it brave, others call it impulsive and I get that too – people tend to be less understanding when they fear change themselves. However, we need change in order to grow – you can’t move forward if you don’t move at all. The sooner you realize this, the easier it will become for you to let go of certain situations, people and beliefs.
Here are a couple of thoughts on the subject that might be worth reflecting on the next time you’re facing changes in your life.
– Whether you actively make a change or a change happens to you, it’s often the period of transition that’s the scariest. At that moment it’s important to remember that this is just a phase and it’s something you have to go through. It’s the moment between your life the way it was and your life the way it’s going to be. See it as a chance to take some control over the outcome of the change.
– Focus on the positive. There’s a reason a change is happening to you and often enough you’re just yet to find out what it is. Everything that happens to us can teach us something. See this as an opportunity to reflect on yourself and the situation, to grow and to discover new aspects of your personality.
– Should you be the one to initiate the change, try your best NOT to question your decision. Don’t ask yourself “What if?”. Don’t look back trying to figure our what would’ve happened if you hadn’t taken that step. All this will do is mess up with your head and make you even more scared of whatever’s coming your way. Accept things the way they are and trust that you made the right call in the first place.
– Don’t fear the unknown. No matter how you imagine the future will play out I guarantee you, the universe has other plans for you. Some might be good, some might be bad. Either way, as the saying goes: Everything happens for a reason. I personally like to think so too. Sometimes we just need to go a little deeper into ourselves to see the connections.
I hope 2020 is good to you. I hope you find the courage to make that change you’ve been (secretly) wanting to for a long time and I hope it turns out to be a good one. Be brave, believe in yourself and make things happen. Every journey you embark on begins with a single step.