CHANGE IS A GOOD THING! WHY DOESN'T OUR BRAIN SEE IT THAT WAY?
I decided to write my article this week on change and how our perspectives and expectations of it are usually so far off because I am currently going through a period of significant change in my life. As with any change there was the potential for this change to be scary-as-hell, and to be honest there were points when I was scared. I had a lot of self-doubt. I did not want things to change because they were so great but that was not to be and my wife and I have been forced to re-adjust our game plan and embrace change, which has, over the last month or so, brought with it incredible new opportunities that were not even on our horizon just a few weeks ago!
So why is change so scary? It has been said that we fear the unknown because we cannot anticipate the outcome, which is probably true to an extent. If we are in a secure job, in a secure home and with family and friends we know then we can anticipate with some certainty what is going to happen tomorrow, next week or next year, and this gives us a level of comfort. However in the current day and age I believe that a lot of the anxiety around change comes from the social pressure we put on ourselves to be seen as stable and successful. With every part of our lives on display for everyone to see sometimes change doesn't just mean change, it could also mean people judging us for the change.
Having said this I truly believe that change is an essential part of the growth of every human-being if we do not change then we sit in our little eggshell and we never develop or try new things or get a taste of the incredibly vast array of experiences that the world has to offer! The fear of change can also cause so much more pain than the change itself. If you are in a job, a house or even a relationship that drains the happiness from your life but you are too afraid to make the change then this article should speak to you! It is time to surmount your fears and make the changes that will better your life!
The question is how can we alter our perspective of change so that we see it as a positive instead of a negative. Below are a few steps that have helped me adjust my perspective and hopefully can help you do the same.
1. Work out the very worst case scenario and come to terms with it.
If you quit your job today to develop a business around your passion and it all goes horribly wrong what is the worst thing that could happen? Potentially you end up with no money or even in debt and you have to move back in with your parents? Imagine the embarrassment of having to tell your friends you are living with your parents at 30 years old. Ok now you understand the worst case scenario.....is it really that bad? So what if people judge you, any of your friends that judge you and don't support you should maybe be the next target of change in your life?
If you can really understand what the worst case scenario is and you develop a plan for the possibility of that happening and can really come to terms with it then a huge part of the fear of change is removed. Once you have your plan for the worst case you put that aside and it is time to focus!
2. Focus on the positive aspects
So you have a good understanding of the potential downside but what is the upside? More time to spend with your family and on yourself, working on a project that you truly enjoy and that you can really take ownership of, developing a business that will provide for yourself and your family into the future, maybe just being able to go to work in your pyjamas!.....there are so many potential positives of change you just need to learn to focus on them.
The positives are the reason that you probably spend half your work day dreaming about this change and if you can really hone in on these dreams and turn them into targets and goals then you will have all of the drive and motivation you need to take the leap!
3. Enjoy the ride
The final point is that you must be flexible and enjoy the ride. As I mentioned in the first paragraph you cannot anticipate what is going to happen next when you are going through a period of change. You may have planned for things to go one way and they go another, to a lot of people this would create anxiety and stress. If you really want to enjoy the change in your life and learn from it then you need to have a relaxed, flexible mentality. Always keep your goals in mind and ensure you perform actions that drive your change towards those goals but be open to new experiences and ideas and make sure to be flexible enough to adapt.
A man who puts this into action every day is Gary Vaynerchuk (who I am sure everyone has heard of). I was listening to a podcast just yesterday during which he was talking about how, in his early years, he was criticised for "always changing his mind". He went on to state that this ability to see new trends and to adapt and change has been a huge part of his success. In his own words,
"The importance of being open to change is always top of mind for me in how I run and manage my businesses."
Thanks so much for reading this week!
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