You must embrace change before change erases you.
~ Rob Liano
At some point we all need to accept that change will happen; it’s inevitable. As we journey through life, through our relationships and careers, we experience many kinds of change: physical, emotional, spiritual, and technological. Even though most of us realize that after getting past the initial challenge, we’re not only used to the change, but that our lives actually became better, people still fear and resist change.
Fear of the Unknown
How do we overcome fear? Knowledge, preparation and action. The more you know about something, the less you’ll be afraid. I’ll use two examples: The first time you did anything, played a sport, went on a date, read aloud in front of a classroom of children or interviewed for a job, you might have been fearful because you never did it before. It’s the unknown that causes your concern. What might happen? What if I fail, look foolish, or get hurt? But after trial and error, you might have realized that you really had nothing to worry about.
The funny thing is that, even if you did get hurt or fail at first, you still hung in there and continued to try. You’d think after that you’d be more afraid, wouldn’t you? But you aren’t, because you now possess knowledge and understanding of those situations.
Let’s consider the experience of going somewhere for the first time. Whether it’s to a new a city, or simply driving to a new store in an unfamiliar location in your hometown, you might experience a little fear or hesitation on the way there, wondering if you’re on the right course, even if you have a GPS! That’s because you lack the experience of being in that area. But what happens after you’ve been there once or twice? Your confidence grows, and you might even eventually be able to get there on autopilot.
The Monkey Wrench
Most people don’t like when something happens that knocks them out of their routine. Things are moving along smoothly, and BAM! a change occurs, and the proverbial monkey wrench disrupts your comfort zone. This can cause you to get a little freaked out and send you into a frenzy, when it usually isn’t that big of a deal.
Will we encounter changes that aren’t beneficial to us, and that are also out of our control? Of course. But, in those cases, after evaluating the situation, we still have a responsibility to be proactive in our response to that change. If things are within our control, take the monkey wrench and fix it! Life goes on, so we may as well go on with it.
Additionally, it may be that we doubt our ability to learn or adapt. We hear that negative voice in our head say “I’m too old to learn this new smart phone.” Even though we can and will learn it–and eventually even love it–we are still fearful upon our first introduction to it.
I have heard several people say that it’s remarkable how kids these days embrace and understand technology. Why is that? It’s because they have no fear! They’re curious, and view it as new and exciting, not new and exhausting. The next time you experience a change, try to rekindle the childlike fire inside of you and embrace it, then learn from it and forge ahead.
You Go First!
If we just take a moment to ask ourselves: What good might this change bring? The answers will usually be encouraging:
- It will empower me to be more productive.
- It will enable me to learn something new, so I’ll grow.
- It will enable me to reconnect with people whom I’ve lost contact with.
- It will increase my value at my job.
- it will improve the quality of my life.
- It will remind me to be appreciative and grateful.
Sometimes with change you have no idea what you’re going to encounter. The future outcome is often unknown when you’re in the moment, so why convince yourself that it’s negative or likely to be a pain in the . . . afterthought?
Instead of worrying, view change as a challenge, one that allows you to show what you’re made of. This way of thinking gives you the power to overcome, survive, and succeed. Change your perspective and fear not: learn, prepare, adapt and conquer.
Rock Star Life Coach & Sales Strategist