By the time you finish reading this sentence, time will have changed.
Change surrounds us, and it exists in different forms everywhere. We have experienced all kinds of change since we were born and should be familiar with its nature; yet when faced with change, most of us view it as challenging and difficult.
Big or small, change means exploring something different. It demands that we stop doing something we have been doing and start doing something new. It could mean: stop being a caterpillar in the cocoon, spread your beautiful wings and start to fly! It sounds so idealistic and simple; yet the process and pain of this conversion is what’s not welcome. With change comes discomfort – the great discomfort of not knowing what lies ahead. Thank God, we had no such thoughts in the womb, otherwise our own birth would have become a fearful challenge. Having said that, we have clearly established that change is a part of life from the beginning to the end. What allows one person to manoeuvre effectively and the other to crash and burn is really some fundamentals. Change could really be a chance to be better in so many ways. Let’s unearth the ABCD of changing your mindset.
Most change makes us feel so victimised that we absolutely lose sight of the first step. We fight it and we grieve about it. We resist it and we want to get out of it, and constantly wonder, “Why me?” It is a very human reaction: feel it, express it and live with it, but only for a while. Know in your mind how many hours or days you want that feeling to exist, and then start counting backwards: 10, 9, 8, 7…
At 1, it is time to accept your situation for whatever it is, and from that day on waste no more energy looking backward. The moment you accept is the first step in the direction of the positive shift. It all begins with accepting the situation. It is what it is!
Before you make the change, or as the change is happening, there are several voices communicating within you – sometimes contradictory voices. The one that you pay attention to and focus on will become either your strength or your weakness. Question your beliefs around change. Are they beliefs that are functional for you, or dysfunctional? Let me share two of my positive beliefs around change.
BELIEF NO. 1: Change will help me learn and grow. Irrespective of whether the change works in my favour or not, I know for sure that I will gain something from it.
BELIEF NO. 2: I have managed changed before and I will do it again. We have made it through in the past, haven’t we?
Increasing the volume of the functional belief system and muting the dysfunctional (change is difficult/uncomfortable, or I don’t have any more strength to make it happen) will make your resolve for change stronger. It also helps to believe that the next change is just around the corner, and to be prepared and brace oneself for it is all we can hope to do.
Never before in the history of the world have we had the information and support to manage change as we do now. The discomfort is with the unknown. If we are scared, it’s possible to get clarity on what the truth is. There are thought leaders, articles, websites, and organisations to support the change that is impending.
Gaining clarity can help us prepare for what lies ahead. It can make the change easier than how it initially seemed. One baby step at a time: seek help, information and support to move in the right direction. You will be surprised when you truly start seeking how doors begin to open, and how finding the right person and opportunity can get you through.
This is a big one! Especially when you are getting rid of a bad habit, or fighting an illness, or grieving a loss. You try and you fail and you try again and you fail some more. This is what breaks our spirit. We try to build and then another blow. We get up and dust off, and then another push into the sand. The failing breaks even the strongest, but inside it's slowly and silently creating a more resilient you. It’s when inside a boxer is lying bleeding in the ring and still finds the courage and strength to get up one last time – that makes him the champion regardless of whether he wins or loses the match. The one who can keep going has better chances at coming out of the long dark tunnel. So, building a character that can accept failure and still move on is a victory like no other.
To have the attitude of looking up at the dark night sky, smiling and saying, “Let’s see who wins this time,” is half the battle won.