It's not uncommon to find someone who is desperately wanting to change their life. This phrase might sound extremely familiar because chances are, you are that someone.
There is no shortage of reasons to seek change. Maybe life isn't going well right now, and you want to get as far away from it as possible. Perhaps life is okay, but you feel that something is missing and you know there's something better waiting for you out there. Some people even change just for change's sake - no specific reason needed.
Whatever the reason is, there's no wrong answer. Change is inevitable. It will happen, whether you're ready for it or not. No amount of work you do will keep you exactly where you are for the rest of your life. Why not strike first and be proactive seeking change? It's much better than letting life drag you around, often to places where you don't want to be.
The hidden trap of change
It takes some amount of courage to seek change. But even when you dare to do so, there's often an unseen pitfall waiting for you: odds are, you will be wishing that your life was back to the way it was. You find yourself chasing again after the things you once knew, merely to get that comfortable feeling back.
You might think that it's absurd because when you sought to change, you were the one initializing the process. But even after you spent time and energy taking action, it's more common to revert than you think. The lure is strong enough to send you straight back to where you were, keeping you firmly in place.
Why does this happen? On the surface, it's because change is scary. The unknown is terrifying because you'll be feeling that you have no control over what lies ahead. The unforeseen can cause you to shun all change. As the saying goes, it's better the devil you know than the devil you don't know.
Giving up what you once knew
However, it goes much deeper than fear. If you're the one taking steps to begin the process, you've already tackled the issue of being scared. Sure, you might still have anxiety and can feel it deep in the pit of your stomach, but it's not holding you back. So if it's not fear, what's the issue?
Commonly, the main issue is loss. When you seek change, you will unavoidably have to let something go. Even when there's a possibility of gaining something equally or more valuable in return, most people prefer not to lose what they already have. This topic is commonly known as loss aversion in the field of economics but also applies to human behavior.
When you seek and acquire change, and your life transforms into something different, your new life can catch you completely off-guard. You'll feel like you're losing something along the way. These feelings occur because you most likely had to work on getting what you had, no matter where you were in your life. When you change, it can feel like you wasted your time with what you did previously. Those feelings can be hard for some to deal with.
One of the unfortunate effects of feeling scared, unprepared for what lies ahead, or thinking that you're failing your past self, is that you forget that this is precisely what you wanted. The time you decided to make a change falls by the wayside, and uncertainty and doubt dominate your thoughts.
Trust the process
There's no easy way to combat these issues, unfortunately. No one has a silver bullet that will help you get over the difficulties of change. It needs work, patience, belief in your abilities, faith, and - above all - lots of trust.
You must face your fears. Once you decided to take action and begin the process of change, you already started to challenge the uneasiness that you once had. Even if it doesn't feel like it and you still the jitters and dread the unknown, know that you're already ahead of it and on your way to silencing that inner voice that's trying to stop you.
When faced with significant change, you need to have unwavering belief that whatever is coming ahead, you can take it on. No matter how difficult it feels, or how impossible you think the challenges are, you need to keep pushing forward. As mentioned before, it takes courage to change, so the fact that you have taken the initial steps means that you can tackle any roadblocks in front of you.
The key is to keep forging your path to change. Resisting change - mainly when you were the one who initiated it - is entirely pointless. The longer you fight it, the longer it will keep you away from what you need to be doing here and now. There's no reason to stay stuck in the past and what's already been done, or spend too much time thinking about something that may or may not happen in the future. So stay focused on the present, and you'll be able to withstand whatever life throws your way.
Let change transform your life
If there's any takeaway from this article, is that change is coming. When it inevitably arrives, you'll be given a compelling choice. You can choose to stay put, afraid of the apparent darkness ahead. Or you can decide to move forward into the unknown, knowing that you're fully ready for what's to come.
When you're staring down the path of your new life, the best thing you can do is to stare down the unknown with devotion and enthusiasm. Embracing curiosity is the best thing you can do when faced with new challenges. It'll make the ride smoother for you, and will help you take down any tests that life throws your way.
When you're ready to take the leap into what seems like a void, at that exact moment, you are responsible for what comes next. Take advantage of being in this position, because you'll be able to guide yourself right to the life you've always dreamt of.
Small steps for your Practical Good
When you realize that change is coming, you can prepare to face it head on with some preemptive action.
- Make change more natural by thinking about what won't change. One of the main reasons why people are terrified to become different is because they think everything is changing. In reality, it's rare that change affects more than a couple of things at a time. One way to cope with the uncertainty is to keep track of the things that remain the same. It will give you a sense of comfort while allowing you to spend more time handling the new stuff you have to manage.
- Avoid reactivity, accept proactivity. No matter how prepared you are for anything new, there will always be something unexpected thrown your way. If you let them throw you off track, it'll make your life a lot more difficult. That's why you should learn to be more proactive and take on anything that might steer you off course. Deal with complications before they become more significant issues. Your progress will flow smoothly.