The Fear of Change
Entering the unknown
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France
I still remember the time when my husband had asked me to help organize his office as business expanded. I was more than happy to be of assistance, and use my skills to make the improvements. I immediately went to work, redesigned the spaces, moving, removing, adding furniture, and made sure there was going to be better work flow, and everyone would be happier. It was not the case, and i was surprised at what i sensed to be an indifference towards what i had done. It threw me off. I stood my ground, and kept my professional hat on, very tightly that day. It dawned on me, it wasn't really about me, as much as it was about change. The slight adjustment had created so much apprehension, it triggered fears of the 'unknown', of what may happen next. In time, everyone realized we had done what was right, and we managed to build trust in every decision we made.
Change can be a choice or an eventuality that has either occurred, or will yet occur to anyone of us. It defies gender, race, age, social status, and calling. The best, the mightiest and the least amongst us will travel this often unsettling road, with some, more than others. There are no permanent comfort zones in any lifetime. We know it takes only a catastrophic 'earthquake', a tsunami, or a call from a doctor, to change our whole world. We can be happy one day, and the next day, won't know what hit us.
When i was young, i thought of life as a fairytale, and believed i was a princess who would always be protected by her royal dad and handsome prince charming. But, that all went crashing down when the king lost everything and my husband prince messed around with other princesses. My life changed and what i didn't like was that fact that i had no control over anything. It happened. But, looking back now, it was a good thing. I grew up and wised up quickly. Of course there were a lot of struggles, emotionally and psychologically. Thank God for kind and caring souls who saw me through the changes. This is part of the journey, is finding gems of friendships and just goodness along the way.
Why do we fear change? It's facing the unknown, that which is unfamiliar to us. We don't like being removed from what we are used to, even if its a bad relationship. I know of some women who stayed with abusive partners and were more afraid of being alone. Year after year, they lived through their nightmare and just accepted their plight. That is sad. But, there were those who found the courage and the strength in giving up, rather than giving in. There is a point when a decision has to be made, a so called crossroad, when you know, you must make the move. You can stay, or remain status quo, but that decision may eventually 'kill' you, in more ways than one.
Its the same in our business life. We face the realities of a precarious world economy that has affected families in almost every level. But, most of us like to cry foul and complain, asking, demanding for change, from government, our leaders, our spouses, as if they have the power to save us. The truth is, they are just as limited, and probably clueless as to where to find solutions. So, where do we go from there? If they can't bring on this change, who will?
The first place we must go to is within ourselves. We determine if there is a need for change in our life, and if we are willing take the steps to see that happen. Here are a few tips, if you need to make changes.
1.Make the decision, don't look back. Be true to yourself and your conviction.
2.Step out of your comfort zone, which will require from you real determination to move on. If you don't get past this, then you lose.
3.Don't look for a crystal ball, there is none. Do your homework and learn, which is something nobody else will do for you.
4.Evaluate your risks, if there's any. Often what we fear is all in our imagination and are never realities. You can overcome fear, or let it stop you.
5.Think ideas. Brainstorm with trusted friends, or family. You never know what you can come up with.
6.Take the leap. Run. Once you do this, you will actually find just how rewarding it is.
7.Don't stress by looking too far into the future. Make each day count and give it your best shot.
8.Be confident and full of expectations. It never hurts to believe that good things can happen, esp, when you are convinced you are on the right tract.
9.Keep focused. No matter how difficult things may get, stick to your plans and vision.
10.Celebrate your success and breakthrough. It's OK to pat yourself, or blow your own horn, just in case no one else will.
Change can be dreadful. It has a way of putting our lives in a spin, like it did mine. I was married for almost 30 years to a man who had always provided for our family. He was 54 yrs old when was diagnosed with liver cancer, and within 4 months, he was gone. It was drastic and so unexpected, i was not prepared to face life alone. I mourned his death, at the same time, dreaded the uncertainty of my future. In my sorrow and loss, i found a wonderful loving community. Although my faith wavered at times, i found comfort in knowing i was not alone. Despite my doubts, i manage to take some little steps, recover, and redefine who i was.
Change can be threatening and liberating. It's like the seasons, when we make adjustments, but we cannot ignore the beauty and variety it unfolds. It's an inevitable cycle that the heavens purposed, just like every dark night that passes, then brings us, the most glorious morning.