How well do you handle change?
Better yet, how much change can you tolerate? Is there an amount that you even enjoy?
Change is one of those concepts in life that people rarely think much about but which weighs so heavily on them. It becomes a much larger thing than it really is because change is often connoted as something that we HAVE TO deal with.
A universal constant to which we have no choice but to succumb. And even though it is true that change is universal and it occurs ever millisecond of every day all over the world, people still become so stressed by it!
The universe - including us - is literally built from change and it stresses us out?
This is because while human beings are nice and entitled up top on the food chain, we are also so sensitive.
Change is universal so it is out of our control. Things that we cannot control make us nervous. When we get nervous, we get scared. When that fear is not assuaged, it grows into a looming stress that we do not know what to do with.
We feel alone and helpless and all the more scared of what change may happen.
A real life example of this is the mental health / self-development industry. The whole industry is predicated on the prospect of change. You go to therapy to change your behavior. You read a self-help book to change your diet.
It is pumped into us, especially in America, that we must change to be better, to live our best lives. But that is just it: change is a mostly EXTERNAL force.
When we consider change, it feels like an external pressure that is commanding us to change.
In the ensuing sadness and fear, one does not know how or what will be different once the externally-enforced change has occurred.
This is why so many people are terrified of introspection: they have often been told to work on themselves by family or significant others, but they themselves do not know what personal change they actually seek.
It does not feel safe to them.
They do not know how far the rabbit hole goes and if they will be able to get back out.
In reality, what are you changing? In the overall scheme of things, just a little piece of who you are. You remain the same person, just with a slight alteration.
A friend of mine owned an ultra successful gym overseas but had to deal with a substenant who stopped paying rent. While working 80 hour weeks to run the gym, he suddenly had to deal with small claims court, managing the communication with the subtenant, and coming up with the late money pronto.
He reports that he told himself at the time "Okay I have to change in order to deal with this and figure this out". Once he figured it out and ameliorated the issue, he himself had not changed.
He had simply evolved.
He had learned new skills of time management, people management, and legal proceedings. These are now tools he has on his tool belt.
Like Mario growing to the next level of size, he is strengthened and enhanced, improved in a random area of his professional life, but he himself has not changed.
He is not a different person.
The experience did not change his personality, but it augmented his intelligence.
See the difference?
The New Practice
Instead of being afraid of change when faced with a challenge, ask instead how and what you might be able to grow by facing the challenge.
The result is much more peace and calm and maybe even some inspiration to take on the challenge.
Practice this distinction for yourself:
Source of the pressure to change: Who or what is demanding change from you? Is it just you to yourself? Friends, family, society, social media?
Source of the need to grow: What challenge(s) are you currently facing that requires personal strategy, skills, and knowledge that you may not have?
Source of the desire to evolve: What in your life or about you personally do you want to learn? What part of you do you want to evolve and enhance?
Take ownership over the change you want to see in your life.
Write down your answers and tell your friends and loved ones to make it real or click the button below to tell me your answers and make a strategy to fulfill them FOR FREE:
PS check out this short video in which I discuss the distinction between Growth vs. Change: