by Samantha Morris*
Perhaps you think of the context of change? Are you currently experiencing political, social, cultural or religious changes? Or perhaps you are experiencing different directions within your professional and public life, personal lifestyle or relationships?
When you think of your past current or future situation to change, does it evoke excitement and curiosity within you? Or do you feel unsettled, doubtful and fearful? Perhaps you may even feel mixed emotions?
If we look around us, we know that change is inevitable and happens every second of every day. The leaves off the trees fall and are renewed each year, day turns to night and night into day, the weather can change within a matter of minutes, and before you know it we’ve reached the middle of the year! Of course these are all natural occurrences and things outside of our control.
Yet interestingly, when we do have the potential power to possibly control a situation, we choose to either embrace or resist change. Most of this comes down to the need to survive, to maintain control and power, and to stay in firm contact with safety and what we have always known.
Yet change evokes images of the unknown, the new and possibly the likelihood that with change comes a possibility that we may feel either in or out of control. However, whatever change evokes for you, there is one undeniable old-aged truth: change is inevitable and a constant.
10 Top Tips For Creating A Successful Mindset For Change
ACCEPT THAT CHANGE IS INEVITABLE
Whether you like it or not, change is inevitable and it’s happening every second of every day whether we’re aware of it or not.
The very essence of life stimulates death, change and rebirth. When you choose to accept change and the flow of life as inevitable you will begin to feel less fearful, less attacked and more open to learning how change can work for you!
Consider inviting more flow into your life by being mindful and starting to notice how things change each day. Perhaps start with noticing the weather and the changing colours of the seasons. For me, I always notice the same blossom tree and how it both sheds and grows its blossom every year.
BE PREPARED TO RIDE THE WAVES
I’m not going to lie to you change will either be experienced as a positive or negative experience (depending on your experiences, beliefs and needs)
However, if you begin to change your approach, mindset and tactic to ride the waves, you will begin to experience the rich ebb and flow and the possibilities of life rather than simply remaining safe, yet cut off on the shoreline.
CREATE A FLEXIBLE OPEN MINDSET NOT A FIXED MINDSET
Obviously everyone is entitled to choose whether they embrace change or not and you cannot force people to adopt a new direction if they are resistant to do so.
However, although you cannot control other people, you do have control over your own future. Ask yourself ‘what will I gain or risk by embracing change or not?’ Then ask yourself ‘is this my own view? Or someone else’s experiences and beliefs which have influenced me?’ Then be honest and ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the least likely and 10 being highly likely) ‘how willing am I to begin to embrace change?’ and ‘will it support me to grow and develop?’
It’s also important to bear in mind that what you once believed in or wanted, may not be what’s best for you now. Therefore, it’s important to check-in with yourself, your changing circumstances and your needs every so often. A good tool is to create a changing photo timeline of yourself and your goals. This will help you to see what you once wanted may have evolved or may have changed.
IDENTIFY THE ROOT CAUSES OF YOUR RESISTANCE
In order to fully understand and successfully embrace sustainable change, you first need to acknowledge your root resistance to change. Be honest and ask yourself why are you resistant to change? What are your past and current experiences of change? Were you told to be fearful, wary or resistant to change? Were they positive or negative experiences? Are you fearful of the unknown?
Once you’ve understood and identified the root cause of your resistance you can cut the root clean and you can choose to live with more awareness, possibilities and freedom.
BE AN OPPORTUNIST!
Instead of feeling pessimistic, why not begin to ask how can this change work for you? How many people do you know in histories who have taken action steps to find and experience fulfillment and success even when the chips have been low?
Get in touch with your inner opportunist and ask how can you embrace change to make it work for you?’
REMAIN TRUE TO YOUR VALUES
Remember not everyone will support your views, choices and actions. However, it’s integral to remember that whilst these people may or may not be important to you, ultimately you are your own soul mate for the entirety of your life. Bearing this in mind, it’s important to ask if you’re going to be truly happy by not being open to change, sticking to the safe path and following what you’ve always known? Or will you feel more fulfilled, positively stretched, energized and alive by at least being open to change?
OPEN CONVERSATIONS CAN LEAD TO CHANGE
Start by engaging in conversations with other people without judgement and assumptions. Learn to understand, listen and acknowledge other people’s experiences. Whilst you may or may not choose to follow these people, the conversations and awareness will prepare the foundation for your responses and choices. A good tip is to try to talk to someone once a day who you do not know, or you haven’t engaged in conversation with.
“DO ONE THING A DAY WHICH SCARES YOU"
Change doesn’t need to be big and doesn’t have to happen all at once to make an impact. In fact, if you start to make smaller changes simply in your approach to daily routines you will begin to build the foundations for solid sustainable success and change, rather than short-lived bursts of energy.
Try doing one small or larger thing a day, which scares you. By stretching yourself beyond your comfort zones you will begin to feel more confident and begin to build a solid foundation for embracing change more easily.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
When you are open to new directions and change, it’s no secret that anyone who is negative can naturally sap your energy, confidence and motivation. However, although it’s unlikely you will be able to drown out their voice, you do have the power to choose whether you listen to them or not.
Therefore, it’s really important to surround yourself with positive like-minded people who will support your way of life and vice - versa.
Consider where these people with similar values may hang out? Start by looking to join new hobbies, a new job or career opportunity, a new neighbourhood or a new social or professional group.
VALUE YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH
With change comes the possibility for growth and development. So if you’re not open to change and development perhaps it’s time to ask how much you value your own future and personal growth?
Keep a journal of all the smaller or larger experiences where you’ve successfully been open to or embraced change. Then ask yourself what worked or didn’t work? And how has it helped you to stretch beyond your comfort zones and to grow and develop?
*Samantha Morris is a Certified and Qualified Life Coach and an Integrative Art Psychotherapist.