"Opening up to any kind of change takes work and time, but by developing the right tools and skills to cope with it, over time, we can train ourselves to open our arms to welcome almost any change we encounter, whether it be chosen or forced upon us."
As human beings, we’re all capable of embracing change.
Whether the body and mind crave a change of circumstances or whether we find ourselves forced to consider implementing changes into our lives, a significant number of us will resist the process and indeed the prospect of change and consequently work to fight it off.
Change can be problematic by nature for many people who are worried about the journey it takes us on as well as the unknown when we reach our final destination. In fact, it’s in our natural makeup as individuals to question and fight to survive. Yet, by resisting some areas of change and failing to welcome it into our lives for the better, we close both our hearts and our minds to the idea of powerful transformation. Inevitably, we risk forsaking our dreams and goals; both those that we’ve desired for some time now, alongside those we never even knew we had.
Opening up to any kind of change takes work and time, but by developing the right tools and skills to cope with it, over time, we can train ourselves to open our arms to welcome almost any change we encounter, whether it be chosen or forced upon us. Subsequently, we can build and incorporate it into our lives in a manner that’s productive for us all-round.
There are several principles and critical ideas that can be utilized when accepting and welcoming change into our lives.
Take Power Away from External Events
When we understand the two zones of controls that are present in many of our lives, we’re able to look at our responses to each and view how much power we give to those external events, perhaps without always meaning to. The first zone is that area in which we are in complete control of—whereas the second is a zone in which we do not have say or influence over and is, therefore, a foreign zone to us. It’s this second zone that people tend to offer all their power to, without realizing that it is wasted there if there is no possibility that events in this zone are ever going to be under our complete control.
Once we wake up to the fact that there are just some things in life that we’ll never be able to control, we allow ourselves to focus our efforts and concentration on diverting our power to a more beneficial use of our time. Thereby, we’re not working to deal with those things we can’t control, but rather deciding how we accept them and incorporate them into our lives. This inevitably means that we take back that control of power, rather than offering it to the external event, keeping that power for ourselves. Therefore, the decisions that we make regarding this zone are all within our grasp, and we are responsible for how we respond to it, rather than the other way around.
“Once we wake up to the fact that there are just some things in life that we’ll never be able to control, we allow ourselves to focus our efforts on … a more beneficial use of our time.”
This all comes down to being present in our power zone, rather than allowing it to be in control of us. Ultimately this responsibility is now ours. So, whenever you hear yourself about to mutter those well-used words, ‘somebody should do something,’ stop and think. Rather than play the victim, which is always the easy route, question why this somebody can’t be you, and utilize your responsibility to make a change yourself. The power is then well and truly yours. Remember that, and commit to the following:
- Don’t be so quick to give up your power zone.
- Stop giving people the power to make you feel small, diminished, and useless.
- Understand what is in our power zone that we have control over and what is outside of it.
- Remember, the tighter the power zone, the larger its influence.
- There is a clear difference between acceptance and resignation!
Give up Your Sense of Security
When inviting it into your life, change will bring new challenges and new goals. As soon as we start to act differently and indeed think differently, transformation takes place and comes for us, continuing to show itself until we finally accept it. But to fully accept this inevitably means giving up that which we use as our security blanket. Whether this blanket comes from financial security or personal security, habit indeed makes us feel safe and secure. But to be able to leave such a comfort zone and tackle change head-on, you need to have the ability to discard that security blanket from time to time.
As human beings, we often confuse the idea of pleasure with happiness. Many of us spend a lifetime searching for pleasure with little regards as to how doing so often prevents us from finding real happiness. To be truly happy we need to feel that our lives are worthwhile and that the change we are moving towards is helping us to grow and develop an even better quality of life, improving both our emotional and mental health as we do. Happiness is a long term concept.
Pleasure, on the other hand, is more of an instant concept whereby its characteristics are immediate, and the feelings we get with such pleasure are short term. As such, feelings tend to dissolve swiftly, and pleasure can often give way to addiction. Pleasure usually fades fast if it’s not spread out over time. If you do find yourself deriving short-lived joys from everyday activities and are no longer satisfied, now is the time to stop and be silent. Take time out and immediately halt searching for those usual short-lived pleasures. Question what would give you a greater sense of purpose—that is, what can provide you fulfilling happiness rather than a temporary feeling of pleasure?
Be Prepared to Embark on a Journey to Encourage Change
A point worth remembering is that even if we don’t seek to make deliberate changes, life will at certain stages call us demanding change. If we aren’t prepared for such a journey, the result is our security is taken away anyway, and we are forced abruptly from the comfort zone we have built around ourselves.
To make our lives all the more satisfying, we need to embark on our own journey and recognize what changes we need to bring with us—ensuring we have decided upon them rather than having them thrust upon us. By refusing to acknowledge the presence of change, when a crisis does eventually strike, it’s all the more challenging to face head-on if we have been continually blind to the need to accommodate it beforehand.
To begin this journey, we need to understand our past and how this shapes us when we behave and react to incidents as adults today. This requires developing an awareness, building our self-esteem, and realizing that there is a distinction to be made between people and behavior. We all make mistakes and often when we’re considering how we behaved in the past or dealt with particular incidents and then apply it with no result to events that occur now, we can become frustrated if the outcome isn’t to our liking.
By embarking on a journey to question our past behavior and actions and understand fully that by making mistakes and thoroughly learning from them we can actually try continually to evolve and improve. But, most importantly, here we can begin to realize that our behaviour and consequent responses are the problems in many scenarios, rather than the person or circumstance, which will allow us the ability to accept when things don’t quite go to plan while quickly bouncing back from them and moving on, lesson learned.
“Even if we don’t seek to make deliberate changes, life will at certain stages call us demanding change.”
By all means, it’s beneficial to learn from the past but not under any circumstances to continue living in it. Instead, plan for a better future while enjoying your time in the present. We must cultivate the ability to:
- Accept our errors
- Appreciate everything that we do— regardless of the result
- Admire how miraculous, mysterious, and precious we are as human beings.
Work out Exactly Where You Want to Go and Establish Goals to Help You Get There
Our dreams and hopes and all that stimulates us is the guiding key to moving us toward action, as well as the driving force when times get tough. It’s all of this combined that will fuel our direction for change, but unless we step back, analyze and make a goal worth aiming for, we’ll never get started, or merely falter along the way.
Definitions and objectives fuel our attention. When the mind focuses on specific goals, it’s more likely to achieve them as we begin to understand what action we need to tackle to make our vision a reality. We also feel a surge of energy when we establish where we want to push negativity aside, including those ‘what ifs’ or ‘I can’ts’—and instead fuels the creative energy needed to strive towards a better way of life. By choosing to concentrate on the positivity rather than the negativity, we send a signal to our conscious minds that we are indeed heading in the right direction, and are therefore on course for greater things, thus increasing our confidence, ability, and determination to make it happen.
Of course, this path is all the smoother when we feel passionate about our goals. The act of passion is a tremendous driving force and finding those activities and ways of life that motivate us are often the areas where we’ll feel the most passion and desire to push more and do better in. Consequently, when our passions lie in those areas where we are highly motivated, we find we don’t have to work extra hard to achieve results; instead they seem to come easier when we have such a burning desire for them.
With this self-realization of what you like best comes a release of pressure, making it instantly easier than aiming for those things or way of life that have little value to you—in the meantime finding your way towards understanding the real meaning and real purpose of your own life.
Build Upon and Make Steps Towards Your Visions
It’s one thing to establish those desired goals but another entirely to put them into place and begin the work of achieving results. Once you have a clear vision of your destination, get out there into the immediate environment. Whether this means writing your goals down, telling them to those closest to you, or even sharing them with others further afield, creating a physical map by way of sharing our goals with others is more likely to encourage our success, as opposed to merely visualizing those same goals in our own head.
Physically producing a map of your future ensures you have a plan to guide you through the impending change. It does this by ensuring you both remember why you started out on the journey and what to do should you divert slightly off course during the process. Compare this to just having spoken those same objectives in your own mind, and it becomes clear that those with visual aspirations will fare better on their journey than those with no real guidance.
There is a massive difference between having dreams and making them come true. Brilliant ideas need to be put into practice, rather than merely being dreamed of or wished for strongly enough. Therefore, the vision itself is not enough to sustain those changes we make; plans and actions are equally as crucial as dreams here. When you’ve produced this map, ensure it remains somewhere you can see it regularly. The mere presence of such a prominent feature is powerful enough to encourage you to stick to your path and incorporate your journey into your everyday life, effortlessly.
“There is a massive difference between having dreams and making them come true. Brilliant ideas need to be put into practice, rather than merely being dreamed of or wished for strongly enough.”
Utilizing a seven-step process can help turn our dreams into reality:
- See your objectives more positively
- Make them more specific
- Ensure they motivate you and are within your control
- Produce a workable plan of action and define your milestones
- Decide what resources you’ll need for this process
- Take stock and discover those additional advantages
- Put in place a tracking procedure, so you know when you’ve achieved your goals
Recognize the Axes of Change
Once those objectives are evident in our mind, and we have our future map planned, the next stage is to put it into action. However, though we may know what is good for us, and what we need to do to get somewhere, many of us then persist and resist the impending changes necessary to achieve our goals. This is just because it’s a part of human nature. Or rather, it’s all a cause of that chemical substance of motivation we call Dopamine. Therefore, much of our behavior is automatic and consequently habitual, so it’s obvious this is going to take a little bit of effort and additional work to convince our brain to go against the norm here. That’s not to say though that it isn’t achievable or possible.
There are five axes of change:
- Awareness: This is the very foundation of change and evolution as an individual. We must understand exactly why we do what we do and what the meaning is behind our choice of actions. We need to be aware of the patterns in our thoughts, what limits us, and ultimately those areas where we really do need to change.
- Motivation: A central area, this is often behind every change that we undertake and the energy that works to keep us out of that comfort zone while moving forward. Motivation causes us to act upon decisions and aim for those goals and objectives.
- Decision: To change we need an element of determination, for only when we’re determined to do something can we transform and give ourselves permission to change. Therefore, we need to make our decisions and then commit to them.
- Creation: A creation is a plan of action that you bring about to implement your change. The creation marks the shift from the process of inspiration to the act of experimentation. A twostage process, the inner creation is the planning stage with the second process being where the action takes place.
- Solidification: For change to last, the beliefs and behavior that have been applied and learned need to be solidified. If this phase is skipped, the results will most likely not stay the distance and, as a result, old habits will begin to showcase themselves once again. Change needs time to take hold, and this process of reinforcing should be repeated here to give the process the time it thoroughly needs and deserves.
Develop and Hone Those Tools Needed for Continuous Transformation
The change we desire will most certainly take time to stabilize, and if we want to see the desired effects from the changes we make, we must be prepared to be consistent and disciplined with the tools we have been given. This will ensure that the habits, behaviors, emotions, and benefits that emerge as a result of such changes are reinforced and likely to continue successfully, long after they’ve been implemented.
To achieve this, it’s essential to look at our progression as one would if it were a training session. There’s little secret to the most successful individuals in generations both present and past— that almost anything can be achieved with perseverance, disciple, sacrifice, and determination. There are several tools at our disposable to enhance such training which, once adapted to suit our personal circumstances, can be of great aid in ensuring the continuity of change.
Go on linguistic diets: The words we utter can have a profound impact on emotions, beliefs, reality, and even behavior. Look towards thinking and repeating a positive mantra when in conversation with yourself. When communicating with and around others, stop and think about how each word is used and aim to make it more positive. A simple change in language can have life-changing effects, particularly when this change encourages a more positive and functional mood and outlook.
Manage your focus: To reach and achieve the visions that we create for ourselves, the focus has to play a huge part. This inevitably means creating and immersing ourselves in an uninterrupted flow where we know exactly what we have to do and feel able to set our minds to achieving it. By programming our brains to work towards visualizing a successful outcome, we allow ourselves to imagine this success and direct our flow of energy towards it.
Learn optimism: Rather than take a pessimistic stance, an optimist point of view will enable you to see opportunity in any difficulties you encounter through change. Being a glass half full person allows you to develop a positive reaction to challenges and a willingness to work towards overcoming them, in the belief better things are waiting for you on the other side. Those taking the optimistic rather than the pessimistic stance choose not to focus on things when they do go wrong but instead develop an understanding that things will indeed go wrong from time to time, but similarly, they will at times also go right. They avoid pervasiveness, realizing that the problem is only “here and now”.
Consider your breathing at all times: Though essential to living, our breathing is not often a subject many of us devote any time or attention to. But, by listening to our breathing patterns, we can encourage a range of transformations, as well as learn the essential art of relaxation in the process. Stopping to take stock of our breathing pattern at regular intervals during the days, deepening our breathing, exhaling in a more relaxing way, expanding our rib cage, and visualizing all our pent up anger, distress, anxiety and negativity leave our body with each breath is simplistic to perform but extensive in its beneficial offerings.
“Being a glass half full person allows you to develop a positive reaction to challenges and a willingness to work towards overcoming them … ”
Change Is an Ongoing Journey Which Continues Once We Meet Our Goals
The road to change is not always a straight one but rather a systematic one—a spiral almost. By developing a deeper understanding and ongoing acceptance of change in our everyday lives, we develop a better coping mechanism, to deal with change as and when we encounter it. Thus, we become better equipped to act upon change, and even enact positive change, while making room for further improvement in other areas of our lives.
By listening to change when it calls to us, clarifying where we intend to go, preparing ourselves for the transformation that takes place throughout this stage, and finally acting, we make a concentrated effort towards evolutionary change.