It’s an inevitable part of life. It been said, “The only constant in life is change." I’ve been given the opportunity to accept this fact again and again in the last few years.
The sooner you accept it, too, the smoother your life will be. I promise.
It’s not the idea of change itself that scares us so much. If this was true, everyone would hate surprises. It’s the changes that we think we don't want and the resulting stories we make up in our minds about what will happen to us when the shift occurs that cause us to loose our inner peace.
These stories come from one place: fear.
Have you ever been faced with a change in your life and you imagined some big, bad things happening in the aftermath? Then the change occurs and all that scary stuff you were absolutely positive was going to happen… didn’t.
Maybe you’re now able to see some great things that came with from this change that you’d never anticipated. Maybe you’ve even come to a point where you can be grateful for the whole experience, both the “good” and the “bad.”
This is the goal: To see every event that comes into our lives from a state of gratitude, knowing that it is all here to help us learn and grow.
In the last 12 months, I’ve undergone massive amounts of change in my life: I left an over year long relationship; I’ve lived in three countries (two of which I don’t speak the native language), on three separate continents; I’ve spent time in 8 different states; I said goodbye to my childhood home, as well as a number of people I'd been friends with for years; and I’ve shed an unexplainable amount of old beliefs about myself and the world during the process.
Here are three tips I use personally to help me release any fear I’ve built up around the idea of change:
1) Let go of the need to know
In other words, learn to let go of the desire to manipulate every part of your life. The need for control is pretty strong in most people. We like the illusion of certainty that comes with feeling like we’re in control of the outcome of our experience.
But here’s the thing: it’s just an illusion.
We don’t actually have control over anything outside of ourselves. We can influence parts of our lives, sure, and we should when we have the chance. One of my favorite quotes is, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you’re at.”
But the belief that we have complete control over anything is a myth. At any given moment, there are an infinite number of ways that life can change.
I heard recently that the bridge between suffering and grace is surrender.
Surrendering is not about being weak or passive, rather it’s about connecting with that part of you that knows there is something bigger than yourself guiding your experience. Call it the Universe, God, Spirit, or life itself, once you accept that you are just one part of an extremely complex, dynamic system and learn to let this force flow through you, you’ve taken a big step on the road to ultimate fulfillment.
The only part of the universe you really have any control over is your own mind and how you respond to life’s circumstances. So focus your energy there, and watch as life unfolds before you.
2) Shift your perspective
We’ve trained our minds to see the world through a certain filter. You’ve probably heard the saying, “seeing through rose colored glasses.” Well, we all see through different colored glasses. Yours may be mostly blue, or maybe green, but whatever it is, you’ve become used to perceiving the world from this perspective.
Most people who fear change latch on to the victim mentality. They believe that things are happening “to” them, instead of “for” them. By making this simple shift in our perception and recognizing that it's all happening for our benefit, we begin to train our minds to see from a broader or higher perspective.
To see from a higher perspective is to simply see the situation at hand in it’s entirety; to watch it as though you were a fly on the wall or a bird circling overhead. To broaden your perspective allows you to be a witness to the experience, instead of an active participant. By detaching a bit, especially from emotionally charged events, we give ourselves the space necessary to really understand what’s going on.
A simple way to do this is to ask yourself the question, “What else could this mean?”
By consciously asking your mind to see the situation in a new light, you’re training yourself to find new, deeper meanings in your life experiences.
3) Listen to your internal guidance system
Have you ever had a hunch about something that later turned out to be true? A gut feeling that told you to go in one direction over another? A tap on the shoulder that told you it’s time to leave something behind?
Did you heed the message, or did you ignore it? How did it turn out?
That little whisper is your intuition guiding you. Our intuition often starts speaking up shortly before a big change is about to occur.
The more you find the courage to listen to those hints that something is about to shift, as illogical as they may seem, the more you’ll build up the references that you can trust this feeling to guide you in the direction of your highest potential.