Change. It can be awkward. Uncomfortable. Terrifying even. But in the end it’s the only constant in life. It’s always around the corner.
“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”
— Robin Sharma
Relax. We’ll get through this. It’s how to adjust to change that I speak of. Big moves, new jobs, new relationships, new bosses. Fear. Stress. Death. Life is full of emotions and experiences that challenge us. That threaten to rattle us, and do rattle us. As Rocky Balboa taught us,
“Life is not about how hard you can hit. But how much you can get hit, and keep moving forward.”
Change is not all bad, that’s the thing. So many people live their whole lives dreading change because they associate change purely with negative experiences and outcomes. Understandable. But I’m here to get you to view change through a new paradigm. Why? Because change is ubiquitous! It’s all around us. Change keeps coming at us. We have to respond or risk missing out on our future destiny.
A story to tell
I recently moved my family to a new place. We’re in Charleston, South Carolina and life is good. But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been stress (there has). Difficulty adjusting to change despite our love of our new city (it has been difficult). Short tempers, on occasion, anxiety and the need to hit the ground running despite wanting to just take a long, long rest and break from it all.
One of the parts of this move I completely underestimated was the stress it would put on my two- and-a-half year-old son. I figured he wouldn’t have much trouble adjusting — but I was wrong. He’s been wanting to “go home” and he’s been a bit fearful of his new surroundings. It’s been surreal to watch. Scary, at times. As a young parent, I’m tempted to blame myself.
But change is a [big] part of life
I’ve moved several times in my adult life and I’ve come out better, wiser and more mature from each experience. I’ve grown tremendously as a person and gained priceless life lessons that have shaped me into defining my life’s purpose, success and identity as a man. I moved to Atlanta 21 months ago. We only lived there for 20 months.
In between, I started a job, parted ways with that company and entered into an uncertain future. I decided to strike things out on my own. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I grew more as a person during this past year than I ever have in all my life. The best part? It was totally unexpected. And there probably will be plenty times more like this to come.
The best part is when it’s unexpected. I came to realize how much I was putting off my dreams and the true ambitions of my heart. I started writing one book, wrote another — a book on values which will soon be published — landed in major publications, grew my social media audience. And oh yeah, launched my official career coaching business and became an entrepreneur.
The one thing
So what is that one thing which helps me adjust to change.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
— Harriet Tubman
I attack things with enthusiasm and vigor. But the one thing I learned, above anything else about change, is that in order to adjust, we have to be patient. The world is always challenging us to demonstrate patience. Sometimes, we are well equipped to handle the waiting or, even more difficult, the not-knowing.
More often than not, a simple lack of patience can drastically affect our state of mind and handicap our free, lucid thinking. So go on, consciously give it a try. Get patient, and be liberated.
About the author: Christopher Connors is a writer, career coach and speaker. He’s the author of an upcoming book on values. With a focus on personal development, values and emotional intelligence, Christopher aims to help people enrich their lives. You can connect with Christopher via his personal website.