Why The Process Of Change Is Measured By Your Ability To Adapt

Discontent With Life

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” — Leo Tolstoy

Change is difficult. If we hope to change a personal behaviour, save money or otherwise, the Gods of change are reluctant to smile upon us in the early stages. Yet within our willingness to change lies the yearning for something more. Change heralds letting go of the tired, old and outdated to usher in the new. It shows we have gone so far with an endeavour and must allow something new to fill its place. Change is the process of life, despite the unknown path ahead. The willingness to change is crucial in any transformation since it sets into motion what will soon become. Our willingness to change is a desire to embrace a new way of life. We must be prepared to commit to new actions and confront our fears if we wish to embody the changes at a deeper level. We must venture beyond the known, beyond our comfort zone if we seek inner growth. Consider the last time you tried to change a habit how difficult it was in the early stages?

The growth I am referring to is realised when we rouse our potential, our genius, gifts and talents. Thus our willingness to change is measured by our ability to adapt to change. If we are discontent with life and seek more honest experiences, we must embrace change on all levels. Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Thus a new mental landscape must be formed if we wish to perceive our circumstances in a new light. The commitment to change is an obligation to our personal growth and a promising future.

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A Change In Circumstances

“When we are no longer able to change a situation — we are challenged to change ourselves.” — Viktor E. Frankl

Change is the fabric of life — the seasons, the days, the landscape changes, yet many fear change. Thus we must abide by the cycles of life if we seek to reshape our circumstances. Fear of change is a natural response. We needn’t abolish our fears, yet integrate them into our experience. It was Susan Jeffers’ acclaimed book Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway which reminds us of our commitment to embrace fear as we undergo change. Change is not indicative of losing control as many believe since we have limited control anyway. It implies surrender and detachment for the ultimate good of our personal evolution. An adjustment period is foundational to moments of growth and transformation. This is why we must allow time to acclimatise to these changes then allow it to sweep through. Life is not bound by our inner clock, so we must yield to what transpires with openness and receptivity. Consider your answer to my earlier question about trying to change a habit. I’d like to you to reflect on something that is changing in your life that you’re resisting? Why are you resisting it? It was the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti who once said: “One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.”

A change in circumstances disrupts the brain’s thought process given its habituation to pattern recognition. Our mind considers historical evidence as memories to form assumptions about the future. Its habitual tendency is inclined towards established patterns. This is supported by author Frans Johansson who writes in his book The Click Moment: “Our brains have been designed to perceive order instead of randomness.” We must become acquainted with the change cycle if we wish to master change at any level. Justifiably, we will slip up along the way as we integrate our new experiences into our life. This should not dissuade us from persisting, yet appreciate that the cycle of change diminishes suffering feelings of guilt along the way.

In an earlier article titled, How to Form Successful Habits, I outlined five ways to create new habits while drawing your attention to the transformative cycle of change. I encourage you to embrace change by being open and receptive to it. Reason and logic alone are insufficient measures to realise change since they obscure the voice of wisdom. Evidently, fear arises with any change due to uncertainty. Recall earlier that the mind is resistant to change. For that reason we must integrate new experiences into our life gradually so as not to disrupt the brain’s homeostasis. Your response to this perceived fear may be expressed via the following question: “Am I responding to the fear itself or the fear of not being in control?” Your aim then is to delineate between a perceived threat to your well-being or an irrational fear.

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Stay Grounded And Attentive

“Our brains have been designed to perceive order instead of randomness.” — Frans Johansson

Fear is a facade orchestrated by the mind to protect us. Whilst it should not be construed as deleterious, our mind protects us from imminent danger by arousing suspicion when change is imminent. Fear is considered a threat to our survival when we become consumed by it since it dominates our mental landscape. Resistance to change invites suffering by opposing what is. To avoid this, we ought to let go of our struggles and go along with the change ushered in — think unlimited opportunities. Recognise that change does not mean recoiling in hesitation, yet signifies an opportunity to move ahead into exciting times. Many people are dissatisfied with their circumstances nowadays owing to varied reasons. In my book, The Power to Navigate Life, I outline two states for instituting a harmonious passage through life.

Parked state denotes being stuck and stagnant. If we wish to change, we must adopt a Navigate mindset i.e. expansive, movement of energy, freedom, untethered and liberating. Those who Navigate life use these qualities to create fundamental change whilst adjusting their course along the way. Professor of Psychology at Stanford University Carol Dweck labels these types of people as having a Growth Mindset as opposed to a Fixed Mindset. Knowing change is difficult we must stay grounded and attentive if we wish to amend our circumstances. Do not wallow in the past nor expect a future to arrive as planned, given its impact to arouse fear. Trust that your willingness to change is enough to set into motion the power to transform oneself. Knowing this, I’d like you to write down five things you will gain from the change you’re resisting? Try to see the positive aspect of the situation instead of what you have to lose. Assuredly, what you look for you will find, so why not look for the positive? It is this willingness which sets alight the flame to compel sweeping changes that linger well into the future.

Originally published at Medium