Change is everywhere. In an information age that thrives on exponential shifts, change has never been more pertinent. Many people have a problem with change, however. It may push you back into your shell, or it may throw you off balance. If you don’t have a way of coping with change, it can paralyze you through fear, which is a shame, because change can be your best friend. Understanding change and its inevitability is the difference between using it to empower you or allowing yourself to be disempowered.
Understand the Meaning Of the Word “Change”
The word “change” carries a variety of associations. The word “surprise,” for example, connotes fun and is related to the word “change.” People generally enjoy surprises. But, the reality is, you like the surprises that you want. The surprises that you don’t want are called “problems.” It is through dealing with the surprises that you don’t want that governs your relationship to change. Many people are paralyzed by the thought of stepping out of their comfort zones. The phrase “comfort zone” suggests a certain limitation of your tolerance.
Recognize Impermanence as a Fundamental Feature of Life
Small changes that don’t push you too far out of your comfort zone are the easiest to adapt to. How do you become resilient to being pushed past your level of tolerance for uncertainty? The people who are most successful at being adaptive or resilient to change are those people who successfully manage their inner world. The first thing to understand is that everything in the outer world is subject to the law of impermanence. Every relationship that you have will end at some point. Understanding that everything in the physical world is subject to the law of impermanence will contribute to a healthier mindset.
Create a List of Attachments
So, how do you deal with that? Recognize that cycles of change are the only constant. You may be too attached to the comfort zone you operate in. If you only understood what a comfort zone is to the human personality potential, you would probably be only too keen to jump out of it, because comfort zones are inconsistent with the limitless nature of what humans capable of. It is confining to withdraw from things that don’t fit your expectations of how the world should be. The key to entrepreneurship, for example, is the ability to handle uncertainty. Know that there is no certainty in life. So, how do you deal with that change? Challenge yourself to write down a list of things you feel you are most attached to.
Analyze this list carefully, because the items on this list represent your major weak points. Is it a relationship to another person, your financial situation, or a home you don’t want to let go of? If you want to learn how to deal with change, identify the things, people or statuses you’re most attached to. Then, picture each attachment like a wall. The more attached you are, the more you lean on that wall for support. Now, if you’re leaning on a wall and someone takes that wall away, what tends to happen? You become unstable. It throws you off balance. The key to coping with change is to practice identifying the walls you are leaning on.
If you can start to interpret your attachments like walls you’re leaning on, you can start to place yourself in a position to stand on your own two feet. If you can train yourself to let go of what you fear to lose, then more of you will be grounded, solid, and centered. In this case, if your walls do fall away, you won’t go with them. This technique is not about ceding your attention to the things you care most for in life, but, rather, recognizing that your inner strength can steel you against the impermanence of life’s unpredictable events.
So, how do you deal with change in life? Accept that it’s there, and understand your relationship to it. The more you lean on the attachments that you have, the more likely you’ll fall hard if someone or something takes your walls away for whatever reason. Understand that focusing on what you can be grateful for, rather than what you’re afraid of, will allow you the strength to stand on your own two feet, bring more of what you are to the world, and deal with what life throws at you. That is the life you are born to live with.