We can’t always control what happens to us but we can always control how we respond.
Change is hard. Most of us resist it. Our brains like the familiar. We want things to stay the same.
Yet, the one thing I know for certain is that life changes. Relationships break down. Jobs end. Finances shift.
How much we struggle and suffer through life’s twists and turns all depends on our willingness to accept the changes as they come.
After my car accident a few years ago I resisted accepting that the injuries had sidelined my running career. I was a runner. Period. I became angry and frustrated as I struggled to accept my new reality of being a walker. I wanted to run. Eventually, I had no choice but to accept this as my truth as I physically could not run. I look back now and realize how tight I had been holding on to my identity as a runner. I fought my new reality so hard that I lived with a daily anger and frustration.
Try this quick exercise.
Hold on to something with both hands. It can be anything. Now try to reach for something else while still holding the original object. What did you experience? You can’t reach for anything new when you are still holding on tightly to something else.
Hanging on to an image of how we think life should be is what keeps us stuck. When we flow with the changes we struggle less and reclaim our happiness and peace much more quickly.
Here are a few tips I learned to navigate change with greater ease and less suffering.
Take a deep breath and accept what is happening right now. Resisting change is where the pain comes from.
Acknowledge that change feels uncomfortable.
Take another deep breath and become aware of what you are feeling. Maybe you feel sadness, frustration, anger- or something else. Honour your feelings by making space to feel them. Then let them go. Don’t get stuck here. Change will happen anyway and you will just end up bitter and resentful if you don’t let your emotions pass through you.
Focus on the Good.
Looking for the positive when life throws you a curve ball can challenge even the most optimistic souls. (Our brains are programmed to look for the negative. It was a survival mechanism back in caveman times when our ancestors had to stay aware of evil lurking to avoid being eaten by a saber-tooth tiger.) It takes energy and intention to find the good in a tough spot, but there is always something small you can focus on when you look hard enough.
Create a New Dream.
It’s often not the relationship or job loss that we grieve but our dream of how we thought our life will unfold. Grieve that story you wrote in your mind, and then create a new and empowered vision. You are the creator of your life! Don’t let circumstances turn you into a victim.
Sometimes the only thing we can do in navigating change is to trust that all will be okay and that the path will appear as you take that first step in a new direction.
Navigating change is rarely easy, but it is possible. Don’t let your life be controlled by what was, when there are new gifts to discover in what will be.
Sometimes we need support navigating change in our life. I invite you to jump on a call with me. I’ll share some of the strategies I use with my private coaching clients to help them overcome challenges and create a happier lie.
With love + light,