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Change? Let’s Not Freak Out!

On Monday, we kick off 2024 and I for one am looking forward to it! As we stand on the brink of a new year, it’s natural for me (I would think for most of us really!) to reflect on the year gone by, set goals for the future and make resolutions I intend to break before the calendar page turns to February J.  As is usually the case, this past year brought lot of change.  We witnessed shifts in the economic climate, political landscapes, and our personal lives – making new friends, losing loved ones, and navigating challenging business environments. Change, it seems, is the only constant.

Change is such a constant in our lives, we know it’s coming and yet, it causes us to wonder why then change often leave us feeling unsettled, scared or even annoyed? I think it is because we crave stability, it’s hard wired into our nature.  We like a degree of routine and predictability – a throwback to our evolutionary past where the unknown often meant danger. This instinct, while protective, can also make us apprehensive of the new and untested.  Change introduces uncertainty – we know what we’re leaving behind and usually how to navigate it, but we do not know what lies ahead.  We must figure it out, form new patterns and find new ways to succeed.  It’s hard work and it can be daunting, challenging our sense of control and demanding adaptation, which is not always easy or comfortable.

But it’s important to recognize the positive aspects of change and embracing it.  It can be a path to growth and development; an adventure into the unknown that offers opportunities for learning and new experiences. By acknowledging our natural resistance, we can start to understand our reactions and address them more constructively. We may even be able to set it aside and as one famous writer once said, “go bravely into that good night”.  One way to do this is to find the balance between our resistance, our acceptance of change and a growth mindset to help us move forward into the change with grace and courage. If we can shift our thinking from what we believe we are losing with a change to what we will gain from it, it will be much easier to embrace it.  I’m not suggesting that we blindly embrace every change (some are truly not good), but rather that we are open to possibility of positive outcomes.  We should approach and evaluate changes with an open mind and find ways to adapt while retaining our core values.

By nature, we have a complex relationship with change and crave stability. We all do.  But we also must find a way to adapt and thrive in this constantly changing world around us.  As we welcome in the new year, let’s acknowledge our resistance, embrace the potential for growth, and learn to move to the rhythm of change, even if we take a few hesitant steps along the way.

“Observe always that everything is the result of change and get used to thinking that there is nothing nature loves so well as to change existing forms and make new ones like them.” – Marcus Aurelius

Happy New Year…. let’s all ring in the change this weekend!!