We all experience change. Some changes in life are massive and literally rewrite our world, other changes are minor but we all go through waves of it. It’s inevitable. Change is uncomfortable. It’s fucking scary. If you find you have been (or are) resisting major life changes whether it’s shifting jobs, breaking up with a partner, being confronted with a lockdown, moving towns or anything in between this post is for you.
A major change fucks with you. It literally feels as though you are in a giant ocean with waves coming at you from either side and you’re just trying to keep afloat.
As I write this New Zealand is going through another lockdown period after well over a year of normal life. I know we are really lucky in comparison to the rest of the world but this overnight lockdown really rocked the boat for many of us and I let it get the better of me this time.
For me it’s freedom. I’m resisting this change because I feel like it’s stripped it away from me. One of my core values in life. I read something just last night from the book Wild At Heart by Miriam Lancewood. On Page 15, her mother was saying farewell to her and she said something that stc…
“For you Miriam, freedom is a necessity. It is your inner fire, and without the flames there is only darkness.”
Although I don’t go walking through the bush for years on end, this really resonated with me. Being able to move freely, into the mountains, visiting family and friends… All of that has been stripped and navigating this is pretty difficult. It does feel like darkness.
But whatever major changes in life you are going through right now, whether it’s lockdown or not, just know you do have the power to navigate it like a boss. Your thoughts do create your world and there are ways to direct your thoughts into more useful, positive and uplifting ones. Although, yeah, like everyone in New Zealand our freedom has been stripped for a while and it feels like prison. We don’t have to put ourselves in a personal prison.
This isn’t a post about what you need to do, because there is so much we need to do in this world right now. It’s more about noticing and reminding you how to overcome your fear of change.
Let’s get stuck in.
Why are we scared of change?
Being scared of change is pretty natural. We humans like certainty. People say it comes from the time we lived in caves and needed to know we were going to get food to survive. But I think it’s also because lots of us have no fucking idea what we are doing here on this planet and we have a need to make sense of our world.
We label things. We fear the unknown. We form attachments.
Our attachments to people, places and things are a form of comfort.
If I am a banker then I form my identity around it. But I can be a banker, a mum, a mountain biker, someone who paints, who likes to cook. We can be all of these things yet we love to put ourselves in boxes. Especially when it comes to employment.
These boxes are restrictive but they are comfortable. These attachments to people, places and things are obviously serving us. But they are also hindering us. Hindering us from taking leaps of faith. Making major life changes that will lead us to a better place.
Change leads to the unknown and that’s pretty scary. So we avoid it. The fear of change is a complex beast but it mainly comes down to control.
Fear of not being in control.
The pandemic has taught us all that change is constant. That not knowing is the new normal. That we don’t have control. Control and change. It’s huge. I think we all have this need or desire to control, it makes us feel safe. When we can’t control things, we feel uneasy and it’s an emotional rollercoaster.
We even have a fear of change that is positive. Not long ago I was manifesting a new job and when I got it I was stoked but instantly freaked out about getting it because it meant learning something completely new. I had the fear of moving to a new place and not knowing what was going to happen. For a moment, I wanted to retreat back to what I knew, stay in my old job, stay in the same town and be comfortable. But I knew, if I didn’t make a change, how was my life going to get better?
You have control over making certain changes in your life. But you also don’t have control over lots of the things that happen in life. This is a bit of a mixed bag of a post, reminding you that you can navigate change like a boss, you are strong and you absolutely have the power to seek out change and better your life, but you also have the power to navigate change when it happens to you and you aren’t seeking it out.
How to overcome major life changes
Whether you are confronted with unwanted change, need help making change in your life or are scared shitless because of a new change these tips below might help you navigate this time.
Tips for when change happened and you didn’t want it
1. Reflect- What have you learnt from this change? It’s about being curious as to why it has shown up in your life.
The pandemic has taught me that we are a part of a collective society and that the things that are happening down here on earth do affect me even if I try to ignore them. Although it hasn’t touched me personally or my family, it very well could have and these lockdowns aren’t about me, but the health and wellbeing of our society, which ultimately I am a part of.
2. Read and say out loud positive affirmations- One of my favourites is ‘I am on earth school and I am here to learn.’ We are here to experience earth and life. It’s in no way easy but it’s part of the curriculum. I also like remembering my power. ‘I can and will make it through this change’ and ‘I am supported guided and loved’ are beautiful sayings to remember daily.
3. Meditate- Sitting down, going for a walk, whatever type of meditation helps to take a step back from your thoughts and find a place of neutrality. It really does help you cultivate a positive state of mind even when change knocks you for six.
4. Surrender- This brings you some sort of peace and helps you navigate the change. I really like asking the universe to take my baggage. I literally say out loud ‘universe take my resistance towards XXX.’ Nothing is ever too much for the universe to handle, so ask away!
5. Do things that make you smile- Distract yourself with loving practises like meditation, yoga, nature walks and realise how awesome it is to be a citizen of this earth. Laugh! Look at the birds, smell the roses. Read a book, take a bath. Nurture yourself and seek support whenever you need it. I really like finding a place where I do feel comfortable, like my bed. I wrap myself up in my blankets and feel supported and cared for. There are ways to find comfort in your uncomfort and dealing with changes in life.
Tips for when you made a change and are feeling uncomfortable
There are many coping strategies for change, the tips above will help (especially meditation) but below are a few specific to this area of change.
1. Reflect on past success- Yeah, you are fucking awesome. You have been through some hard stuff in the past and you made it through.
If you haven’t been through this specific change then find someone who has, online, google things, find expanders. But honestly, it comes down to you remembering that you can handle anything. So, work on yourself and create an unshakable mindset. Listen to podcasts, read books, meditate, talk to someone – it’s about cultivating optimism here.
A book I’ve been reading lately that has helped me keep a positive vibration is Good Vibes by Vex King. It’s easy going and full of nice reminders. The more you absorb information like this the more unshakable your mindset will become, you will reconnect with your innate power.
2. Accept your feelings towards change- Don’t numb them, acknowledge your resistance, mindfulness here is a wonderful coping strategy. Ask yourself questions, whether out loud or writing them down. You don’t even have to have the answer. It’s about taking a step back to notice before you go down the rabbit hole. It’s also about being self aware and acknowledging. It’s okay not to be okay!
3. Open your mind to the possibilities- You made the change for a reason. When we make a change sometimes we look back and see that the grass was greener back then. We forget that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you are stuck in the tunnel right now let me assure you you will come to a light if you keep moving forward, looking back will only keep you from where you want to be going.
I know how hard it can be to visualise success when you’re in a dark place. You made a change and perhaps it isn’t working out as planned. Give it time. You need time to build that new house back up.
On a personal note: When I broke up with my partner of 10 years my entire world came crashing down. It was some of the hardest months of my life. But I knew what I wanted. I just didn’t know it was going to take my entire world changing for that to happen. I couldn’t build the new house I wanted (not literally) without knocking the old one down first, naturally, this meant chaos. Although I am still very much on my road to the life I have dreamed of and sometimes I want to leave my half built house and run away to a tropical island to live in a shack made of flax, I know these hard times are worth it.
Tips for when you’re scared of making change
You have everything you need in you to be able to make the desired change; it’s just about taking a leap of faith. Faith only matters when it looks like it’s not going to happen. So, you never know until you take that plunge.
Below are a few of my favourite practises to do when I am shit scared of making big changes in my life.
1. Visualize and daydream- Play around and have some fun with the possible future. If you can think of it, you can do it. Visualise your perfect outcome. Get behind the feelings. One way to do this is to use scripting. Write down your perfect outcome in past tense like it has already happened. Visualise yourself getting exactly what you want. It’s possible, remember.
2. Imagine your future self giving you advice- One thing that really helps me take the plunge is to think of myself as an old lady. What would she be thinking of my scenario right now? I bet she would tell me to just go for it.
3. Change things up just because- Get used to intentionally creating change. It happens all the time anyway so why not start being aware of it. You can not only handle it but you can create it.
To create major life changes you might want to start with tackling small ones first. Opt for that cup of tea before reaching for the coffee if that’s something you always do. Brush your teeth before you wash your face. Little things like this help you realise you can create change no matter how small.
4. Journal- A great exercise is to write down the worst possible outcome. It gives you a sense of control over knowing what could happen. But what’s most important is writing down what you actually want. Then focus feelings on these things, visualise it going your way. When you attach a feeling to what you want it’s that much more powerful!
5. Use affirmations- Repeat these daily as often as necessary and say them out loud even if it’s just a whisper.
I am fucking worthy just by being me
I am a wildly confident woman
I am already successful and my version of success feels so good to me
Life is happening for me not to me
I boldly take control of my life
I am comfortable being uncomfortable
Everything is always working out in my favour
Only good things come to me and I’ll figure it out as I go along
I don’t need to have all the answers to live a fulfilling life.
6. Meditate- Get out of your head for a moment. Find a place of neutrality where you can observe your thoughts without getting carried away by them. Although this might not help you take that leap of faith it might help you stop talking yourself out of making that change.
Hopefully, this post has helped you navigate change, wanted or unwanted and you feel a little more empowered! I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below how you cope with change <3