For many people, accepting change is difficult. But change will come whether you want it to or not. If you think about it, you have been embracing change your entire life. When you examine your hobbies, friends, clothes, taste in music, TV shows, family, and career, you’ll find that, over time, many of these things have changed.
People around you have changed. The political climate has changed. The weather has changed. Let’s face it, there’s change coming at you from every direction.
Why Do People Have Problems Embracing Change?
The problem with change is it brings uncertainty. We humans don’t like uncertainty. In fact, uncertainty causes fear and doubt and these emotions make us feel uncomfortable. This is why we often view change negatively.
Change might cause you to feel uncomfortable but it’s not helpful to view change from a negative perspective. Embracing change is the only way for you to not only survive, but thrive, in our rapidly changing world. If change has always made you feel uncomfortable, you need to find a new way of looking at it.
One thing about life is it always brings difficulties. How you label these difficulties makes all the difference in your world. NLP uses a technique called reframing to help you label your difficulties in a different light.
You can usually divide difficulties into two frames. The first is the problem frame. This is where you focus on who or what is wrong. The difficulty is caused by something outside of you.
The second is the outcome frame. This is where you focus on the outcome you want. In this frame, you take responsibility for finding a solution to the difficulties facing you.
If you frame change as a problem, your mind will search for all the reasons change is difficult. However, when you reframe change as new experiences that help you gain new insights, you develop a new perspective. You can use this perspective to get what you want out of life.
How to Reframe How You Think About Change
1. Accept that life is always changing.
There is one true constant in life – things will change. You and the world around you are always evolving. This is the very nature of life.
For example, how much have you changed since you were an infant? While you are the same person as the infant, you have changed a lot. For example, you’re a lot taller and weigh a lot more!
The same goes for how you view the world. You don’t look at the world the way you did 10 years ago, maybe not the same as you did 10 months ago. Accept that change is a natural part of life.
2. Look for the positive in change
What would your life be without change? Here’s a hint – boring!
I’m writing this article during the Covid-19 pandemic and I can assure you that this is one of the biggest reasons people risk exposing themselves to this deadly virus. They’re bored!
Think about a time when you had to change and it helped you grow. Maybe you had to do something you hadn’t done before like taking on a new project at work or making a presentation in front of a group of people. Although you may have been uncomfortable at the time, change helped you to expand your comfort zone and become a bigger person.
How about when a change brought new opportunities? Maybe changing jobs early in your career is the reason why you have the job and lifestyle you have today.
Learning to deal with change helps you to learn more about you and your possibilities.
3. Look for the opportunities the change provides.
Like mentioned above, there are many positive aspects to the changes you could be currently facing in your life. You just have to learn to reframe them correctly.
For example, losing a job can seem like a negative change. But when you reframe this experience, you might find it provides you with many opportunities.
For example, you can change careers. You can find a better company, one that is more in line with your values. It might pay more. You won’t have to deal with that annoying coworker anymore. You may move to some place new and more exciting. You may have more free time, at least for a while, to spend with your family and on your hobbies.
Another example is a divorce can be traumatic, but, when you reframe it, you can see how it can also bring new opportunities. Armed with the experience from the relationship you just left, you can find a more suitable partner. You can move to a new neighborhood. You can choose what you do with your spare time. You can use reframing to put that challenging relationship behind you and move on with your life!
4. Visualize a positive outcome.
In Subliminal Success there is a chapter that describes the power of visualization. You can use visualization to create a positive outcome in your mind.
For example, visualize working at the new job for the company you really want to work at. Embracing change is a lot easier when you start imagining that positive image. These compelling pictures can help to motivate you and find alternative pathways to the outcome you desire.
5. Focus on what you can control.
Change always brings with it things you can and cannot control. For example, while you cannot control that the company you work for has laid you off, you can control your attitude, decisions and actions.
Decide what you can control and focus your time and energy on those things. For example, you can’t control being out of work but you can control if you use your time writing a new resume and posting it on job websites.
Embracing change means focusing on those things you have power over. Don’t waste your time focusing on the things you can’t control. It will only leave you feeling depressed and powerless.
6. Change is what makes you strong.
The organisms in our world that have survived most successfully are those that adapted the best. If an organisms can’t adapt it becomes extinct.
This is especially true for humans. The ones that have survived are excellent at adapting. They just don’t especially like to do it!
Over the years, change has made you grow. As you grew, you learned how to adapt to new circumstances and environments. Embrace change for what it is – something you can learn to help you overcome whatever challenges it brings and, though this, make you stronger.
7. What other options do you have?
While embracing change isn’t necessarily easy, it is inevitable. Unless you move into a cave in the mountains, you will be faced with changes you’ll have to deal with for the rest of your life.
By learning how to accept and embrace change, you can choose where you want the change to take you. This will help you choose the actions needed to make it happen.
Make “I Love Change” Your New Mantra!
Embracing change can be difficult but this doesn’t have to be the case. Change can bring amazing opportunities if you adopt the right mindset.
Change is all around you. It will keep coming at you for the rest of your life. You can choose to let it make you miserable or you can let it motivate you. It’s your choice.
Embracing change can bring you new ideas, people, and experiences. Life is too short to live the same day over and over. Make “I love change” your mantra. Accept the changes happening in your life. You just might find that you’re on the path to something new, exciting and wonderful.