It's normal to resist change, whether it comes knocking unannounced or when it rests as a looming feeling deep within us, nudging us towards growth. Most people don’t accept change easily, ironically, even when we have been begging the cosmos for change for years. The idea of “better” can be far more appealing than the reality of shifting your life and leaving things behind to actualize this “better” life you dream of.
Understandably, we get very comfortable with what we know. It could be a relationship, a job, a move, our weight, hair style, etc. When we grow settled for years within a certain lifestyle and state of being, leaving the safety of that behind for the unfamiliar can feel threatening to our sense of self. On a biological level, our brains are naturally hardwired to resist change and to seek safety and stability in order to survive.
However, we also understand that change is both beneficial and necessary in order to grow and evolve. So why do we resist it? When we are afraid of losing something we value, we will perceive “the pain of loss as greater than the power of gain” (David Gleicher). Even those of us who don’t identify as full-on control freaks in one shape or another, instinctually fear a loss of control. Acknowledging and understanding this about ourselves is a critical first step. We get nowhere fast by criticizing or judging ourselves for doing something “wrong” when this fear arises.
There is also a very real fear that if we change, we will let others down. Just because we choose to embrace change and expand beyond our current reality, doesn’t mean those around us will always do the same, nor does it mean it won’t trigger their own fears and resistance to change. While many of us can get attached to the fear of not living up to the dreams our loved ones hold for our lives, it’s not worth the self-betrayal and eventual sabotage that can surface when we resist change to keep others happy. Here are two reminders to help you embrace change and overcome your fear:
1. Ask yourself if you are happy without making a change, do you feel fulfilled and satisfied by the status quo? Sometimes we think we should make a change because of the opinions of others, where in fact, we are genuinely happy with how things are. Look into the future and picture yourself a year from now.
Where will you be if you don’t make this change, where will you be if you do? Can you pinpoint the different feelings in your body when you imagine those two scenarios? Which feels more authentically exciting or right for you at this point in your life? Can you distinguish if it is fear stopping you or is it a knowing that this just isn’t for you?
2. Reflect on the last time you made a big change. How did things work out for you? Accept the fact that you feel unsure about what lies ahead and that it is perfectly natural to resist change. Thank your fear for doing its job to keep you safe, but remember your intuition and your mind are there to help you overcome this fear, lean into change, and make a plan that is both strategic and flexible. Remember, this is your life and it will go by all too quickly. Stop worrying about what other people will think about you if you make the change you desire. In reality, they likely won’t even think about it for longer than a few minutes. Don’t let passing noise in people’s mind about you control your life. Change means you are growing. Even if you have to make a change that you aren’t too pleased about, it will help you grow. Step out and be bold! Change is a gift that allows you to transform parts of your life into a clearer reflection of who you are, to shift the parts that aren’t working into something more positive feeling. It may take time, hard work, patience and trust, but you will be made better for it. You have survived times of change before in your life and you will survive any change that comes your way.
Ankhasha Amenti is a Windbridge Certified Research Medium with the highly respected Windbridge Research Center (www.Windbridge.org). Her certification involved passing eight thorough screenings, testing and training steps during which her ability to report accurate and specific information about the deceased was scientifically tested under blinded conditions by Windbridge Institute Director of Research Julie Beischel, PhD. Her commitment is to give each of her clients a reading that provides comfort and validation that assures them their loved ones continue in spirit. In 2011 Ankhasha received the Annual Hospice Service Award from the Providence Hospice of Seattle. She lives a magical life in the misty forests of Washington State and can be reached by visiting her website www.Ankhasha.com.