Ride The Winds Of Change!
by Ruby Bayan - 05/21/99
Everyday we find ourselves standing at the doorstep, looking out to the world, asking, "Should I go or should I stay?" For most of us, deciding to move to another job is a Herculean task that keeps us awake pondering, "What am I getting into?" To many, even as we hear the loudspeakers fill the church with the hymn of the wedding march we still ask, "Am I ready for this major change in my life?" And I know, sometime within the next 24 hours, you will pause and ask yourself, "Do I really want to do this?"
The foundation of the circle of life is change. As certain as death and the passing of time: change. We can either fret and fight it because it gives us sleepless nights of anxiety, or accept its eventuality and ride it because it can be put to our best advantage.
We can learn to accept change by answering a few basic questions:
- What are the reasons for the change? Who or what is causing it? Why is it important?
Change is often prompted by social factors. Getting engaged or married comes from a deep desire to share a life of love and partnership. Changing careers is usually motivated by wanting to improve income or gain prestige. Buying a new house becomes a must for the growing family. A simple change of hairstyle or wardrobe sometimes stems from an inner need to boost self-esteem. Whatever the need for change that faces you at the moment, understand the reasons and why they are important.
- What are the things I cannot be sure about right now? Can I do something about them now?
If your answers are vague, confused, or simply "I don't know", then you're OK. As certain as change is in this existence, so is the uncertainty that goes with it. Right? Change is accompanied by uncertainty. And everyone is uncomfortable with uncertainty. But not knowing if your fiance' will eventually hurt you should not stop you from loving him and walking down the aisle with him. Because no one can ever be sure. To accept the discomfort of facing the unknown as part of change is one major step in accepting change.
- What are the advantages? What will I gain? And what are the disadvantages? What will I lose?
Now it's time to write down the answers. Yes. Write them down because as long as you do not see them numbered in front of you, they will all be jumbled and totally unmanageable and extremely stressful to deal with while they're all swimming in your head. Two columns: Advantages/Gain, Disadvantages/Lose. Be honest. Before you make the leap, try to know and understand, with all the available information, what you are really dealing with. This will definitely give you some peace of mind.
Remember that fear of change comes from the fear of loss of something precious that exists in the status quo. Whether it's power, freedom, security, money, comfort, or the close presence of a loved one, the loss that accompanies the change is what will make you want to resist and stay in the current situation. Be realistic and deal with this fear. Don't let the fear cloud the advantages of the change.
We cannot stop the world from presenting us with many various opportunities for growth and improvement. These opportunities come to us as challenges that are often incomprehensibly larger than life. The bigger the opportunity, the bigger the trade-off, the bigger the prize. And the tougher to deal with, naturally. Its demands: tough decisions, stressful risk-taking, and major changes.
So, think it over. And when you're ready, jump in, and hold on. Effectively ride the winds of change. Emerge stronger and more confident to grab the next exciting opportunity. Because such is the spice of life, right?