In order to transform life into its highest and best version, we must first face and overcome any fears and resistances we have around change. That may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times clients come to see me wanting a big change in their life, like in a job or a relationship, yet they are surprised and at times reluctant to make the changes that will begin shifting their situation.
I get it. Change can mean letting go of our familiar fall-back positions. It often means moving beyond the choices and habits that feel safe and comfortable, even when they’re getting in our way. Who can’t relate to that? Let’s face it, change can bring some temporary discomfort. That’s why I always remind folks (including myself) that the rewards on the other side of it are worth it. And hey, life will bring change whether we want it or not, so why not learn to dance with it as gracefully as we can.
Embrace the Transition
While I truly believe that change doesn’t have to be hard, it does mean we have to enter into a state of transition. And transition always carries an element of uncertainty. That can be exciting, unsettling, and sometimes scary. Have you ever desperately wanted a big life change, but then when face to face with it, you end up shrinking back into your comfort zone, or worse, begin clinging desperately to the very things you are trying to rid yourself of? (Like a dysfunctional relationship or addictive habit).
Be Ready to Risk & Trust
Time and again, I find that fear is most often the dominant underlying block to moving forward and creating what we truly desire. Change involves risk and trust – even when there’s no evidence to warrant it. Risking and trusting can be scary business. And they’re also a necessary part of real and lasting change.
Express & Release Emotions
The truth of the matter is, when we’re in the process of changing, we have to let go of the old, and that can bring up emotions like fear, sadness, and anger. Our emotions have to be felt and released in order to move the energy bound up in them. Sometimes we require a container of safety in order to drop in, feel our emotions and express and release them. A lot of things can act as a container, such as a present and caring listener, art processes and being in nature, to name a few.
Change is natural. It can be experienced as difficult, scary, and even painful but it doesn’t have to be. If we do not resist it, if we embrace it and allow ourselves to be present with all of the emotions, sensations and experiences, then the discomfort will pass much quicker, much easier, and without the drama. Resistance is exhausting and frustrating. I know this all too well.
Listen to Your Intuition
Once you experience ‘taking the leap’ forward into the unknown, you find that you will get through it, and it’s usually not as bad as imagined. And if you don’t resist the internal prompts and intuitive hunches that are there to guide you, you will end up in a much better place than where you started.
For myself, I find that once I get through the discomfort of letting go of the old and I drop in and allow the feelings of disorientation and uncertainty that accompany transition, I find I always end up in a better place, internally, and often externally when the new finally arrives.