I have been thinking a lot about change lately, both personally and professionally. Recently we moved back to North San Diego country to a beautiful, serene area full of birds chirping, running water, and flowers blooming everywhere. While familiar with the coast, this is an area I do not know, with small country roads that twist and turn, opening up to expansive horizons, like buttercups dancing in the wind. My sensibilities have been altered and working to establish new patterns is strange.
Professionally Covid brought with it so many changes. Blended care became a way of the world and conference attendance went out the window, networking became zoom meetings, and hugs were virtual.
For so many people – our clients and others – the Covid world was and still is a scary place where Halloween masks became everyday garb and trips to the grocery store left us wondering if we would be safe. Anxiety, mental health, and substance abuse issues skyrocketed which as much force as Richard Branson propelling into space.
We all know that change is hard, often strange, as it takes us on new paths and directions. Change is challenging because our brains are hard-wired to do the same things over and over again, irrespective of the activity is good or bad for us.
Change, however, can be really good for us. Ask anyone who is in recovery from alcohol or other drug abuse what there life is like now after they changed from using mind-altering substances to living life drug free.
Here are 5 reasons why change is good for you
- You are pushed out of your comfort zone.There is comfort in following a daily routine. When you leave that safety net all of a sudden your assumptions are challenged. Your opinions, your mindset, and belief system are who you are and what you believe. The idea of doing the same thing over and over again without question is challenged. Getting out into the world and going somewhere new and different is fostered. You get to climb out of your cubicle.
- You get to experience more. Change is good because you have the opportunity for new experiences and new ways of looking at the world. Think about peering thru a kaleidoscope your sights are constantly shifting and you see things in a new light. So, too, do you when you start a new action, be it starting a job, going to school, etc.
- You get to find out who you really are. Change is good, as it forces you to examine your ethics and your integrity. You learn about your limitations and you figure out who you really are and how much you can handle. This helps you take a better path in life. You are learning that what you did in the past doesn’t match what you want to do in the present. You become open to the reality that what you did in the past doesn’t suit your future. New perspectives are at your doorstep and opportunities are plentiful.
- Teaches you to embrace chaos and make yourself more flexible and adaptable
- Change forces us to re-examine where we are, where we have been, and the road we wish to travel.
Every change, whether it is internal (you change something internally) or external (things we cannot control or choose to do differently: i.e. move, embrace recovery, change jobs, etc.), always teaches us something and leads us to a new opportunity, a new way of expressing yourself.
In sum, change is integral to one’s personal development. Again think about the beauty of recovery and the gift of the promised. Many huge changes – birth, life, death, career and living situations – may change and you might be the kind of person who does not like change, yet it is inevitable. It is possible to grab hold, embrace the course of change, and make it yours along the way.
List 3 changes that you chose in the last 6 months and 3 changes that happened to you or someone you loved.
- How did those changes come about?
- What part did I play in making those changes?
- How do I feel about them?
- What new skills and strategies have I learned?
- What have been the struggles?
- What are the gifts of change?
How are you embracing change? Please drop me a note and let me know. Together we all make a difference