In life, the only thing that is certain is change. In my book Everything Will Be Okay I explore in depth the five components of change. Change is inevitable, however most of us spend a good deal of time doing all we can to avoid change. We all know someone who stayed in a bad marriage because the fear of the unknown was more powerful than staying in a dead end marriage. What about the person who wants to change careers but is afraid to try because they believe they don’t have the qualifications and think it would just take too long to get them, let alone even know where to begin.
Change is happening all around us, we are always being presented with opportunities to make positive changes in our lives and yet most of us will make excuses about why we aren’t ready to make the change.
And yet, if you ask, most people will tell you there is at least one area of their life they would desperately like to change.
So what’s stopping us from taking the leap and making a major (or even minor) change in our lives?
In order for change to happen the Five Components of Change need to be in place, they are:
Motivation is the most important component of change. It is was literally gets us out of bed in the morning. Your motivation can be quite different from the next persons, that’s ok. What’s important is that you have something that motivates you to move forward. It could be the desire for a better job that pays more so that you can live a more stress free life. For others it might mean finding a flexible job so you have the freedom to spend more time with your children or to take care of an aging parent. What motivates you might actually be out of fear. You might be motivated to work out at the gym every day and eat a healthy diet because you don’t want to suffer the same health issues you parents did. As you can see, it doesn’t matter what the motivation is, as long as it gets you moving.
Once you’ve determined what it is that motivates you, you’ll to focus. In this day and age it’s difficult for most of us to focus. There’s social media, the 24 hour news cycle, hundreds of cable channels and an ever exploding way to consume media via streaming services. New apps on our phones are popping up daily that distract us from what’s important. If you want to set the wheels of change in motion you’re going to need to put some blinders on and get down to business. The best way to stay focused is to create your routine for change. If you want to change careers you’re going to have to start somewhere and that’s usually at the bottom. If you currently have a job and don’t have enough savings to jump ship, you’re going to need to work slowly, but steady at your goal. That could mean getting up an hour early to send your resume to potential employers or it could mean spending a few hours at night taking classes to learn a new skill. Whatever it, you’ll need to create a new routine to fit it in to your life to bring about change.
Everyone has a story of a missed opportunity. Many of us can look back on our lives and see where our path took a turn. One road lead to the safe and known end while the other headed into the unknown. Many of us, when faced with an opportunity, especially when we weren’t looking for it, chose not to take it for fear of what might lie ahead. We may have believed it was a great opportunity, but we let fear win out and ignored out instinct. How many times have you ignored your gut feeling only to have that opportunity pan out wonderfully while the tried and true remained — old and boring? Real change takes real risk and you can’t take a risk without putting some faith in your instinct. Instinct is your body, mind and soul taking all your experiences and making an educated guess about something. While you may not be able to connect all the dots to come to the inevitable conclusion, you spirit can and does. The key is that you start listening to it.
In order for change to happen we need to accept that a loss is part of the change. You can’t change if you deny the loss. Coincidentally, without the loss, there is no motivation for change. People come in and go out of our lives at the very time we need them to. Jobs are lost because better ones are on the horizon or our time my better used in a different endeavor. Getting mired in the loss prevents us from moving forward. Accept your loss with the faith that something better is coming your way.
Replacing that Which was Lost
Because nature abhors a vacuum the space which was once filled and is now empty will be filled again. You must replace what has been lost and the best part is, we don’t always know what that replacement will be. We may think we know what it will be but then find that it was something completely different from our imagination.
All that motivation, focus, instinct and acceptance of loss has brought us to this miraculous new beginning. See, change isn’t so bad at all.
To read about the Five Components of Change in more depth check out my book Everything Will Be Ok.