A good friend and colleague of mine, frequently reminds me of that fact. She likes to point out that while some changes are positive, some negative, some in between and most stressful, it is important to accept that the only thing in life you can truly count on is change. Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons or the fact that the kids are back in school (even though it has been many years since my own children were in school) but September has always felt like the start of a brand new year to me and hence has had me pondering of late, change.
Recently some fairly significant changes have occurred not only in my own life but in many of the lives of the people who inhabit my own small corner of the world. It has occurred to me as I have witnessed and experienced all of these changes in rapid succession that while change can be very stressful, having a positive attitude as you feel your way through it can help derail some of the anxiety and “fear of the unknown” that many life changes inevitably cause.
I have also strangely enough, come to appreciate “being of a certain age”. Why you ask? Because life is all about change really, and as you go through each phase of your life, if you pay attention, the changes that you deal with help prepare you for the changes yet to come. Some changes in life are exciting like starting high school or becoming a parent, some are scary and overwhelming like moving to a new city or starting a new career and some evoke mixed emotions like sending you’re first born off to college or going in to retirement. One certainty in life is that there will always be changes that hit you right out of the blue, that you feel ill equipped to handle and would prefer to run from rather than go through. Those are usually the changes that define you, that when you look back on, you wonder how you made it through and hopefully realize how much you grew because of it.
When you get to the point in life where you have dealt with many different changes, some expected, some unexpected, some good, some bad you don’t fear change as much, at least I don’t. While each major life change is a challenge in and of itself, all are unique to the individual and circumstance. Perception is reality. How a person perceives a major life change can have a dramatic effect on their ability to cope with it. People who fear change can be their own worst enemies, their own negativity about the change can color its effect on their life and it almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Change can either be the best or worst part of life depending on your attitude toward it.
Change is really the true constant in life, without change you don’t grow, learn or fully develop into who you are as a person. Think about it, are you who you were 10 years ago, for most of us the answer is no, what changed you? What changes in your life, challenged you to change your path, your interests, outlook, or opinion. Looking back at how you have handled change in your life can ease the anxiety of handling future change and help you appreciate just how what you have dealt with has led you to who you are.