1. It’s never comfortable at first.
No choice feels like the right choice in the beginning – that’s the cardinal rule of change. Think it as the same type of soreness that surfaces when you try a new workout routine – your muscles need time to adjust. And when you make a change, so does your mind. There’s going to be resistance at first. But all the good stuff is on the other side of that initial discomfort – if you let it stop you from the get-go you’re never going to see what amazing results could follow.
2. It’s going to call on skills you may not have yet.
Change is, by definition, going to demand a different version of yourself – one you may not be familiar with yet. This can be a cause for either panic or celebration. The bad news is that you may trip up as you step into a new set of shoes. The good news is that you get the incredible opportunity to grow into them – should you decide to take it.
3. Change is an investment, not a form of instant gratification.
Change isn’t necessarily going to make you happy on a day-to-day basis but it can and will pay off in the future if you’re doing it right. Sometimes the knowledge that things are on their way up is all the instant gratification you’ll get.
4. Frustration is a natural part of the process.
There is not a single transition on earth that does not frustrate us at one point or another. Some people use the frustration as an excuse to give up. Others recognize it for what it is – a normal reaction to a novel circumstance. Our brains get exasperated when they’re constantly encountering new stimuli – if we can only learn to be patient and kind with ourselves, adjusting to change becomes infinitely simpler.
5. Even good change is uncomfortable.
There is almost no change out there that isn’t a bit awkward at first. From meeting the love of your life to landing your dream job to taking a trip across the world, nothing is going to be sunshine and roses all the time. Accepting occasional unpleasantness as a natural part of change helps you push through it – it doesn’t mean you’ve made the wrong choice!
6. You aren’t always going to be in control of change.
No matter how badly you want things to remain the same, the odd change is going to get forced onto you – and it’s going to be painful. But it doesn’t mean you’re totally out of control. You still have autonomy over your response to change – how you manage it, how you adjust to it and how you re-frame it. And taking charge of your own attitude can make all of the difference in the world.
7. It can take a very long time to adjust to change.
It can take us years to psychologically adjust to a change that happens literally overnight. We have to re-learn so much of what we thought we knew and that kind of learning takes time. We have to give ourselves time to adjust. Probably more time than we initially suspected.
8. You can’t stop change from happening. But you can decide what form it takes.
Change is a natural part of life. If we don’t make it happen proactively, it happens to us – and not always in the form we’d like. People who aren’t afraid of change know that the only way to get ahead of the game is to decide what they’d like to see happen, and to pursue it with everything they’ve got. Time is going to pass and change is going to happen no matter what – all we have control over is what that change looks like in the end.