It’s that six letter word that can catch us by surprise. That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, full of nerves, anxiety, and uncertainty. You start to feel overwhelmed by the thought of veering away from your comfort zone or disrupting what’s most familiar to you. Okay, maybe you are beginning to catch on because that powerful six letter word I’m talking about is:
Change can be a tender topic because we all deal with it differently. However, it’s something that I hold very close to my heart because it has ignited so much growth in both my personal development and business endeavors. To be completely transparent, change was exactly the catalyst I needed to be able to live the kind of life I had always imagined.
In the 2015 book, The Lies About Truth, author, Courtney C. Stevens says:
“If nothing changes, nothing changes.”
For such a simple phrase, it holds such incredible meaning that has always stuck with me.
Back in 2007, when my partner Glen and I were just starting on the Mind Movies journey, it wasn’t an easy road. There were many monumental moments of frustration where I felt like there was absolutely no relief in sight. Bills piling up left and right and debt increasing so rapidly I could barely think.
I was tired, exhausted, overwhelmed, and unsatisfied.
I was unable to wrap my head around what life had become.
But the steps to embracing change did not seem easy. So, I had to pump the brakes on the chaos for just a moment and really think about what I saw for myself, my business, and the life I truly wanted.
I said something has got to give. It was time to embrace change, and for me, it started with mindset.
“If nothing changes, nothing changes. If you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to keep getting what you're getting. You want change, make some.” - Courtney C. Stevens
But maybe for you change wasn’t a realization that spurred from wanting a change in life - perhaps you were completely blindsided. It can be hard to embrace change when it feels forced and out of your control. Your instinct may be to react, driving up your emotions, and sending you into a tailspin of worry and self-doubt.
So, no matter what it is, whether you are dealing with uncertainty or fear the unknown, consider this my open letter to you, as the art of embracing change lies in these sensible steps:
Acknowledge change, gracefully
It can be easy to react, and even overreact, to change, especially when you are caught off guard. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to calmly wrap your head around unexpected change. This allows you to acknowledge your emotions in a healthy way, instead of brushing them under the rug. Take a deep breath, stay in the moment, and understand that although it may be uncomfortable, this feeling will not last forever. Tell yourself, okay, this is what’s happening, but it’s not the end or final answer for me.
Learn with an open heart and mind
Change can be difficult at the beginning, but try challenging yourself to be open to newness. No matter your age, you can always learn something new. We often get too comfortable with what’s familiar, bigging up our egos in a way that makes it seem like we have everything under control. But the know-it-all mantra is a thing of the past because you’ll only revert back to those old habits and get stuck in monotony. It’s time to get out of your own way to start unlocking new possibilities and opportunities. So keeping an open heart and mind is one of the primary steps in navigating change.
Accept new possibilities
When things start to change, good or bad, understand that new possibles are just right around the corner. Early on, when we were building Mind Movies, we were so outside of our comfort zone, we realized there was no comfort zone at all! We saw that change could actually make us stronger because we had to learn how to undo what had been hardwired in us for so long. If you accept unexpected change as a shot at a new beginning, it becomes the perfect opportunity to start asking the Universe for answers. So stay curious and don’t be afraid to question what’s happening around you to see how this new change can work in your favor. Then, it becomes a matter of what you decide to do with these new opportunities.
Stay in action
Change may feel like a big shock to the system, making you want to crawl in a hole to avoid dealing with your emotions. As you may know, Glen is my partner in Mind Movies, be we were also married. Although things didn’t work out in our marriage, we are still the best of friends today. You see, once you have accepted that change it more about seeing the bigger picture, rather than dwelling on short-term flare-ups, getting to the other side of fear is doable… but you’ve got to stay in action. Don’t get me wrong, getting through a divorce was hard. I cried I grieved, I went through it all, but I knew I had to find that higher vibration. And I couldn’t do that without staying in action. So I had to ask myself those hard-hitting questions:
What’s in store for me in this next chapter of life?
Consider change as that spark or oomph that helps you get to the next step. Learn how to let go and use this new adrenaline to stay in action. Ask questions… reach out to friends and loved ones… find a healthy ritual. Instead of dwelling on the worry or fear of what’s to come, pay attention to what’s working and what’s not to make calculated decisions. Staying in action was me putting one foot in front of the other to navigate a new way for myself.
Give yourself praise for your growth
To change is to grow, so this one is a really big deal. No matter how change in your life has come about, the sheer fact that you are working to deal with it, is hugely courageous. So, don’t undervalue or undermine what you have just done by embracing change. It takes quite a bit of courage to change the way you normally handle certain situations. Maybe you’re familiar with the saying, “old habits die hard”. Well, habits can be hard to break, and to change is to break a habit, and that matters. So don’t forget to give yourself some credit.
Change can be scary, but it’s not scary forever. Change is how we grow and build resiliency. No matter how monotonous life may seem, change is inevitable. But the key is to learn how to embrace change in a way that you are not bogged down by the overwhelm of uncertainty.
If you are feeling unmotivated or closed off, I encourage you to take this super quick quiz to see which of your 7 chakras could be blocked. This is going to help you to understand which specific changes need to be made to start getting the most out of life.
Remember, if nothing changes, nothing changes - so here’s to all of us embracing change!
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.