Here are 3 effective ways to embrace change with fearlessness
Change comes in two different forms.
Either it is imposed upon us or we are confronted with a choice and need to make a decision.
Globally we have all faced imposed changes during 2020 and 2021. I lost my business and know that many similar stories will emerge from this period. As with everyone in an industry that didn’t thrive during the roller coaster of lockdowns and general upheaval of the pandemic, I went through all the emotions of grief. I tried to positively pivot but couldn’t seem to find the right answers.
Then I remembered to take my own advice and set fear and the fatigue that can accompany it aside.
Fear will mean different things for everyone
Most of us will face some of it when we are presented with change. I would describe myself as fearless and determined. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get flustered and overwhelmed but I will face that fear directly. I’ll grasp quickly at opportunities that come my way. Whilst I am extremely open to adventurous change, I’m not advocating always making the choice to adjust your direction without taking a good critical look at all your options.
How can you do this?
1. View your life in chapters.
I choose to imagine my life as a book rather than as a profile feature piece with simply a beginning and an end. My non-fiction book comes with sections and chapters and as is common in literature, they pivot around a conflict, change, or choice.
You can choose to divide yours chronologically or otherwise. Viewing your life in this way allows you to develop your fearlessness to accept change, anticipate change and even embrace change.
If we are enjoying or see value in our current chapter of life or work then we remain comfortably within it. However, we may need to close it and reinvent ourselves by grasping or starting something new. Even if a chapter closes, it doesn’t mean you can never go back or re-visit aspects of it – that is what a bookmark is for!
2. Surround yourself with positive cheerleaders.
Naysayers may tell us to fear change and tend to fear it themselves. Cheerleaders are the people in our lives who demonstrate courage themselves and offer their support and encouragement for embracing change. These people aren’t afraid to give us tough feedback or ask hard questions, and in this way, they help us think of what could be. I am grateful to have recognized and listened to these kinds of supporters in my own life. Had I gravitated to the critical voices, I never would have changed direction nor had the courage to start new chapters. The boost from my cheerleaders has been priceless.
Find your supporters and wrap them around you. You may find cheerleaders at work, within your networking groups or family. Sometimes it can be helpful to find support with a coach who can inspire you to view situations from a variety of perspectives to find new possibilities.
3. Get clear on your purpose.
When I meet people who fear change it’s often because they have no true purpose, aside from earning money and getting by.
When you understand your purpose—your why—then you are better prepared for change. You can lean into it and determine what meaningful actions are needed and how to take those actions. Change won’t frighten you because you know who you are and who you want to be.
When you find yourself in a chapter that doesn’t reflect you or your mission, then it is time to bring it to a close.
Start mentally jotting down some of your chapters and review where you can take some small steps of change. Practice viewing hurdles and obstacles as opportunities and try to embrace change that comes your way. When you are clear about who you are and what your purpose is then you will be able to make braver decisions and open and close new chapters.