When it comes to change I think people fall into one of the below:
Change champions who thrive on change, embrace it and drive it.
Change surfers who aren’t bothered either way, go with the flow and take it in their stride.
Change freakers who understand the need for change, but struggle with the uncertainty.
Change refusers who like things as they are, and don’t understand the need for change.
I’m a ‘change freaker’ disguised as a ‘change surfer’! I understand things can’t always stay the same, so I endeavour to go with the flow, but there’s always something niggling in my mind which leaves me feeling, well, twitchy!
I now know my ‘twitchiness’ stems from my need to be in control. I manage my life through a series of to-do lists and routines. I like and need structure, but change and structure don’t always go hand in hand, particularly if I’m not the one making the adjustments! I’ve learnt to re-train my mind that a change of plan isn’t the end of the world! I revise and adjust. Trying to view change as an opportunity helps too – a second chance to try again, or to experience something new.
When I had my son, I fast learnt young children and plans don’t mix. There is no ‘popping’ anywhere, and even five years on I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get somewhere on time or do something I’ve planned. I’ve had to learn to let things go. It still frustrates me no end when my plans are de-railed, but (on good days!), I can now take a step back and adjust my thought process. If it’s within my control, I can choose to do something about it, but if it’s not, I have to accept it, let it go and move on.
I’m going through some changes now, and I found this quote from Martin Luther King, which resonated with me. It reminded me that it doesn’t matter what lies ahead, I need to trust my decision, have faith and take a step. I’ve been freaking out because I don’t feel in control yet, but, the worrying is preventing me from taking any steps at all! I need to be patient, live in the present and take one step at a time.
Having said I’m not a fan of change, I love the feeling that I am in complete control of my life. It may sound bizarre, but it’s taken me years to realise this. There are changes which happen to you in your life, rather than by you, but ultimately you hold the pen to write what happens next. There’s always a choice. What happens next is based on how you choose to react to those changes which aren’t made by you.
Final thought: What about you, do you need to practice letting things go? How do you manage change, or does it manage you? Remember – there’s always a choice.