If you follow me on social media you may be aware that I recently embarked on a major change in my life- a change that up until a week prior, I didn’t think would require so much mental preparation. This made the build up quite difficult for me and the excitement and enthusiasm that had built up over the summer quickly dwindled down.
To combat the anxiety and stress that I began feeling almost suddenly, here are a few things I had to force myself to do:
Understand what change is
It was important for me to remember that change is a vital and inevitable part of life. Change in itself was not going to be a stage of my life but simply part of the transition. Change can be a strange and unknown place but sometimes this is what you need to cross over to find yourself in a place that is much more comfortable. To change you must lose, learn and love.
Lose: get rid of the old so that you have room for the new and improved
Learn: understand that this is something new and although you may not get it straight away, with a bit of effort you will
Love: love yourself enough to acknowledge that evolving and developing in each aspect of your life is for your benefit
Understand why change is necessary
I mentioned in a previous post that being in a certain phase of life for a long period leads to feeling too comfortable and makes change difficult to embrace- this was definitely something that I was experiencing. But ultimately I needed this change to progress, I couldn’t stay where I was forever and it was impossible for me to develop any further without this great change. I had worked so hard towards this upcoming change, I had to remind myself that at one point I actually wanted it!
Understand why I was against this change
We’re human, some of us have unfortunately mastered the art of forecasting the worst possible scenario- which in some cases is a good thing to do, as long as you remember that this isn’t the only possible scenario. One thing I experienced in the two weeks before my change was a sense of confusion, I felt unprepared and uneasy about the situation but I couldn’t pinpoint why exactly this was. Obviously deep down I knew the reasons, but simply talking to someone about how you’re feeling so that you can clearly see what your fears are, may help you to realise how silly they might be or provide opportunity for counsel and advice.
After thinking about these three things I had built up enough courage to go ahead and face my new change. The next step was putting practical steps in place to keep me motivated and positive once the change had actually occurred. Simply having a positive attitude towards your new situation doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth sailing, but this isn’t a good enough reason to turn back either! When you’ve already had doubts about this it can be very easy to convince yourself that it must have all been a mistake and go back to the way things were; this is where goal setting comes in handy!
To make the most out of any change you need to keep the momentum going. The two ways in which I chose to do this was to set both long term and short term goals, and also to list all the new opportunities and benefits my change would bring as reminder of why I had embarked on this new journey in the first place. If you read this blog a lot you have probably guessed that writing things down, especially in the form of lists does wonders for me, find something that works for you if lists aren’t exactly your thing. The important thing is to do this before you have your change, this ensures you don’t get thrown off from the very start and give up straight away.
The most significant thing that helped me combat my mental resistance and growing pains was strengthening my faith. I had to choose faith over fear and remind myself of Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Be sure not to give into fear and close a door that God has opened for you.
One of my favourite songs that carries this same message:
I hope that this helps you through whatever change you may be going through in your life