I’ve heard it said that the only thing you can count on is change. It’s ironic that the one thing in life that is certain often makes us uncomfortable because of its uncertainty. Most people prefer familiarity; we like to be able to make our plans based on some degree of predictability. But change is inevitable and so we must not only accept it as part of life, but we may be better off if we learn to embrace and leverage change in order to obtain our personal and professional goals.
One of the ways I’ve learned to embrace change is to remember how many changes that did not feel good when they happened, actually ended in good things. I remember once being laid off of a job. I was quite upset. The funny thing was that I didn’t even like the job, but I probably would not have quit on my own, at least not until I was absolutely miserable. After being laid off, I went back to school to study Information Technology and got a much better job, which I had for over eight years. In fact, my new company paid for me to continue school and I was able to get a degree in Management Information Systems and an MBA. Looking back, that layoff was absolutely one of the best things that ever happened to me. So I know that change can be good even though it doesn’t always feel that way in the beginning.
Personal and professional growth are rarely possible without change. Growth is what happens as you learn to navigate and respond to life shifting under your feet. Change is when skills are sharpened, new talents and strengths are developed, relationships are tested and when vision and purpose become clear. When change is difficult, resilience keeps you going and at the end of each day your confidence grows just a little more.
As I have matured (a different way of saying gotten older), I’m more comfortable with change and in some ways I actually look forward to it. I know it’s inevitable and I know it’s coming, so I try to remain flexible, grateful, and keep my focus on a positive outcome rather than the change itself. Change can be scary, but it can also be exciting and happy. New tax codes…scary. Buying a new house…exciting. Getting married…happy. Starting a new business…all three! One thing is certain — things will change. But who knows…maybe one day that will change.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” John Maxwell