In a world that is constantly changing, adapting to new circumstances can be very difficult. Gone are the days of working a single job for 40 years, retiring and having your safe pension come in every month. The world our parents lived in looked very different from the one we see today. After the economic crash in 2008, political instabilities rising all around the world and the planet heating up, having the feeling of security is no longer a luxury we can indulge.
The question remains: how do we deal with it? Can we stop it?
I have some good and some bad news for you. Let me start by giving you the latter first: you cannot stop the world from changing, it’s impossible.
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s look at the bright side :-)
With every change that comes, opportunity follows. The opportunity to start something new, learn, grow and expand your horizon is waiting for you.
Many of us want to hang on to the things we know as much as we can and at all costs! Why? Human beings seek safety as fundamental basic right. Change, for most, comes with a great deal of uncertainty and is therefore naturally avoided. Therefore, don’t beat yourself up if you struggle to overcome challenging your comfort zone because it has been passed down from our ancestors (fight vs. flight). But please don’t take this as an excuse to not expand your comfort zone!
After I had experienced my first major disruption of comfort during my 6 months stay at a boarding school in South Africa, I started to see change, not as something painful but rather as an exciting way to learn. The more I learned about the fascinating nature of change, the more I wanted to share what I discovered.
My 2 ways of getting comfortable with change
1) Giving up the illusion of control.
Many times we give way too much energy to something that we can ultimately not change. Are you worried about the future or still angry about the past? Think about it, both past and future do not really exist because the only time that ever only will is the present. Whatever happened in the past is done, you can now either change the way you look at it and resolve it or stay there and give away your power over something that is long gone. But what about the future? If you could change the future and have full control over it, boy...do I wanna know your secret! However, I’m pretty sure you can’t. You see, if you have no control over something, the only healthy choice is to do your very best and have faith in the way it turns out. If it doesn’t work, learn from it, grow and improve next time.
2) Life exists outside of your comfort zone, embrace it!
If you keep repeating what you know and do what you always do, chances are high you stay where you have always been. You will be living into an almost certainly pre-determined future. Small things will always change but if you are looking to expand your life and truly experience excitement, fun, and beauty, you have to do something new. Going all out and taking risks can be scary but it is the only way to see what you are truly capable of. Most importantly, change does not mean losing what you already have but rather enhancing it.
In the end, change is inevitable, it is the only constant in life. Our species has gone through major shifts and changes and yet we have always prevailed. There are many more problems that require solutions and as Albert Einstein said: “we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. Adapting to a changing environment is the one thing that has set us apart from other living beings on this planet.
I believe life is about learning, creating new experiences to enrich your life beyond measure. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable will lead to rewards in all areas of life. The choice is yours, my friends, take the leap!