Loving The Only Constant; Change - Creation.begins

Loving The Only Constant; Change

close-up of buds on stems
The Process Of Betterment
30 April 2024
close-up of buds on stems
The Process Of Betterment
30 April 2024

Loving The Only Constant; Change11 min read

The subject of change and the fear most people have around it came up recently, which brought up the question for me, “why do so many people fear or resist change?”

Speaking for myself, change has been a regular part of my life. I moved around a few times as a child, to several different homes every few years, schooled in three different schools in two different provinces, followed by university, then moving for work, and moving for work again, and changing jobs, and trying out different careers and activities, and meeting new people through it all. Change is inevitable. Anyone who schooled with me when I was 10 would be helluva surprised to meet me now and discover I’m practically nothing like that 10-year-old. Heck, I’m barely the same as my 10-year-ago self.

So if change is so much a part of life and fairly natural to flow with, why is there still so much resistance?

Deep-seated fear

To be fair, I never stopped to think about being afraid of any changes. I just did what felt right and what I thought would lead to better things, and figured it out as I went along. It wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always hard. It’s just the usual challenges that we all experience. At no time while I was changing careers and social groups and discovering more of myself that I ever felt that I was missing out or that this was any more of a struggle than my friends in their secured jobs and homes and social groups. Everyone is going through something or the other, and they were all experiencing the changes in their own lives whether they were instigating it or not, because well life continues to change. Nobody can look at any two decades in the last hundred years and say that life isn’t changing it up at a phenomenal pace.

Which brings us back to why would anyone fear something so natural? Well, because we’re human and most humans have been conditioned into fear and insecurity, and therefore, more people than is healthy for any society are afraid of the natural occurrences of evolution and death and the cycles of destruction and growth.

Winter and Spring have come every year for millennia. We’ve seen nature die and rebirth over and over again. We know that even though people are dying every day, the population size of humanity continues to grow and at over 8 billion people, we aren’t going extinct any time soon. Now granted death is a bigger topic to discuss so let’s leave that for another post. Change on the other hand is an everyday occurrence and to fear something so common and so natural for so long as a species is, I think, just a little weird.

Autumn leaves of varying colours hanging on a string as decor

Photo by Chris Lawton

The double-edged sword of life

We know that we are all individuals and everyone might have their own reasons and traumas for resisting changes, but here are some of the more common reasons people might be inflexible.

Fear of the unknown is the big one. Socialised humans crave predictability. Before we are conditioned to be “stable”, we are naturally curious and eager to explore our surroundings, often demonstrating an innate sense of fearlessness. This quality allows us to learn and grow, unhindered by the worries that often hold adults back. I believe that if we were to unlearn the teaching that made us prioritise structure and linear thinking, we would return to that more free-flowing exploration mode, not craving that structure and predictability, but instead craving the newness of fresh experience.

As we age, most human adults gradually develop a need for stability and predictability, turning to routines and structure. It’s often cited that following a system is essential to navigating the complexities of daily life, but often the systems we have been forced into are the reasons for those same complexities. Sure, have some predictability in your life, but design that routine to work for you, while you continue to nurture the fearlessness of your youth. The balance between these two facets must remain flexible and will certainly evolve, shaped by your individual experiences and personal growth, but it is essential to learn to love change, and learn to better discern which unknowns to be more wary off. The reality is there aren’t that many unknowns that need be feared.

Loss of control is next on the list. Change can make people feel like they have less control over their lives. This happens when change is forced upon us, and it will happen when we don’t take the opportunities to change when we can. All of us, as we grow and discover more of the experiences we have access to as humanity, we have the chance to educate ourselves, train ourselves, or otherwise evolve ourselves, gaining skills and knowledge that will help to relatively easily transition into new avenues or new ways to do old things. When we pay attention to our world and notice the changes at their early stages, we maintain control of our lives by then preparing ourselves for said change.

The world has not stayed the same for a very long time, probably since it was invented. It’s only socialised humans who try their damndest to keep things the same despite the fact that no living being in the history of everything has ever managed to tame the tide of change. Just like we all needed to learn how to life with computers and the Internet and personal digital devices and moving beyond that boring “straight and narrow” way of relating to people, we are going to have to continue learning to live with all the new inventions and technologies en route, and with people being more creative, and varied, and individual, and totally not interested in outdated “traditional” ways of being.

Comfort in routine: To be fair the above issues rest in the fact that adults establish habits and routines to provide a sense of security while they continue to be insecure at their core. Insecure people crave security and so they try to form this fake sense of security by holding on to their scheduled way of life. The solution is to go to therapy in whatever form works for you, and heal the part of your inner self that feel insecure. This is a personal journey and may take some time to process whatever traumas and situations have caused you to feel insecure. It might also be worth saying that most of humanity feels insecure. We’ve been raised to be insecure people and it’s up to us, as adults, to sort our shit out with the help of seasoned professionals so that we can return to being the adaptable, light, easy-going, playful creatures that we naturally are.

Lack of trust that the change will be beneficial also prevents adults from embracing change. This issue comes down to the fact that we are all too obsessed with thinking and foreplanning. When we can’t see the end result or the complete bridge from where we are to the end result, we often don’t believe that our preferred end result will happen, and so we opt to not do anything at all instead. Now a healthy level of caution is valuable but complete distrust in the universe doesn’t serve us at all. What this actually comes down to more though is the ability to trust ourselves.

I, for example, have been through many personal changes, internally and externally, and while some were hard, and some didn’t lead to where I’d have liked, and some didn’t pan out at all, all those experiences grew me and made me more able to keep going, and more trusting in my ability to pick myself up, dust off, and try again. When you can trust in yourself, and know that you can figure your way out of most things, change isn’t as scary. You will start to allow the universe to do its thing, while you do your thing, and know that you will make it through. Or die trying 😉

Perceived risk, like potentially dying, can make change seem dangerous. And, yes, change can be seen as risky, with potential negative consequences. But that could be said of remaining the same, too. A lot of people who have not kept up with the times, like the old ones among us, are now at a greater risk of not being employable or missing out on those adventures they thought they’d delay in favour of permanent employment. There is risk in everything and all we can do is work on ourselves to be more calculated with our approach to changes.

There is always the chance that things won’t work out in the way you want, but you will almost always gain some value from the adventure that makes it less risky in the future. Risk is only a problem when you don’t know how to mitigate it, and learning to do that comes with practice and experience.

Unwillingness to adapt: This is just a mental stuckness that people have. Some people struggle to adapt to new situations or environments simply because they haven’t had the chance to do so. It’s like going to a new restaurant and only ordering what you know from going to older restaurants. Yeah, you might enjoy the mundaneness of sameness but you also aren’t really living. Life is about experience and newness and enjoyment, and all of that comes from living days that are different, compared to those people who live the same day for 27 years and call it a life.

Fear of failure can be a paralyzing force that hinders our ability to achieve success. It can trap us in a cycle of indecision and inaction, preventing us from taking the necessary risks that lead to growth and progress. However, failure is an essential component of success, serving as a stepping stone on the path to achievement. With each failure we can learn valuable lessons, gaining us insight into what works and what doesn’t. By embracing our failures and, obviously, learning from them, we can adapt our strategies and take more calculated risks in the future.

Ultimately, overcoming the fear of change in all its guises is crucial in our pursuit of success, as it empowers us to embrace challenges, persevere through adversity, and unlock our potentials. Of course, everyone’s different and there can be other reasons hindering our progress, too. The key is recognizing and addressing these fears to make change a little less daunting.

A defaced poster reads "Change is coming, whether you like it or not."

photo by Markus Spiske

It’s going to happen anyway

No matter what your views, you cannot deny that our world will continue to change regardless of who fears that change, and our only real option is to find our way back into being fearless and adventurous, embracing that life of minimal struggle and more time to fill with our desired pursuits.

The dream of minimal struggle and loads of free time is a delightful goal to work towards. We all, at some level, want to be kicking back, sipping on piña coladas, and thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe I used to have such a busy schedule.” and someday, hopefully soon, many more of us will achieve that, but that’s all change. Even positive change means you still have to make the effort to change.

In conclusion, embracing change is a powerful catalyst for personal growth and fulfilment. By reframing our mindset to view change as an opportunity rather than an obstacle, we open ourselves up to new experiences and possibilities that can propel us toward our goals. Along this journey, it is essential to practice self-compassion, acknowledging that setbacks and challenges are inevitable. However, with resilience and perseverance, we can navigate these obstacles and emerge stronger and more capable than before.

By embracing change and adapting to life’s uncertainties, we can ultimately lead better, more positive lives, eventually drawing closer to the specific desires and dreams that make our hearts soar. Remember, the power to create a brighter future lies within each of us, and it begins with the simple yet transformative act of embracing change.

Be inspired to be yourself

The world is a playground, laden with opportunities to experience pretty much whatever we want to experience.

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