Hi, my name is Stephanie, and I don’t like change. This was literally the first thought that came to my mind when I decided to write this post. Change has always been very difficult for me. I consider myself a flexible person in my day-to-day life, but sometimes a major change can totally rock my world.
Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler
Call me boring, but I’m all about normalcy and the comfort it brings. I like to know what to expect. I enjoy traditions and my daily routines. Moving to Chicago was probably one of the most difficult changes I have ever experienced in my life. Although I was excited and on complete autopilot when I was preparing to move in with Chuck and find a new job, I was struggling mentally and emotionally for a long time after. My whole world had changed and nothing was the same. While my life in Chicago is now my “new normal,” it took a while for it to become that way.
Now this is an extreme case, but day after day we are faced with changes that continue to shape us. Some are small changes in our daily life, and others are major life changes that have more of a sudden impact on our world.
One of my goals for the upcoming year is to work on embracing change in my life and notice the effects that these changes have on me over time. I have come up with 6 mantras for embracing change that I am going to use on this journey. I am hoping that continuing to repeat them and believe in them every day will help me as I continue to face changes in my life.
1. I am the change
Sometimes when I experience change in my life I feel a loss of control. I especially feel this way if I’m going through a change that I wasn’t expecting or did not want in my life. Once we realize that we are in control of how we react and what we do next, we realize that we ARE a part of this change.
This mantra reminds me to take back some of this control of my life. Next time you feel that loss of control, think about what you have power over in the situation. The initial change might have been caused by a force out of your control. Remember that you are the ending force that takes the change to its next step by your actions that follow. YOU are the change.
2. I was born with the strength to do this
When I am faced with a change that might be unexpected or daunting, I admit that I don’t always have the most confident self-talk. The phrases, “I don’t even know where to start.” or “This is so much more difficult than I ever thought it would be” surface in my mind. I know, I know, I’m working on it!!
This particular mantra is one that I have used in many situations throughout my life. It ignites my inner strength and reminds me that I’ve had the power within me all along to conquer these thoughts of doubt or hesitation. When you find yourself questioning your ability to overcome certain fears that come with a change in your life, remind yourself that you already have that strength to face this new transition. Find a way to bring it to the surface!
3. I dance with fear
Fear often makes its appearance when we are experiencing change in our lives, even when excitement is present. Fear can be motivating and awakening as it reaches the depths of our souls and pulls us in different directions. It protects us and causes us to be cautious. While we should listen to its sirens and feel its emotion, we must eventually step out of its shadows.
This mantra does not tell us to ignore our fear when we are faced with a change. Instead it encourages us to feel it, dance with it, and keep pushing forward. Allow yourself to embrace fear as well as the change you are experiencing. Fear and change are often a packaged deal, but their combined force will only make you stronger.
4. I can collect new moments
As much as we love consistency and normalcy in our lives, there is no such thing as living the same moment twice. We cannot recreate an experience or a tradition in the exact same way it has happened in the past. This is a blessing in disguise. I have found myself trapped in memories and traditions. I want certain moments to be the same as they have been before, or I want to have the same feeling as I did when I initially had an experience.
This mantra gives the experiences and traditions in my life permission to change completely or look a little different from year to year. Feelings and moments should continue to evolve over time because we are all continuing to grow and change! Embracing the idea of new moments and feelings gives us permission to experience small changes even with our most cherished traditions.
5. Change is my new normal
As I stated earlier, I find comfort in consistency and knowing what to expect. A major change in your life can disrupt this flow or make it look completely different. I have found more times than not that changes bring on a new normal to your life that will eventually feel comfortable and familiar to you.
This mantra reminds me that change is definitely difficult, and then suddenly you find yourself settling into your new normal. The change that occurred turns into a memory of the past that brought you to this new chapter.
6. Sometimes I’m the caterpillar, sometimes I’m the butterfly
The only thing constant is change, right? Change is always on the horizon. Sometimes we are the caterpillar anticipating a transition in our lives. This season can be long, exciting, and difficult as we are preparing for a change that is coming our way. Other times we are the butterfly — the change has happened, we see life in a new and exciting light, and we have gone through a process that has caused us to become a different version of ourselves.
This mantra reminds us that change is never over and we are never done learning and growing in our lives. You might remain the butterfly for a while, flying high on top of the world allowing your vibrant colors to shine. Soon you might find yourself as the caterpillar once again with another change in the works. Maybe you’ll go back and forth between the two frequently as you experience ups and downs. We are never done being one or the other, and both are a beautiful stage to experience!
Change is inevitable. We evolve over time because of the small changes that occur each day. We learn a great deal from the monumental changes that suddenly impact our lives. Whether you are currently the caterpillar or the butterfly in this particular season of life, remember this one thing: change is a constant journey, not a destination.
Let’s allow ourselves to feel every ounce of fear and excitement with the changes that we face. There is beauty in every change as we continue the journey down new paths of our undiscovered lives!
Wishing you zest & light,