Friday, August 4, 2017

Embrace Change . . . REALLY


I've heard the phrase a lot, as well as have it on the vision board that's hanging on my wall. Whenever I look at the board the component that jumps out at me first - hands down - is 'embrace change.'

[You'd think it would be the giant 'healthy,' right?]

Weird. Is there a reason for that? I think, yes, as I'm going through a career/life transition and figuring out what I REALLY want, what I enjoy, what makes me happy. And then the easier part of figuring out how to apply these things and make a living. I'm not joking about application being the easy part. I mean, it's hard, but the introspection that has to come before it is REALLY hard! Which is probably why I still haven't passed through that phase . . .

With a fluid and ever-changing life state and an overwhelming number of possibilities before me, yes, I think there's a reason 'embrace change' jumps out at me.

However, I discovered that I might not be viewing the 'embrace change' philosophy through the best lens. Last night, I realized that I associate change that needs to be embraced with change that is not necessarily the result of one's choosing. Therefore, I subconsciously attach a slight negative connotation to it, I think. That's not to say I think change is a bad thing, but in my experience embracing change typically contains elements or situations where there is pain or great uncertainty before glory and excitement. For example, moving on from a relationship that's no longer suiting you or getting transferred to a different team/project at work. These changes are definitely good, and more often than not you know they are - or will be - good for you, but what if there's more to the whole thing?

Maybe embracing change is really about actually feeling all of the emotions we have as we are experiencing them, in an effort to REALLY take in the moment - and life. With this thought in mind, you could totally apply the 'embrace change' mindset to fantastic, planned changes that take place. They are changes, after all, and you do need to embrace them fully. Let's flip the previous examples. Maybe this joyful change results from working on a relationship to now positively benefit all parties, or acknowledging and getting excited about the new things you'll learn in your new team or project at work, added responsibilities you might have, greater ownership, and an overall new experience.

We can all embrace change:
- in times of struggle and uncertainty: trusting and working hard so that things work out in our favor (however that may be - even if unknown to us)
- in times of joy and clarity: celebrating achievements and direction you are traveling, expressing your emotions and sharing them with others, and then paying it forward to help others do the same.

The Google dictionary tells me that embrace means:
"accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically"

That sounds pretty good to me!

What changes are you dealing with right now? Are you embracing the more difficult changes with an open mind and sense of adventure? Or the easy, joyful changes by allowing yourself to truly feel your emotions at this time and sharing them with others - helping to inspire and motivate?

I hope so. 
I'll certainly be adding this to my list of things to work on.