We all know that nothing lasts forever. It’s a fact of life that has guided the evolution of our society since the dawn of time.
Without change, there is no innovation, creativity or incentive for improvement. Improvement means moving forward. It means making life better. It doesn’t just occur on the macro level, across time and civilization. It happens to all of us in our individual lives, too. And how we react to change determines our results.
The fact is, life is going to throw you some curveballs from time to time, whether you like it or not.
Fear of the unknown can be a major factor in resisting change. Even in the best of circumstances and even when change is invited, it can often be scary. I would bet that if you examine your past and look at all the ways life has changed up to this point, things often turn out for the better. I call it fortunate happenstance.
Do you see how, when you look in retrospect, things have lined up just right? You have every reason to think that way about the future, too. You might not know where you’ll end up, but if your mindset is right, you can trust that your direction is positive.
When we learn to manage our mindset, focusing on the potential positive outcomes, we often make the most out of each circumstance surrounding change. When we look at some of life’s common changes and dissect them to see if we can take some of the fear and apprehension out of the unknowns, we are better equipped to deal with the new circumstances.
One of the biggest situations I’ve found that people worry about in their lives is the change that happens in a family when their first baby is on the way. Even with the excitement of the great news, many couples are very apprehensive about the fact that things will change and never again be the same.
Well, it is 100% true. So many things change once a baby arrives, but they are by and large good changes. Sure, you might miss out on some sleep for a while; but once you hold that tiny miracle in your hands, you wonder how you ever survived without them.
Like building a family, some changes are just evidence that your life is moving forward to a new stage—a stage full of new adventures and experiences. So why does change scare you? It could be because you haven’t properly shaped your thinking. Here are a few pointers for managing a proper mindset:
1. Ask for help.
A key factor in dealing with change is asking for help. Examine your family, your friends and your team, and determine those people who would be best equipped to help you with your current life changes. I believe that when you do, you will find that there are a lot of people who care about you and are willing to help you figure out how to respond to the changes.
2. Reframe your perspective.
I recently lost my father, and I was having a hard time dealing with the loss as we were very, very close. I reframed my thinking and determined that I was now the patriarch of the family and was in charge of the legacy moving forward. Sometimes change is hard, but we can always reframe our perspective.
3. Look for positives.
Life changes are often out of your control. Don’t fight them, but do find healthy ways to deal with these situations. How you deal with change will set you apart from those around you.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of SUCCESS magazine and has been updated. Photo by @Rushay/Twenty20
Tony Jeary is an author, executive coach and presentation strategist. Jeary has published more than three dozen books about making presentations and strategic effectiveness. He coaches the world's top executives from companies such as Wal-Mart, Ford, New York Life and Texaco.