I’m assuming most of you clicked through to read this post because you’re either going through a big change, or there’s one on the way. I’m constantly reading messages from you guys about the changes you’re enduring or big transitions you’re about to make. Some of you are making the move to a new city, graduating and starting your first job, quitting your day job to pursue a passion, taking on a new role in your company, thinking about adding to your family, getting into a new relationship, or ending an old one.
Regardless of what you’re currently going through, I think one thing we can all agree on is that change is scary. Even though there’s a great chance something awesome lies ahead.. our fear of the unknown can be overwhelming at times. Especially for control freaks whose minds crave certainty (🙋🏼).
Did you know your brain actually prefers predictable negative consequences over uncertain outcomes? Our minds crave certainty and avoid uncertainty. But we’re living in a world that is constantly changing and evolving. Change is inevitable.
I want to walk you through 6 things that have help me face change with courage and find peace in the uncertainty of the future…
- Ask your situation, “What are you here to teach me?”
HAVE THE COURAGE to welcome the unknown with open arms and treat everything as a lesson. In uncomfortable circumstances, ask yourself: What are you here to teach me? What can I learn from this? A quote that’s always stuck with me is “Nothing ever goes away until it’s taught us what we need to know.”-Pema Chodron. If there’s a negative outcome, pain, or problem that repeatedly shows up in your life, know that it holds a deep message for you. Train your mind to view changes and hard times as unique challenges that have been specifically placed on your path to teach you something you NEED to know and could not have learned any other way. This will prepare you for when the unexpected knocks at your door and prevent you from getting in your own way.
- Remind yourself that everything is temporary.
This is one my mom has always told me. Everything is temporary, and that is how we as humans are able to process undesirable circumstances. It is also what helps us to appreciate and cherish the positive changes and circumstances even more. When you’re going through the uncomfortable journey of change, remind yourself that everything is temporary and that things will not feel so uncertain forever.
- Realize that worrying will only make things worse.
You’ve heard it before: if you’re depressed, you’re focusing on the past – if you’re anxious, you’re focusing on the future – if you’re content, you’re living in the present moment. I read a passage yesterday in my devotional that said something like “if all your pain and struggles were laid out before you, it would be more than you could bear to see”. BUT that is why our lives are laid out before us one step at a time. You adapt, and each step is preparing you for other things down the road. One day at a time.”It will come when your heart is read to carry it”.
- Change your perspective.
Life wasn’t meant to be easy and comfortable. God never promised that living an obedient life would lead to material prosperity and success. In fact, He warned us to expect the opposite. I believe that if you change your perspective about unfavorable outcomes that could potentially come from transitions, you will be able to benefit even from your setbacks. Here’s an example: My little sister (5 years younger than me!) was one of the most comforting and supportive people who helped me get through a past heartbreak because of her own personal struggle in the past. Knowing that I can be more empathic and even help other people navigate through setbacks makes my heart so much more at peace about my own pain from the past. It gives it purpose. I know I’ve shared this before on Instagram, but wanted to share this little message that really helped me let go of people in the past that weren’t meant to continue on my path:
- Do things before you’re “ready”
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it… Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that — that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.” -Amy Poehler. When it feels scary to jump, that’s exactly when you jump. Otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life, and to me that’s even scarier than the jump itself.
- How can you know whether you’re making the right decision?
Obviously, we can never be 100% certain. If that were the case, our lives would be very different. But, I’ll never forget the sermon from the lead pastor at my church in Chicago (Jared at Soul City) about 3 things that will guide you to making the right decision in a big life transition. 1: Listen to the advice of people you truly trust and know have your best interest in mind. 2: Reference God’s word: he’s already provided you with answers/guidance in the scriptures. 3: Talk to God about it and wait for him to give you clarity.
Instead of seeing change as something intimidating – change your perspective to see it as an exciting opportunity to grow into the person you were meant to be. Life is a learning process. The short amount of time that we’re here is a chance for us to learn and love as much as we can while God prepares us for our next journey.