99FM – Your Inspiration Station

Change As the Vehicle of All We Could Become

“Change is the vehicle that delivers you to the doorstep of your dreams.”

Fear of change is something we all seem to have in common yet all the great sages have taught us that change is a necessary part of life. To understand change and why it is that we fear it, 99FM’s MYD Heart sat down with Karen Powell, a creativity coach and lifestyle mentor, to talk change.

99FM’s MYD Heart asked :
Why are people afraid of change?

Mainly it’s because they can’t clearly see what’s on the other side of the change. We like to control things in order to feel safe.  Let’s admit it, humans are master control freaks!

What makes the unknown scary?

We have no real reference point for the unknown, so we make one up based on either our past experiences, or on the fears and beliefs of those around us.

Does a fear of change hold us back in life?

It certainly can, and does stop many of us from becoming all that we could become. It’s so easy to stay inside your comfort zone. Sometimes it might even be a bit of hell in there, but it’s a familiar hell, which for many of us is better than risking the unknown.

How do we embrace change?

Think less about embracing change, but rather more about what you’d like to see and experience on the other side of the change. I think there’s a misconception that we have to somehow figure out how to change. Change knows what it’s doing. Life knows what it’s doing. Even if you don’t know exactly what you want, you do know how you’d like to feel as you move through your days. Get clear on those feelings, put your focus there, instead of on the change itself. Then you’ll find you’ll move through change much more gracefully as it takes you to where you’d really like to be.

What strategies can we use to become more flexible and open to change?

Change is a necessary part of life – kind of like death and taxes. It’s also a completely normal part of the human experience to be nervous or even fearful of change. Know that you’re not crazy or different or weak if you feel that fear.

I like to give people very practical tools and steps to take in order to move more comfortably through change.  “Just let go” is not a step! If it were that easy we’d all be letting go. But there are actions you can take to help you let go of control, and ultimately trust more.

1) Join or create a support group. Set up a regular meeting time with friends or like-minded people that continues on an on-going basis. Don’t wait for challenges to arise before you have the support in place. Create the support so it’s already there when you need it. We aren’t meant to work through our challenges in life alone. When we allow others to help us, we strengthen our trust in the world. When we help others we build our own self-esteem and inner strength. Trying to fix everything on your own only leads to stress, self-doubt, frustration and limited ideas.

2) Create a vision for you and your life. Focus on what you value, and what gives you joy. What are you passionate about? What kinds of things do you want to experience? I always encourage people to not just dream big, but dream impossible. We all tend to water down and settle for less than what we really want. If you admit the really big stuff that really feels impossible, it’s as if you’ve flipped a great big ON switch, and Life starts getting busy with that order immediately. Keeping your dreams small out of fear is a real turn off to Life, and actually creates a lot of angst within.

3) Let go of things you no longer need. This can be clothes that no longer fit you or papers you really don’t need to keep. Physically clearing your space will symbolically and energetically prepare you for moving on to the new phase in your life. When we hang on to things we no longer need, we block the space for fresh, new things in our life. Don’t underestimate de-cluttering. It’s an incredibly powerful tool to create improvement and momentum in all areas of your life.

4) 100% of your power is found in the present moment. Get out of your head and into your body. Breathe deeply and put your attention on your lungs. Listen to your intuition. It’s always right, and It’s always there for you if you take the time and space to hear it. It will lead you gracefully through change. But just because it gives you its infinite wisdom doesn’t mean you are required to act on it. You still have free will to choose otherwise. Intuition doesn’t judge. It doesn’t keep score. It doesn’t take it personally if you don’t follow it. It’s always there for you on the odd chance you’ll use it.

5) Allow yourself to be surprised. We cannot even begin to understand the mysterious ways that Life works on our behalf. Anytime you make an intention or you have a goal or a dream, allow room for surprises – big surprises. Life has an intelligence (and a sense of humour!) all its own that it will use to deliver your biggest dreams in sometimes the most unlikely of packages.

6) My list wouldn’t be complete without the tip ‘Cultivate Gratitude.’  Gratitude is always the answer, no matter what the question. Gratitude is the magic ingredient that helps you create anything and everything. Build your trust in the process of Life by having a look at all the changes you’ve already been through in your life up until now. Were they all disasters, or were they ultimately blessings? What positive things came out of the most challenging changes in your life? Notice and keep track of beautiful, tiny changes you see happening all around you on a daily basis. That feeling of gratitude for the process of change will help you feel a deeper sense of trust in Life. That’s when ‘letting go’ happens to you, rather than you trying to let go.

Any last words about dealing with the fear of change?

Trust Life, and trust yourself. Change is usually happening because there is a very wise part of you that secretly wants what’s on the other side of it. Change knows what it’s doing. You don’t have to ask: How can I change? Focus on what you want for your bigger picture in life. Who would you be if you weren’t afraid to shine? What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail? How would you act if you didn’t risk embarrassment? Change is the vehicle that delivers you to the doorstep of your dreams.

You can get in touch with Karen at pathways@iafrica.com.na