Contemplate if a caterpillar never changed into a butterfly. If the idea of that change was too painful! If you are like most people the idea of change may appear scary and is to be avoided at all costs. Indeed maintaining a relationship with what is familiar is probably the strongest instinct in Mankind. One of our human needs, according to Tony Robbins and other sources is for certainty.
This need for certainty can lead to us resisting change. This need can also keep us in our comfort zone or as I think of it, the stagnation zone. Getting more of what you already have, even when it is not empowering you and leading to a fulfilling life. The paradox is that followed after a need for certainty we have a need for variety/uncertainty. Having variety prevents boredom and boredom can lead to unhappiness.
Often time’s marriages or long term relationships end because of the lack of variety. The couple has the certainty that the other person is there, however the spice is gone and one of them, or perhaps both of them go looking for some spice and variety. One term that has been used for this phenomenon is the “seven year itch.” The itch is caused by a need for variety. One of my clients was distraught, anxious and depressed due to her husband of many years, and the father of their three children suddenly leaving her.
This drastic change in her life sent her into a spin of the unknown and uncertainty. After a short while of working together she realized that when she was with her husband she had resigned herself to a life of more of the same with no possibilities for anything different or better. As she gained clarity of the dreams she had never allowed herself to consider in the past, her future now became exciting with possibilities.
She ended up thinking that he had done her an enormous favour by forcing her to change, even as painful as it was in the beginning. Change is inevitable and so it is empowering to adopt an attitude that you will take change in your stride. Following are a few ideas to help you embrace change.
- Seek out or begin projects which excite you and make you feel alive.
- Focus on small day to day expressions of change like sunsets & flowers.
- Get excited about goals you have for your future.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, or the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin
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