I used to look at change and give it the stink eye. I would scrutinize it like the shady dude at the local convenience store. To me, change meant that I was not consistent, dependable or predictable. Change had the power to make me feel out of control of my life…
In childhood and my teen years, change was a constant our lives. But it was often rash, highly volatile and brewing with backlash. We moved a lot. Sometimes my mom and I would flee in the middle of the night and stay with a friend or in a motel. When I was 16 and ran away from home, I lived with 3 different friends and their families within the same year. I also lived in a flop house for a few days. I slept on couches.
Even once I “got my feet under me” I still moved from apartment to apartment, room mate to room mate. My go-to habit was that when things went sideways, I needed to pack up and leave shop. To top it off, there was always this underlying feeling of dysfunction. That I couldn’t make something… anything stick.
When my husband and I had our first baby and moved in together, that’s when I finally felt like I was on track. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly learned how to stuff it all down in other contexts. But logistically speaking, I was locked in. Mortgage, marriage and motherhood-wise.
I understand now that what I craved most was stability.
And that change and stability do not need to be polar opposites.
Fast forward to today with the interest of making my point of this blog post impactful and positive, I have since learned that change doesn’t need to be that sticky, awful feeling. Change can be uplifting, empowering and wildly successful. Even when it doesn’t look or feel that way once the shift starts to happen.
I watched a Ted Talk the other day called “Change your brain and resilience” by Lehan Stemmet (Check it out, I highly recommend it). And I started to think about our power of choosing change in a conscious manner. Change doesn’t need to be spontaneous and off the wall to be significant. It can be solidified in an intention and little by little, making choices to support that change.
Then I began to imagine the alternative. Imagine for a moment that change resembled a 5 year non redeemable GIC with an interest rate of 1.2%. That for the next 5 years, you needed to remain the same person. Not try anything new, nil growth and nada expansion. Just be. In 5 years, you can choose any changes from the provided list or maybe just let that sucker auto-renew for another 5 years. When I thought of it that way, I almost had a panic attack! AND I gained a whole new appreciation for the opportunity to create something new. Change can happen anytime, anywhere. I don’t have to wait for my renewal notice, for permission or approval and I certainly do not need to be fearful of it.
This year has marked my year of deliberate and conscious change. Moving forward with an open heart and with an intention to change the inner conversation.