First published on Huffington Post – 16 April 2016
It’s only a short word, but the word ‘change’ can instil a massive amount of fear in our hearts.
Change is defined by Dictionary.com as making ‘…the form, nature, content, future, course, etc. of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.’
We’ve been socially conditioned to behave in an acceptable manner, to think in an acceptable way and to undertake acceptable activities. Change contradicts this conditioning and therefore often holds a large amount of fear of the unknown for us.
Without knowing it, our social conditioning can program us to be completely averse to change. If we’re taught to fear change, then when it occurs in our life it causes significant levels of stress and can cripple our ability to make decisions about the future. We can find ourselves accepting a status quo that is not good for us simply because we are unable to entertain the thought of change.
We’re typically juggling a number of things in our lives at once – work, home, family, friends, sport and charity. They’re all demanding. They all suck up time and energy. They all compete for first place as being the most important. We run from pillar to post trying to make sure all of them are satisfied with the attention we give to them. And we’re almost always left feeling like we’ve let one of them down – that we’ve failed.
The more we feel like we’ve failed, the more we push ourselves to be ‘better’. The more we push ourselves the more stressed we become. The more stressed we become the less we look after our health – our diet, exercise and sleep are all affected by the increase in the stress hormones that are released in our system. The more our health declines, the more exhausted we become. The more exhausted we become the harder we have to push ourselves to continue to achieve at previous levels. And so the cycle continues.
Until we can’t continue anymore. Until our body and our mind say ‘No’ and force us to stop. Until we simply can’t get up any more – no matter how strong willed a person we are.
It is at this point that we are usually faced by a traumatic, life-changing event – one that brings us face to face with our mortality. One that forces us to change. One that provides us with a slow, painful and extremely challenging recovery. It is in this moment that we move to being more afraid of death than we are of change.
We’ve moved from invincible to facing the reality that none of us knows how long we have in this life. Our priorities change – because they have to. Our outlook on life changes – because it needs to. We become much more attuned to our life and the things we need to be able to surive – and in fact, to thrive.
But what if I told you that the solution is not to flip to fearing death more than we fear change. What if I told you that we’ve been misled for a long time and we don’t have to have a traumatic event in our life to make us think differently. What if there is a solution that means you can minimize the role that both fear and death play in your life?
We’re currently trained to believe that making change in our lives is hard. Our immediate reaction when someone asks us to do something different is to resist it because we don’t like change.
It’s time for us to think about things differently.
It’s time for us to know that we can break everything down into small, simple, easily achievable steps that means that it’s really easy to implement change.
It all starts with looking at everything that comes across our path as an adventure – a chance to learn something new. A chance to find ways to make our lives easier – a chance to live differently and in a way we will love.
It’s easy to do – the question is – will you take the first small, simple step to do it?
There are loads of tips and tricks on how to think and live differently in ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from my website or call me on +61 438 624 868 to discuss how I can help you to implement small steps to simplify your life.