There may have been a time when life remained constant. You were not required to make many changes. You completed your education, got a job, maybe you got married and had kids. That’s very few major changes but those days are gone now. Very few people remain in one job for their entire working life; divorce rates have increased and with the continuous improvement in technology; the way in which you live and work is constantly changing. You are required to make more major changes in your life than ever before. With change comes uncertainty. This can bring increased stress, fear and anxiety. If you are to successfully make major changes in your life, it is imperative that you have the right beliefs to support you through the process.
6 Essential beliefs when you make major changes
The 6 beliefs, outlined below, will help you to reduce the stress you experience when you make major changes in your life.
1. I will be more comfortable with time
Change will always be uncomfortable, at first. You are trying something new and leaving the status quo. Most change requires an increase in physical and mental effort. As it is something new, the likelihood of something going wrong is greatly increased. As you make major changes, you will learn, improve and become more comfortable and more familiar with the changes you have made. Unfortunately, you must move through the discomfort to get to the comfort.
2. I will develop competence as I go
When you fail to make major changes in your life, it is often because you fear that you do not have the necessary competence to succeed. In reality, nobody starts out fully competent at something new. I am a big sports fan and I have read, and watched, many interviews with leading sports stars. They almost always emphasise how hard they had to work to develop their talent. Michael Jordan did not make his high school basketball team at his first time of asking. He committed himself to working hard on his game. Eventually, he became so competent that he was recognised as the greatest player in the world.
Take a leaf out of Michael Jordan’s book. If you are not fully competent to begin with, don’t let it put you off. When you make major changes in your life, you can work hard to develop the competence over time.
3. I will gain more control as I progress through the changes
Control comes with time and learning. When you make major changes in your life, or in your career, you do have the start at the beginning again. Remember your first day in a new job, or even in school. Did you feel in control? Of course you didn’t. You had a lot to learn but as you ventured forward, you realised that you had a lot more confidence and a greater sense of control over your life.
4. Confidence comes from experience
Here is a simple question for you – ‘How can you be confident at something which you have never tried?’ You may have confidence in yourself and your ability to cope but if you have not tried something before, you are bound to have some niggling doubts. You must understand that when you make major changes in your life, you are going to be trying some things for the first time. Rather than fear the situation, be kind to yourself. Acknowledge that you may need to get it wrong before you can learn to get it right. Know that as your familiarity grows, your confidence will grow too.
5. Courage is determined after the fact
If you are waiting until you feel courageous before you make major changes in your life, you will be sadly disappointed. Courage is not something that you feel before taking action. Courage is simply a word used to describe an action after it has taken place. You will feel nervous and you will feel anxious but rather than thinking about courage, focus on what you believe to be the correct course of action. Then take that action, one step at a time, and do what you believe to be right. When you are finished, you can then look back and determine whether you were courageous or not.
6. Some will, some won’t, so what!
Approval is a poisoned chalice. It feels great when others approve of your actions. It can give you a real lift. Sadly, it can feel bad when others disapprove. So much so that fear of disapproval can stop you from doing the things that you would really like to do. When you make major changes in your life, some people will approve, some people won’t approve but either way, ‘so what?’ You were not put on this Earth to live somebody else’s life. The only life you have to answer for is your own. Therefore, do not get carried away when somebody approves and do not get upset when somebody disapproves. Just focus on doing what you believe to be right.
Any change should be consistent with your life purpose. If you need help to discover your life purpose, check out the Living Purposefully Workbook.
You will go through many stages and phases in your life. There will be many times when you need to make major changes if you are to enjoy the quality of life that you desire. Making major changes can be scary. There is a great deal of uncertainty which accompanies change. As you leave the status quo and step into the unknown, it is important that you have the right beliefs and understanding to enable you to cope with the change. The 6 beliefs, outlined above, will help you to reduce the stress which may arise when you make major changes in your life.
Image credit: Chance Agrella