Do you fear change and the unexpected?

Say the word ‘change’ to many people and it’s likely to invoke feelings of resistance or even fear. There are only a few others words as loaded and these tend to be words such as ‘uncertainty’, ‘challenges’ and ‘unexpected’.

The fact is, change, uncertainty and challenges are all part of life. There is no way we can avoid encountering them at some point. Now, it’s no wonder that we fear change – especially unexpected changes as we are hardwired to avoid pain and added to this is the fact that ‘unexpected changes’ speak about something that is clearly beyond our control – and nobody likes the idea of being powerless in the face of that.

Seeing as avoiding change or unexpected challenges is going to be impossible even if we were to hide in a blanket for the rest of our lives, we have to re-program ourselves to see the challenges we meet on our soul path journey for what they really are – opportunities to grow. What sets apart the true Soul Warrior and Agent for Change from those who fear challenges is that they accept that sooner or later they will encounter an issue on their path. When this happens they don’t ignore it or try to avoid it, but they have acquired the ability to know that based on how they have handled challenges in the past, they will emerge from whatever the next one brings. They also know that while we cannot always control what happens to us, we can control our responses to it.

Without challenges in our lives, we would never discover what we are capable of. Also, sometimes we have to be the ones to initiate changes in our own lives – even if the thought of them presses a few buttons! Leaving that dead-end job or that relationship you know isn’t going anywhere or is in fact downright abusive, can feel scary, but what’s the alternative? Then there are the instances where we get ‘stuck in a rut’. Yes, things are ‘sort of okay’ but when we do a soul audit we realise that many areas of our life are actually out-of-balance. To bring them back into harmony again, we may have to make some changes – possibly radical ones, and this may require us to leave our comfort zone. (That’s the problem with getting stuck in a rut – it can seem deceptively comfortable!) But outside our comfort zone is where the magic starts to happen – and we need to remember that sometimes the universe will just shove us out of it if we procrastinate and don’t go voluntarily!

Of course sometimes we’re flung into tragic circumstances which feel impossible to navigate. We may find ourselves ill or have a loved one die unexpectedly or a lover leave us. Even in these circumstances we still have power to comfort ourselves, to be our own best friend and to be tender. We can choose how we deal with our thoughts and feelings, most importantly expressing them. We are resilient spirits and can survive the most terrible things but It’s important to seek support and to show ourselves compassion especially in devastating times.

In his book, Creativity, Inc Ed Catmull (President of Pixar and Disney) has this to say about change and uncertainty: ‘Change and uncertainty are part of life. Our job is not to resist them, but to build the capacity to recover when unexpected events occur. If you don’t always try uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill-prepared to lead’. Although Ed is referring to creative or business leadership we always need to remember we are the leaders of our own lives and we need to steer ourselves towards successful living not by avoiding changes, but by meeting them with confidence and even initiating them when necessary.

Look back over your life so far and think about how you have handled the unexpected in the past. When you do you will see how much you learned and grew from each experience. Very often what we initially consider a crisis or a disaster turns out over time to be the opposite as it has the effect of course correcting for us when we have strayed too far from our soul journey. So, when a challenge arrives meet it and know you have the ability to be a true Agent for Change and Leader on Your Soul Path. The successful way you’ve dealt with change in the past tells you that you’re more than equipped to deal with it now – and in the future. Your capacity to deal with change defines your capacity to succeed so no matter what you encounter remember – changes are just one stop on the road to success.