About the Author: Kate Olson, CPC, CHt, is a Life Transformation Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner & Reiki Master practicing in Seattle, WA, as founder of Northern Lights Life Coaching. She does workshops & classes, as well as, individual and group coaching. Her emphasis is on guiding clients in finding path, purpose and peace. She focuses on integration of mind, body and spirit wellness. It is her mission to help clients find joy through connection, creativity and change facilitation. She is passionate about the arts, travel, the environment, personal growth, family and living with joyful purpose. She has a second wellness-related business offering Salt Therapy, Salt Works Saltariums. Salt Therapy offers an all natural treatment solution for respiratory and skin issues.
Change though it is constant and inevitable is a formidable challenge for many people. It is at the root of a lot of worry and anxiety and can even leave people stuck in the past or frozen in self-defeating behaviors and inaction. Why is it so scary? What can we do to make it easier to deal with and move forward with more confidence? I came across a poem that speaks well on the topic. It is titled simply, “Embrace”. Excerpts from an unknown author below:
Everything is Changing, ….,
It’s already changed me.
I love the change,
The transformation fascinates me.
Everyday life as we know it will be no more.
Even the simple things have changed,
Don’t deny the coming….,
Don’t fear that which is new
Does not matter if you love it or hate it,
Just so long as you
This poem is so profound and yet so simple. It states very directly what is needed to overcome one of the most paralyzing problems of our lives. We must learn to “embrace” change! That is the key to dealing with and moving forward in life with grace and confidence. It is so simple and straight forward and yet, how do we accomplish this easily stated, but seemingly much more difficult task. How do we “embrace” change?
Some people do seem to move through life and deal with change with a sort of grace and simplicity that makes it seem easy and effortless. Perhaps, there are some secrets or keys that they are aware of, that do make life and change flow more easily. It turns out that much of the secret to doing so, involves simple shifts in thinking or mindset. There are some definite actions and attitudes that will lead you to dealing with change and moving forward with more ease and less drama and anxiety. It seems that would definitely be worthwhile. Charles Darwin famously said:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change” …,-- Charles Darwin
When we break it down, most of the resistance to change comes from fear and that is what leads us to the worry and the anxiety that is so debilitating. The question is how do we overcome fear of the unknown and move forward with strength and confidence? How do we overcome the learned behaviors that keep us stuck and unable to move forward?
I recently had the fortunate experience of going through this process myself and it led me to explore this topic and come up with some of the answers to these questions. We are going through the process continuously, but I went through it with a conscious awareness that led me to not only write this blog, but to actually “walk the talk”, as they say.
I was invited to the National Personal Development Symposium last September, held at the Harvard Faculty Club in Boston, MA. It was a Mastermind gathering of leaders in the Personal Development field from across the country, contributing information and speaking on a wide variety of topics. I was honored and excited to be invited, however, speaking in front of large groups has always been something that struck me with that fear feeling in the pit of my stomach and caused me to forget everything that I had carefully planned to say. Initially, I thought I would attend the symposium and just participate in the panels and roundtables and not speak. As the event got closer, I saw that almost everyone that was attending was speaking. I considered this and knew I would regret it, if I did not take advantage of this opportunity to share a message. It was just four days before the event when it hit me, not only that I needed to do this, but what both my challenge and my message needed to be. I decided to “embrace change”, to face my fears and move forward. I actually wrote my presentation on my flight to Boston and practiced it in the hotel before and during the event. My presentation was, “The Simple Grace of Embracing Change” and because I was speaking to colleagues, I modified it to include, “Ways to Inspire Clients with the Simple Grace of Embracing Change!”. It was, however, a trial by fire for me, as I was, in fact, “Embracing Change” and hoping to do so with some grace!
It is one thing to research and find out the recommended actions to take to achieve something and quite another to implement and put them into action. I did not do it perfectly and it will take practice to do it with more grace and confidence, but I did do it and I am going to share with you some of the suggestions that made it easier and can be applied not just to my situation, but to dealing with almost any change that we are facing. Below is a list of some helpful mental adjustments for confronting change.
There are also some coping skills and actions that accommodate change well.
To sum up, approach change as natural and with positive anticipation; an adventure. Embrace it and go with the flow. It will be difficult at first, maybe messy and you will make mistakes, but if you persevere it will lead you to a new and beautiful place.
To confront any change there are three keys:
I am happy to say I did speak at the NPDS Event at Havard and was told that my presentation was impactful! While I plan to work more on my speaking skills, I faced my fear and "embraced change" and I am so glad I did. I told myself I could speak with grace and confidence and kept that thought in mind. The next time you confront the need to change, I ask you to keep the suggestions I have shared in mind and see how they work for you. Let me know? I would love to hear about your successes.
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