One thing that is certain in our lives is change. Whether we want the change or not it happens. Sometimes we instigate the change and sometimes it happens despite our strongest resistance to it.
Jobs come and go, as do relationships and sometimes money. We have kids, which is one of the biggest changes we undergo. Then our kids grow older and change no matter how much we wish for them to stay at that cute age where they snuggle on our laps and listen to every word that we say.
The truth is in order for us to live our greatest life, achieve our goals and dreams, or simply shift things that not longer work for us we have to embrace change.
This is often easier said than done. Change can feel frightening as it involves venturing into the unknown. It causes us to be uncomfortable, and sometimes vulnerable.
If you fear change, you are not alone.
So how do we embrace something that might scare the pants off us and we can’t predict the future outcome?
The reality is that we often want to be living our lives “after we have already changed.” We want to avoid going through the change part to get to where we want, as it seems too scary, painful or risky.
We then find ourselves stuck or feeling paralyzed and just hanging on to a place we don’t feel completely fulfilled or happy in. It could be job, a relationship, lack of freedom or money.
It feels like we are standing on one side of a gaping chasm in our current lives. The life we dream of is looking at us from the other side. But we are too scared to take that leap.
We ask ourselves will I make it? I don’t know how to get across. What will it really be like on the other side? How will it affect my family?
I believe the fear of making change intensifies once we become moms. Suddenly we have these little beings so fully reliant on us. Everything we do impacts their lives too. Change seemed so much less risky when it was just us to consider.
It feels too unsafe so we just stay where we are staring longingly at the promise of the other side. We maintain the status quo and decide to settle for what we have. Or we tell ourselves we will just wait until our children have left home and then we can take the risk to make the change and pursue our biggest dreams and hopes.
But deep within us we still feel it. That yearn for things to be different. It could be our career, a relationship, our lifestyle, how much time we spend with our children, our health, where we live.
So what can we do when we feel the yearn to make change in our lives. How can we move out of our comfort zones to make progress closer to where we want to be in our lives starting now? So we no longer just dream about how we would like our lives to be. We go out and start to make it happen.
Here are 5 tips to help embrace change when you next feel the desire to make a shift in your life but are feeling too scared to jump across the chasm.
1. Why Do You Want the Change?
The first question to get us moving in the direction of making the change we want in our lives is to get clear of why we want to make the change. For example if we are thinking of starting our own business, or changing our job, what is the driving force behind this.
Is it to be doing work that we feel passionate about, to have more flexibility to spend time with our family, to increase our income? Sometimes it is simply a pull we feel inside telling us there is more, that we aren’t yet living our biggest life.
As working moms our why for change is often related to wanting to improve not only our own lives but that of our children too. Once we uncover the reason we want to make change we can find the motivation, drive and reason to take the next step.
2. What if You Were Exactly Where You are Now in 10 years?
We are often told to create a vision of where we want to be in our lives in 10 years. This is certainly an important step so we can start taking clear and decisive action to achieve our dreams.
A reverse adaptation of this exercise can also be very powerful to kick us into action as we hover at the edge of the chasm looking at the promise of the other.
Ask yourself “how would it feel to be exactly where you are right now in 10 years?”
Would you feel excited and fulfilled? Or does the thought of it want you to strap on your hiking boots and start stomping down the pathway to change. If the answer is the latter then there is never a better time to strap on the boots and get going.
3. Stay Present While Looking to the Future
What can happen when we decide to make change in our lives is that we get so focused on the change and the future we forget to continue embracing what we have right now. It is a true skill to learn to continue to strive to create our most fulfilling life while staying present and enjoying the journey along the way.
The philosophy to “stay present in the moment” is a great rule to live by. However it does not mean we should stop trying to create our biggest future at the same time.
If we don’t find a way to balance the two we can end up staying stuck where we are, or alternatively, allow the pure joy of the important moments of life and our children pass us by.
4. The Kids Will be All Right
As moms one of our biggest worries with making change is the impact it will have on our children. Of course we are concerned about this. We only ever want the best for our kids. We never want to do anything that might have a negative impact on their lives. This, right there, is the reason our kids will be all right.
As mothers no matter what happens at any moment we are there taking care of our children, protecting them and making sure they are okay. The reason you find yourself reading this is likely because you are driven to make change that will create the best life possible for your children.
The impact change has on our children is primarily determined by how we as parents deal with the change ourselves. We all know how easily our moods, behaviors and actions can impact our children.
No matter what happens if we stay positive, solution-focused and strong during change in our lives our children will continue to thrive. We will provide them with a valuable role model on how to strive for their own dreams and move through change in their own lives in a positive and powerful way.
Change is a great teacher. It will make us and our children grow stronger and learn to make it through whatever life brings.
Remember that no matter what happens you will be there, as you always have been, making sure your kids are all right.
5. You Can’t Predict the Future – Ever
One of the biggest factors that keep us from taking change by the horns and running with it is the fear of the unknown. We want to know what the outcome will be before we take that leap.
The reality is we can never predict what the future will bring even if we stay exactly where we are.
Change will happen.
So it is about deciding do we want to stay exactly where we are and just let life happen to us or do we want to go out there and take action to try and create the future we desire. Either way nothing is guaranteed so we might as well go for it.
In order to take all these steps ultimately we need to let go of the outcome.
We can put the intention out there, take the action and try to let go of any resistance we have and accept whatever change brings into our life and let in unfold.
It requires us to surrender to the process, be open to the unknown and trust that life will work out. Sometimes we end up exactly where we hoped. Most exciting though is that sometimes change takes us where we never expected to go and ends up better then we could have imagined.
Karen Steele is Founder of The Entrepreneurial Working Mom at www.TheEWorkingMom.com where she teaches overwhelmed working moms the confidence, courage and skills to ditch the 9-5 and leap into their own thriving business so they can create the life they want for their family. Karen is a Certified Professional Life Coach, mom and entrepreneur. Download her FREE 5-part audio series “Top 5 Mindset Secrets of Savvy & Successful Entrepreneurial Working Moms: So You Can Ditch the 9-5 and Create the Life You Want for Your Family.” Follow The Entrepreneurial Working Mom on FACEBOOK