Change = Growth…True

Have you ever gotten so comfortable with something that you didn’t want to it to change, but it did? Have you developed a routine that you got so used to that you did it every day, every other day, then all of sudden something happened and you had to change the way you operate and move things around? Well your not the only one as I myself have had to deal with this dozens of times in my life.

We all experience some kind of change in our life at some point. The change can be very exciting because something new can happen, but change can be scary and difficult because something new can happen. Any kind of change can be described as an upset in your life that can shake your world up, a new beginning, and an opportunity for growth. When we hear the word ‘change’ or the phrase ‘there are going to be some changes around here’ are attention is quickly drawn to whoever said it and our adrenaline peaks up. One of the first things that goes through our minds is that this change is going to be something bad and/or unsettling. Down the road reality can kick in and we find out that things didn’t turn out as bad as we thought or they weren’t bad at all. Sometimes change can be scary, but only if you see it that way.

Change can be an opportunity for growth. As we get older, we need to be able to expand our horizon of interests, skills, and add to preexisting things in our life. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut or routine just out of sheer habit or because you went into survival mode due to something bad that happened to you. The longer your in that rut or routine, any kind of change that happens to you will be bigger and more alarming compared to being in a rut or routine for a short time. Recently, I have been experiencing new things which have helped me grow more as a person. Experiencing new things, meeting new people, and going to new places are opportunities for growth.

In order for people to grow into healthy and functional people, we have to embrace change. Embracing change can help us in several ways. For example:

  • Our confidence builds up
  • Our self-esteem increases
  • Were more open to what people say
  • Were open to try new things in our lives
  • We learn to control our fear (Courage is fear controlled)
  • Expand our knowledge and creativity
  • We become more mature
  • We understand ourselves better

The more we embrace change and see it as an opportunity to grow and learn new things, the easier it becomes to deal with and it’s not as scary. There are people who thrive with change. They want to challenge themselves over and over. Now I’m not saying go full throttle, you have to go at your own pace. Some extroverts (people who are out-going) go full throttle because that’s who they are. Some introverts (people who are more reserved) take things slow. It’s important to stay true to who you are because that is what makes you unique.

Here are some ways you can better embrace change and see it as growth and understand the concept of it:

1. Learn and Experience Something New

To elaborate more on this idea, change can be scary, but look past the fear and see change as to better yourself. As you learn something new or experience something new you may get clarity on something you have been trying to figure out. You can connect with someone better because you both shared the same experience.

2. Look Past the Fear

Change has a way of setting off our alarm that something we may not be able to control is going to happen whether we caused it or not. We get scared and sometimes avoid the change entirely. Well we can’t always do that. Change can be scary if we see it that way. Positive self-talk can be helpful because it helps us to see what we can benefit from the change, ignore the fear, and gain the confidence to move forward. We break it down and see it for what it really is. Again, we need to look past the fear and see the benefits and opportunities for growth.

3. Change Happens at Different Times for Everyone

Change can be right in front of you, but maybe not for those around you. If there is some kind of change that is happening to you, but not your friends, family, co-workers, or those around you, don’t ignore it. Change happens at different times for everyone. You may go through a change now, but one day your friends or family members will go through a change and you won’t. Just be supportive toward them as you would want the same thing yourself.

4. Change can Lead to Openness

Change can lead to growth, but it can also lead to being more open to new things. As you grow, you expand your interests which can lead to embracing new opportunities and learning new things to expand your knowledge. You can become more open to hearing other people’s ideas and opinions. You get to see other peoples perspectives which does lead to connecting with someone and improving existing relationships.

5. Change can Increase Creativity and Curiosity

When you open up to change, your curiosity goes up. You begin to want to learn why things are the way they are? You may get curious about someone’s life story or the origins of something. This can lead to your creativity increasing because you’re open to new ideas which can spark ideas of your own.

Here is a video about change is growth from Nik Miller who is a veteran who served in the Marines and became a US Para-canoe representative. Here he talks about how he viewed change as a way to grow and to challenge himself.

Change is inevitable, but growth is optional. I believe change is the bridge that can lead to growth; it’s up to you if you cross that bridge or not.

Routines and Rituals…You Love Them Or You Don’t

We wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, get dressed, do all we need to in order to get ready for the day. Then we go to school or work and spend hours doing those things. We come home, do dishes, homework, fix something, relax, watch TV or a movie, play video games, listen to music, take a nap, go to church, meditate, do yoga, exercise, spend time with our family, etc. So many things can happen, but we have those days where we have to run errands, we go over a friends house, go to an appointment, dine out on certain days. Several combinations of these events can happen in any order and the number of them varies with all of us. This is what a routine and a ritual is.

Routines are a part of our lives. Some of us have daily routines that we follow every day. Some of us may not have one, not know how to make one, or not able to stick with them. Now if you don’t have a routine, your not alone. There is a lot of people who don’t know what they’ll do today, the next day, or a few days from now and that’s fine. If you have a daily routine with a little, some, or many things packed into it, your also not alone. A lot of people have something or things they need to get done every day, the next day, the end of the week, and by the end of the month. Routines can make or break us though.

A ritual is the same thing as a ritual, but a little different in terms of your attitude toward them. A morning ritual that includes meditation for example, is very helpful for some people because it helps them relax and focus their minds. Rituals have a deep meaning to people. There are people who see yoga as a ritual because yoga helps them in mentally and physically. Those who engage in rituals have a positive attitude toward them and get some kind of benefit out of them. You may already be involved in a ritual. If it’s helping you and keeping you healthy and safe, stick with it. If you don’t have one, that’s fine. If you want one, I would suggest that you start experimenting more with your hobbies and what you like to do to see what impact they are having on your life. If you want to try something new, go for it. Keep experimenting until you find what your looking for.

Routines have a positive and negative to them. The positive thing about them is that they can provide us with structure in our lives. Routines can be a foundation to different things in our life. They can help us keep track of various tasks and errands that need to get done. Routines can help set the tone for our minds for the day. A routine is helpful for keeping us on track with things and can stave off stress. There are people who use planners, write everything they need to get down on their calendars especially if they have a lot going on.

The negative side to having a routine is that too much structure can cause unwanted stress. People try to take into account every minute of every day and try to schedule something in it. The reality is that life can throw a curve ball at you at any moment and mess things up. This can cause any thing that is planned at a later time to fall off track. This can result in scrambling and stress. Routines can also cause your life to become stale. You do the same thing every day and nothing new gets mixed in. Sometimes people don’t notice this until someone points it out to them. Things can get boring and you may not know what to do about it because you have been doing it for quite some time it may have become second nature to you.

If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut with your routine or you want to spice things up in your life, here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Meet a new person, new people
  • Drive a different way to work
  • Change the order you do your homework
  • Do something you don’t normally do like go to a movie after school or after work
  • Try a new restaurant
  • Hang out somewhere different
  • Try a new food
  • Learn a new thing
  • Change the way you exercise. Add more reps, a new exercise, the order and what day you them

A routine and what you define as a ritual can be incorporated into your life. It’s all about finding the right balance that works for you. If you don’t have a routine and want to make one, I would suggest that you start slow. For example, schedule to do one thing every morning whatever that is. As time goes on, add more things. You can plan an activity to do in the afternoon. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s not more than you can handle. You don’t have to fill up every minute or hour of the day.

Your attitude is what will inform you on what is working for you and what isn’t. For example, if you always feel rushed when doing something because you want to get it done and move on to the next thing, then you may need to make some adjustments to eliminate unwanted anxiety and stress. If your doing something and you can’t enjoy it because your thinking about the next thing or something else, an adjustment may need to be made as well. Remember to enjoy the things you do even when you’re eating something; that is what makes life great. It’s easy to get caught up in what we need to do that we forget to enjoy life. I’m still learning this and working at it, but Ferris Bueller said it well. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it”.