Change is Natural: Nothing to Fearsam
Re-Creating Your Self by Christopher Stone
“Change is the only evidence we have of life.” That’s one of my all-time favorite quotes. It’s from Evelyn Waugh’s classic 1945 novel Brideshead Revisited. Brideshead is a testament to change: its worth and value, and, ultimately, its inevitability.
Yes, change reflects life. Change is good, natural – a necessity. Many people fear change, when it is maintaining the status quo that should cause them unease. To progress in your life, to become the person you want to be, living the life you desire, you must embrace change; treat change as you would treat a best friend.
Why do some people, including many of my Re-Creating Your Self readers and students, resist the change required for greater health and personal fulfillment? I suppose it is because change plays right into our specie’s fear of the unknown.
Do you believe the cultural cliché, “You can’t teach old dog new tricks?” One of the most negative and self-limiting attitudes of all is the belief that you can’t change. If you believe that you must accept your current circumstances, then that belief alone can prevent you from going beyond your challenges.
If your current beliefs aren’t contributing to your well-being, then you can change them, and in so doing, recreate your self. Once you understand, as I hope you now do, that you, and only you, control your life, then it follows that you, and only you, can change your life.
If you are among those who still believe that you can’t change, then I hope you’ll come to the understanding that an inability to change is a self-inflicted handicap, and not based on natural law. It’s only when you believe yourself incapable of change that you find it extremely difficult, or impossible.
Change is the most natural process in the world. The proof is all around you: Look at the weather, the seasons, the flowers, and the trees. Change is the natural order.
The proof is within you, too. Your body changes constantly. Old cells die and are replaced by new ones. The body you have now is literally not the same body you had seven years ago. Nor is your mind static and unchangeable. The unpredictability of your own thoughts should make this abundantly clear. Try concentrating on any single idea without allowing the focus of your attention to be changed by an unrelated thought. This experiment will prove quickly that more than being possible: change is inevitable.
Your personal potential for change may be far greater than you realize. You can create, and recreate, your self for as long as you live. Start by acknowledging your natural ability to change. Next, commit your self to making the changes you desire. You initiate change by exploring and evaluating, then accepting or rejecting, attitudes beyond the limits of your current philosophies and prejudices. Finally, you act upon your new beliefs, thereby allowing them to yield new life experiences.
Many people fear change. Most human beings are afraid of the unknown. Also, they’re afraid that their attempt to change will result in failure. You may be one of these people.
Change is nothing to fear. It is a gradual process. The unknown is revealed slowly as the change occurs. The process progresses at a pace that is safe and largely comfortable. By the time the change is completed, what was formerly scary and unknown has become known and familiar.
There is no reason to fear that your attempt to change will meet with failure. Re-Creating Your Self doesn’t mean transforming your life from “unsatisfactory” to “perfect.” Changing any aspect of your life from “unsatisfactory” to “better” qualifies as a success. Self-improvement, no matter how modest, confirms your natural ability to change; it increases your confidence. Your next attempt to change will almost certainly meet with even greater success.
A Re-Creating Your Self Thought: For as long as you are alive, you’re never too old to change, to re-create your self. One of the great pleasures of the last two years has been watching my elderly mother re-create her self, following my father’s passing. At an age when many people are retreating to retirement homes or to their sick beds, my mother has been shedding old beliefs, making new friends and enjoying fresh experiences. She’s given up the self-limiting habit of starting every other sentence by saying, “At my age, I can’t do this, or I can’t go there.” Instead, she’s creating new opportunities as if she were in her prime – and, perhaps, she is. She has a new wardrobe, new jewelry, and a new circle of friends. She most definitely has a new attitude.
Next time: My Personal Ability to Change.
Have a Re-Creating Your Self comment, observation, or a question? Please send them to me at [email protected]
Copyright 2009 by Christopher Stone.