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The world is constantly changing. From the environment to the clothes we wear, and the views we are exposed to. In all these seasons of our lives we are always encouraged to grow, and maturity is often recognised as a sign of wisdom. Very often, however, people do not talk about the gravity of the big decisions we have to make along the way and how these decisions, just like everything else in life, are very susceptible to change.
What is change?
Change is defined as the act of replacing something with another thing, often newer or better. Unfortunately, the anxiety that surrounds change often overshadows the feelings of excitement for the new and better thing. Often, the feelings that are associated with change are fear, panic and anxiety. This is because in most cases change presents a level of uncertainty which our brains view as a threat. Research shows that because our brains dislike uncertainty, they attempt to make sense of what is happening by creating certainty where it does not exist. Unfortunately, the brain uses the worst-case scenario as the crutch, and this leaves us even more worried.
This may result from the loss of control that change comes with uncertainty and the insecurity of having to remove yourself from a familiar and mostly comfortable situation to an unknown territory.
Why is change important?
Change may be necessary in many situations such as changing school subjects, moving to a different area, changing jobs and even changing what you are studying in university. Despite all the negative feelings that may result from the anxiety of changing your initial decision, change is important for several reasons and is more common than we think.
Change is inevitable
A constant fact about change is that it is inevitable. Nothing stays the same forever, and this is true about our capabilities, interests and hobbies. At 18 years-old you might have been interested in design but at 26 you realise that your capabilities are more suited as a strategist. You might have thought being a doctor is what will fulfil you but then in your second year you realise you actually want to become an architect or a musician. Every season in our lives is different and when we are younger, we often make less informed decisions because we do not have a true understanding of what we are truly interested in and what we are capable of.
Change invites more opportunities and experiences
When we make the decision to change an aspect of our lives, we are inviting different opportunities into our trajectory. It is only when we get comfortable with taking risks that we potentially position ourselves for experiences that will enhance our lives.
Change allows introspection and progress
Change means you have looked hard at your situation and realised that the end-result will not be favourable to you and that in order to attract a better one, you need to make a change. This means you are making progress about your future by thinking about the bigger picture and altering your journey to realising those big picture goals.
Interrogating your reasons for the change
Despite change being a good thing in most cases, it is still a decision that one should not take lightly. It is important to interrogate your reasons for wanting to change something about your life. Do you want to change your path because you have self-introspected and realised your talents and interests would be better suited elsewhere, or are you facing temporary difficulty in your current path and responding to this by giving up?
In some cases, people change their situations not because they have introspected and realised that they would be better suited for a different path, but because of setbacks and failure. Often failure is a crucial part of the journey and should be treated as a learning curve and not as proof that you need to change to a different and easier path.
Lastly, it is important that we always understand the gravity of our decisions and the reasons for wanting to make a change. A practical task might be to write down the pros and cons of your decision and the likely outcomes that it will present.