The lead up to, and beginning of a new year frequently brings with it a fresh perspective on life, a reassessment of goals or a rude awakening that makes you cringe! For me all of the above has occurred in the last month and has led to some big decisions and even bigger actions taking place.
We all experience these moments no matter our individual journey, and in my view the most notable factor is that change is usually what triggers it all. Change is possibly the single most feared part of life, yet is the most constantly occurring element of living. I can safely say that the biggest limiting factor in some of the most critical decisions I have made in my life has been a fear of change and the unknowns that may/possibly/could/will take place.
I wanted to quickly share what has helped me overcome this fear, and explain how simple I believe it can be for anyone to overcome this fear themselves. It all comes down to one thing – communication.
Modern society fuels our desire to become independently successful, personally driven and single-handedly the very best at what we are trying to accomplish, with no fear at all. What it so often fails to mention when portraying the most successful and highest achieving individuals is the support networks they have, the advice they have access to, and the number of people they communicate with about anything and everything they do.
When you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, manager or aspiring professional, you are so focused and driven in your role that you tend to make every single decision, and in such a fast paced world the fear of being left behind by change makes the speed of decision making even more critical. This is not to say the decisions being made are not the right ones. The point here is that our fear of change, coupled with the burden of making, and then dealing with the results of these decisions can grow heavy and lead to future challenges.
This is where the so often overlooked benefit of communication comes in. Talking to someone can be an amazing solution to limiting your future challenges, and to effectively eliminating your fear of change, yet we so rarely open up and share, even with those closest to us.
Start with your partner or a family member, they may not have a clue what you are talking about if it is work related or may know exactly what you mean if it is a personal challenge, but just sharing what you are thinking or fearing can trigger solutions in your mind. You can seek out a friend who is on a similar journey, buy them a coffee and just ask them to listen to you share but seek their advice on you plan. Or, to take things up another level, find a mentor or advisor who has the ability to work with you to identify the best solutions and assist in the decision making process. A simple conversation focused on helping clear your mind and accepting the power of change, as opposed to fearing it, can make a world of difference. It certainly has for me.
So, my challenge to you as we start 2016 is not just to go and do this for yourself. I challenge you to be the listening ear for someone else. Reach out to someone you know is going it alone and maybe we can help each other recognise that our fear of the inevitable changes that occur along our journey doesn’t need to exist at all.