Dearest lovely readers,
I hope you are taking good care of yourselves during these trying and conflicting times. Remember, this is a safe space. Take a moment if you need to.
Now, change is a bit of a funny topic isn’t it? It can be like an urge sometimes. To do something different, from a new hairstyle to changing careers or making changes for our health. Change is where something is different, altered or modified. Change in relationships can occur or states related to well-being. Change can be scary, unfamiliar, it can bring discomfort and fear. Today, I want to explore that a little bit.
Change can bring growth
The term “growth” tends to be quite malleable, it can mean different things to different people, so let me explain further. Changings jobs, relationships or habits might first breed discomfort but that is okay. We need to be able to move from our comfort zone in order to learn more about ourselves, to achieve what we really want, and find more awareness. The chances are, by testing ourselves, we grow. We move to a more authentic space in who we are. For me personally, my biggest change was starting therapy. I was lost in my identity, and had to face the discomfort of opening up without barriers, and I did for the most part. I was asked in the first session what I expected to come from therapy, and despite my knowledge, I didn’t really know how to answer. Session by session I let go of my layers and found myself deep in a phenomenon called post-traumatic growth. In essence, post-traumatic growth is a feeling of relief by letting go of past traumas. After a few months, I started to feel almost enlightened as to what I was capable of. I grew.
Change brings progress and opportunities
This is a big one. Sometimes, to get further ahead, we must actively seek change. Without it, we are not able to find ways to progress in a particular area of life. Change and motivation are required. Opportunities sometimes have to be sought and prepared for. For example, way back in 2016 I had to prepare for university. I sought out opportunities within the mental health community to boost what I learned and make change in society. Speaking out about stigma was a terrifying prospect. Thoughts came like, “can I speak my truth to complete strangers?” It wasn’t until I threw myself in the deep end did I learn how amazing it really was. I developed a new sense of confidence, I started making connections, I increased resiliency and climbed further than I thought I would. Completing university was difficult, as you know, that final year I was dreading trying to come up with a dissertation piece. But with guidance and preparation I created a unique research project that psychology has yet to really enter. Seeking out opportunities, whether they work or not, is good. It means we dare to reach out. It means we can gain new experiences, see the world a different way and find what enriches our lives.
Change allows you to build strength, flexibility, and adaptability
Finding yourself in the midst of change brings a myriad of actions and emotions. By finding your way through every thing that comes forth, you learn to be more flexible and adaptable. Without even realising it, you also build your tolerance, strength and resilience because of the changes. In a way, I was able to do this when working on my agoraphobia and behavioural activation. Through planning my days, and making goals, I was able to be more flexible in how my days looked, I adapted to leaving my home. I found strength in finding healthier habits. I still fall back in to a rut sometimes, that is how recovery goes but I am now able to withstand most changes that come my way. Likewise, in quitting alcohol a few years ago, I was scared about how my social life would look like and losing friendships. But through change, I was able to start going out for meals rather than meeting at the pub, I have far more meaningful conversations and contact.
Change really can bring the goodness out in life, we just need to prepare sometimes, or actively seek it. Don’t be afraid to mix things up, or contemplate what you might like to change. I haven’t always succeeded in my changes but that is part of the process.