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Do you fear change?

I’m at this phase in life where change is happening pretty much on a regular basis. As I’m typing this blog, I’m moving my family to Dallas this next week…like Wednesday. The kids are changing schools. New house, friends…you get the gist. 

Everything is changing.

I was doing some research, and there’s quite a bit of neuroscience data supporting how change registers in your brain much like an error does with a computer. You’ve got to fix the error in order to prompt the next screen, so to speak…or rather feel more comfortable to move on to the next phase in life.

My youngest son (Vance) is so wise. A few weeks ago, I was making a green smoothie and he wanted to “help” me blend it. He’s kind of a bull in the china closet type of guy, so I’m always reluctant for “help” in the kitchen…especially when using my Ninja blender. But, I let him. 

Then, came the pouring part. That was a disaster. Green smoothie went everywhere on the counter, dripped on the floor…and it was green and chunky, which totally grossed out my daughter who witnessed the entire episode.

Before my daughter completely lost her stomach with the green chunks everywhere, Vance quickly got paper towels and immediately started cleaning. He was so diligent too. My frustration of cleaning up a mess turned to adoration of his sweet spirit. As he was finishing cleaning up, I told him how proud I was of him for handling the mess. He said to me with the most ornery grin, “mama, I gotta pick up this mess and be ready for the next!” 

Hey, at least the kid knows he is a walking mess getting ready to happen! He has a high level of self-awareness at seven, I’d say.

I wish I had his outlook sometimes. But, the fact of the matter is the uncertainty of change can paralyze decision making. Instead of picking up one mess and get ready for the next, we stand there and stare at the green smoothie on the floor instead of picking it up. 

I was listening to a podcast recently, and the host said most people would rather be unhappy than make a change because at least they knew what to expect in their unhappy situation. Wow. I think it’s fair to say change = fear.

So, how do you deal with the messiness of change in order to prompt your next move? 

I’ve read several articles about change and found two key things that really resonated with me.

  1. Find humor amongst the craziness. YES! I love to laugh. I love to be around people who make me laugh too. I firmly believe laughter IS the best medicine. When your life is in a state of chaos, finding humor in it will help keep you grounded…and hey – it’s way better than crying. Try to find a funny moment in an uncomfortable situation. I think of these incidents as “SNL” (Saturday Night Live) moments. How many times has something happened and you thought, “Oh my gosh…the writers at SNL would have an absolute hey-day with this.” So, laugh…a lot.

  2. Focus on your values instead of your fears. I’m new to the Dallas market. Believe me, I’m really having to pump myself up…look in the mirror and say to myself, “I know my stuff. I’m smart. I’m moderately funny…and by golly people (for the most part) generally like me.” In all seriousness, focus on all those good things that make you – YOU. The great thing is that we live in a world that embraces just about every make and model of human out there. So, think about what lights your heart on fire and own it.

I know life is crazy…and it throws us so many curveballs along the way for sure. Find the people who lift you up and can help provide friendship, humor and some fun along the way too. 

Change may be best friends with fear, but I say let’s take change out for wine and pizza instead and try to show her a good time. Come on, let’s go!

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