Life is replete with challenges, problems, difficulties, issues. Life also has blessings, miracles, good-times, and enjoyment. We can go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in the blink of an eye. We can go from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs as well. There are things that happen to us that are not planned, not wanted, not controlled, not favorable, not good, not expected, and yet not always bad. If you’re human then the unexpected can throw you off. This is because we often times stake our convictions on a certain desired outcome or result. When either the plan to get there or the outcome itself is not according to plan, our minds think failure. This is a destructive way of thinking and unfortunately we are programmed in our subconscious to think like this. Our actions stem from our thoughts and our way of thinking is formed by what how we accept and process circumstances and situations. Earl Nightingale-among many others-said, “we become what we think about.”
Dr. Maxwell Maltz founder of Psycho-Cybernetics has taught similar principles to thousands of people and changed their lives. There are ways to cope with change. I will be the first to admit that the initial reaction to change, whether it be planned or unexpected, is scary and nerve-racking. However, we are in charge how the change is accepted and how the effects are felt. I want to tell you a story about change. The principles in the story can apply to anyone who has the “unexpected” appear in their lives. It also can apply to any situation where change is apparent.
This is a story about a change of heart, a personal story that happened to me a year and a half ago. I was in a relationship that I “knew” was going to end up in marriage. I was convinced. This girl soon went to South America for a Church Service Mission. She was to be away for 18 months. My plan was to wait 18 months for her return and in my mind we would soon get married. I was adamant about waiting too. Nothing was going to change my mind, well at least I thought so. Two months later the very ground beneath my feet shook.
I met a girl through her cousin who was a friend from years prior. I hadn’t seen this girl for many years, so another mutual friend and I decided to hang out. That’s the day change was acting upon me and my life. This girl was amazing because she was easy to talk to, fun to be around, smart, funny, and gorgeous to top it all off. The thing that made it easy for us to connect was the fact we both were in long distance relationships. There was no pressure to impress each other, even though I wanted to. We hung out a few times and talk about our relationships and soon enough we grew feelings for each other.
I wasn’t going to let go of the girl I was waiting for. But I knew in my heart that it wouldn’t work out between us. I felt strongly in my heart that this girl that came into my life was not a coincidence but I was scared of the change. I was also too proud to let go, I was committed to that girl and didn’t want to go back on my promises. The change that entered my life was rocking my world and I was too stubborn to let this change positively impact my life. This girl that I met is an amazing example of one who is strong in the face of change. She too was scared but she embraced it and went all in.
She looked at this new challenge in her life and made the seemingly scary change a positive adventure. It took me a little longer than her to realize this. I wised up and we are getting married in August and I could not be happier. This story is universal to many people who are faced with change acting upon them. The outcome varies though. It’s either positive or negative depending on how it’s accepted and how the effects are felt, it depends on the person. Let me give some things you can carry out and keep in mind to cope with change.
Be okay with uncertainty:
I learned something very interesting and powerful in a book by Terryl Givens. He explained that we as humans don’t like uncertainty or the unknown and his example is so true. He says we don’t like uncertainty so much that we would rather sit through a terrible movie just because we can’t stand the fact we don’t know how it ends. I know I am that way, are you? But why can’t we leave something unknown? Uncertainty can produce strength. It’s okay to not know how to get to your next step.
Faith is not limited to spirituality or religion. Faith is being able to work toward a goal. Faith is doing what you want. Faith is being in love. Faith is taking a new job. Faith is changing a major in college. Faith is basically life. Not one single person knows what will happen tomorrow, we have plans or ideas of what we think or want to happen. We use faith everyday. Have faith that everything will be okay and you will overcome any challenge. You can only plan for so much the rest is action.
Unexpect the expected:
Don’t stake your convictions on events or happenings that you want. Life has a way to toss us to and fro. Let me illustrate this with a quick example. A dear friend had a breakdown because his expectations were not met. His plan in college was to get into Physical Therapy school, that didn’t happen. He was shattered, I mean he was crushed. All because he put his conviction on one event and didn’t entertain the idea of not getting in. He wanted to drop out and not go to school anymore. Stake you convictions on yourself and your ability to overcome any change.
Live in the NOW:
I am one who wants to know how things will end up or how things will work out. I get frustrated when I don’t know. But who really knows what will happen? I am a firm believer in we get what we want and we become what we think about. This is different because the outcome is never how someone planned or imagined. We should not live trying to prevent because that prevents us to live. We need to live in the now focused 100% on what we want in the future. This is forward living- living in the now with a desired outcome in mind. Setting a goal is ideal but the how, is figured out along the way. If we live in the now we will be able to face any change or deviation with full force. If we are living in the future we can’t fix a problem that pertains to the immediate.
As we set our goals for the future we need to be okay with the unknown. As we have faith in ourselves and what we can accomplish we will be able to live in the now and not set our hearts on a specific and desired happening. Change comes whenever and however it wants. If we are going to come out on top we need to accept it and take every change as a positive. We get to determine the outcome.