How do you feel about change? We generally fall into two camps: those who like change and those who, well, hate it. I personally like change. It keeps me feeling challenged, interested and alive. But if your natural reaction to the idea of making a big shift ranges from mild nausea to all out terror, here are a few things you can do to drop the fear and embrace the change.
Try changing your perspective
Change is growth. Have you learned everything you need to know? Have you tasted everything, experienced everything, attempted everything? Chances are there's more out there for you. Decide you're not done yet.
What if... ?
One of the biggest reasons we don't like change is all the what if's that come with it. What if it won't work out? What if it's the wrong move or the wrong time? What if I lose what I have now? What if I fail? It's in our nature to worry and wonder about the consequences of making a change. The best way to combat that is to take the what ifs in a positive direction and visualize the best outcome possible. Imagine yourself in your new role, new venture, new opportunity or new relationship and see yourself happy, successful, strong and wise. Or really stretch and open yourself up to the possibility of a new reality that's even better than the one you could have imagined or hoped for.
Look for the turn signals
When it's time to change, you'll get cues. If you pay attention you'll see the signals and messages telling you you're ready. When I started teaching dance fitness, I was teaching 25 to 30 classes per week and lost my voice. My body gave me a clear message. I had two choices: I had to want to change or change what I wanted. I could reduce the number of classes or expand and train more people to teach them. That's how the fitness business that became Jazzercise began. Today we have more than 8,300 instructors teaching classes all over the world.
Go for it
Don't be afraid to take a risk. If you go out on a limb and the limb breaks, pick yourself up and climb a different tree. You'll figure it out. But you have to take action to get the momentum started. You can't let fear stop you from making a change. Ask yourself if it's the change that's really scaring you or just the idea of it. Then decide to stop interpreting the anticipation and adrenaline you feel as fear.
Once you know you want to drop a habit, move, start a business, go back to school, start or end a relationship, etc., get started. Putting it off just adds stress and the opportunity to talk yourself out of it.
To make change less fearful, make it a habit. Try something new or do something differently every day. Take a different route, introduce yourself to someone new, try a new food, learn something new at work, etc. Let yourself enjoy the thrill and variety and find the joy in succeeding where you didn't think you could.
Make a plan -- you know, in writing
No, really. Write it down. Just getting it out of your brain and onto something else (paper, doc, note in your phone) makes it more real and therefore more achievable. Your next adventure can reveal itself to you when you start penciling it out and thinking about next steps.
The best way to combat the anxiety that can come from taking on something new is to do your homework. Do the research, do the planning and ask your questions. Knowing you're prepared to do your best will give you the confidence to reach for the next level.
Look for the lessons
Of course not all changes are for the better. Some will result in loss or sadness. Some are difficult. But all changes will give you a different perspective because you're moving and growing. We usually gain the most insight from the difficult experiences and learn the most when we fail. Try to see each change as growth and take the lessons as net gains.
Make a conscious decision to open yourself up to change. Let yourself explore new avenues and find new possibilities. Open up to transformation and surprise yourself with your ability to stretch, grow and expand your capacity for happiness.
Do you like change? Share your best advice for embracing change.
Judi Sheppard Missett created the original dance party workout and started the fitness revolution that became Jazzercise. Today -- more than 45 years later -- Jazzercise is one of the world's leading dance fitness companies, offering a program that continually evolves with new beats, new moves and new classes. As Founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Judi Sheppard Missett leads a team of more than 8,300 franchisees teaching 32,000+ classes each week around the world. Jazzercise is a pulse-pounding, bass-dropping fitness program that gets results...fast. Customers can incinerate up to 800 calories in one 60 minute workout and choose from a variety of classes including Fusion, Core, Strike, Strength and Dance Mixx. For more information, visit jazzercise.com.