By Angel Carlton
What would your life be like if you truly believed that all change happens for your benefit? Would that make you break out into a happy dance? Get your dancing shoes ready, because the more aware you become of life’s unpredictable circumstances, the quicker you’ll see how change always works to your advantage.
Understanding how change occurs…
Let’s zoom our lens and focus in for a moment on how change occurs. My mantra is change is sometimes difficult but always worthwhile. Once I realized that change was inevitable, I then began to embrace the flow in which change occurs, and suddenly life began to take on a whole new meaning. When I dug deep to get to the core of what causes changes in our lives, I broke it down into four categories: an Event, through Engagement, an Epiphany, or an Essential. Here is a simple breakdown and examples of each cause:
- Event: These are life-altering events that we’re seldom prepared for, such as the death of a loved one, birth of a child, divorce, marriage, accident, or health or financial crisis. These events cause a sudden awakening and “reality check,” forcing us to take action. Even when considering happy occasions, like a vacation for example, the anticipation is often more exciting than the event itself. So, when reality sets in, it can be quite an awakening. Detach from the outcome and you’ll never be disappointed.
- Engagement: These changes are caused by being engaged with other people; our relationships. We either receive or reject feedback, criticism, or a personal opinion from another that opens our eyes for us to see ourselves in a different light. On the other hand, when we’re engaged with others, we find that we either admire them and see a reflection of our own potential, or we recognize a shadow side, and can admit that we sometimes possess the same ugly quality. This is typically a part of ourselves we realize would be beneficial if changed. These messengers, who hold a mirror up for us to see ourselves differently, cause us to react either for better or for worse. This change can occur in the form of a disagreement, a breakup, experiencing new love, interacting with colleagues, or parental, spousal, sibling, or offspring issues.
- Epiphany: The “aha” moment when clarity comes shining through those rose-colored glasses you’ve been looking through. An epiphany-type change occurs with the power of a single thought, like a truth revealed based on a message, self-discovery, or a breakthrough. Trust that these thoughts are coming from a higher place, and aren’t to be ignored. Remember, truth is sometimes absurd when first heard.
- Essential: This change is more of a necessity that is intentionally made from your internal decision-maker, and stems from a need to improve your life physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. This change in mindset occurs for your survival; it’s an alteration in your belief system, or recovery from a life that hasn’t served you. Change is the only alternative. It is typically essential for change to occur for those suffering from addictions, abusive relationships, or a health issue.
One way to break down barriers caused by unexpected change is to generate awareness about how change occurs. Ask yourself, “how am I responding to these changes?” Rather than allowing change to stop you in your tracks, or set you back, shift your perspective, and march to the beat of a different drum. Recognize what type of change is occurring so that you quickly rebound, and use that event, circumstance, or breakthrough as a launch pad toward a happier, more balanced, and joy-filled life.
Angel Carlton is the author of Staying Afloat During Tides of Change: Introducing the 6 Stages of Transformation, the Founder of Power Up People! (PowerUpPeople.net), a public speaker, and a Transformation Facilitator for individuals, companies, and organizations.