We, humans, are simple creatures.
Despite the fact that your neighbour claims he hates routine and is slowly dying in front of his office desk, he’s more than happy to just get home, turn on TV, grab some chips and ponder about the future while doing nothing for a few hours.
And admit it, so do you.
Human brain is not programmed to make us take risks, change our lifestyles and challenge us constantly. Our brain is designed to STOP us from doing all these things that biologically speaking are or might be a threat to our survival.
Challenging yourself and agreeing to things you are not certain about is extremely scary. But also, a hell of a fun.
…and now imagine the scenario that your neighbour suddenly starts jogging (after being a couch potato for years), stops buying his favourite chips and snacks on raw carrots with hummus instead. His oxytocin levels rise, he feels happier and more powerful and then – BANG – he decides to quit his job and actually do something he’s always been passionate about.
It took him 10 minutes to get dressed for his first jog that got him hooked.
It took him a few weeks of meal prep to get used to the new routine.
And it’ll be months or even years of joyous moments filled with self-satisfaction and pleasure.
Starting something new is difficult; achieving change requires a sense of urgency and active involvement in change efforts. But it’s not impossible if you focus on positives, talk to others and break the big, scary change into small, manageable pieces.
1. Focus on positives
Instead of focusing on the hurdles that you will face, focus on the positives that you will enjoy. Leave the difficulties aside (they will step in no matter what), but rather learn to see the positive aspects of each situation.
E.g. it might be costly and difficult to move from the US to China, but I’m sure it’ll broaden my knowledge, will challenge me and I can’t wait to try the wonders of the local cuisine!
2. Talk to someone who’s done it
At first, you may freak out about your resistance to change. But you’re not unique here – it’s completely normal; we are afraid of the unknown. To eliminate the fear of the unknown and to familiarize yourself with what’s coming next, give it a try and talk to someone who’s been through the same experience – it’ll help you prepare mentally.
E.g. I am intimidated by what it will bring, and I would like to know how my life will change. I know my friend’s cousin went through the same experience – why don’t I talk to him!
3. Break it down to actionable steps
Starting big is way scarier than starting small. Preparing yourself fully for the change is close to impossible, but making yourself aware of the change and starting to prepare is.
E.g. I have to move to China in two months. Why don’t I start a Chinese crash course now, to prepare myself for the upcoming change? I might as well find a few pen pals now to get myself introduced to the culture.
Accept that there will be a new chapter in your life that is meant for you, have an open mind and accept everything as it comes your way.
Because change, after all, is scary.
But it can also be the best thing you’ll ever do.