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{Note from Jessica: Today’s post is shared by my dear friend Kelly Matsudaira. Kelly is passionate about personal development and reflection on life and often pops in to share words of wisdom! I hope you enjoy today’s article!}

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by Kelly Matsudaira

Change can be scary, but have you ever stopped to think about how change benefits our lives in a positive way?

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is famous for saying, “The only thing that is constant is change.”

Change is inevitable. It’s a part of life that we can’t escape.

Yet, so many of us fight so hard against it, resisting it, which causes more drama and suffering in our lives.

Why Do We Fear Change?

Change can be scary, if we allow it. Many of us have very overactive minds that send us spiraling towards negativity, anxiety, doubt and fear. But you must remember that they are just thoughts, not reality.

When things change in our lives, especially unexpected change, it can shake us to our very core and uproot our foundations. Our normalcy can be thrown out of whack, our routines altered, and we feel like our world has turned upside down.

For myself, I know I felt like that when I was laid off from my job. My mind just freaked out and I suffered from severe anxiety, insomnia, worry and stress.

I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop compulsively thinking about the “bad” turn of events that came out of nowhere and blind-sided me.

I was resisting the change, the new circumstances I was thrust into that were out of my control. I didn’t want to accept this new life. And I made myself miserable because I denied it.

It is our perception of certain events that happen in our lives that create such fear of change. Therefore, we try to avoid it instead of accepting it.

What Are We Scared Of?

Typically, there are three things:

1. The pain of loss.

If something changes in our lives, or we do something different, we may experience loss and we don’t like to lose things or people, so we get scared and avoid change.

When I lost my job, I freaked out because I also lost my steady paycheck, my insurance, and my professional security. I focused so much on what I had lost instead of what I had gained. I needed to shift my negative thinking into positive thinking. I had now gained more time, more freedom, and more independence. I could really think about how I wanted the next chapter of my life to unfold and reevaluate everything. I could take time to focus on me and decide what I wanted my next job to be. Luckily, I received unemployment benefits that gave me my financial safety net while I worked on things.

When we’re afraid of experiencing loss, we start playing the What If game, which can make us terribly miserable. I was a champion at the What If game. I created all these scenarios in my head, and they were all negative. I wasn’t playing this game in a positive light, by seeing what I was gaining.

2. The pain of a new process.

We are creatures of habit and when unexpected change occurs, sometimes, we have to start all over. We have to learn a new process and that scares us from accepting change. Changing our lives is hard. Creating a new life is hard. Learning a new process is hard. We might not know certain things yet. We might not have competencies in certain areas yet. We might not feel confident yet. We don’t know what will happen to us. Everything is unknown. We see all the hurdles we have to jump over and it’s a scary feeling.

But if you focus on the positives, then you’ll feel more at ease. Make a game out of life and see challenges and new processes as fun, exciting, new learning experiences, or opportunities for growth and development. Taking on a new process to a changing life can add spice and vigor to it.

3. The pain of a negative outcome.

When change happens, most of us fear the worst possible outcome. We think of all the things that could go wrong instead of all the things that could go right. We fear that we will lose something, go through a hard process, and then the grass isn’t any greener on the other side. That life won’t be any better even after all we’ve been through.

However, if you shift your mind into positive thinking, visualize how you want your life to be, surrender to what is (change) and feel good about things, then you’ll start attracting what you want in your life instead of what you are resisting. You’ll be putting your energy out into the universe on a higher frequency that will align with your positive mental state.

How Change Benefits Our Lives in a Positive Way

Change is natural. Change is necessary! It’s even beneficial to our lives and will help us.

When you accept change into your life and see it as a friend instead of an enemy, your whole perception will change. Surrendering to change, to life, will allow you to feel more at peace, less stressed and you will no longer suffer. You will begin to see the powerful benefits from accepting change:

  • You will stay more positive and calmer because you are ready for change and will know how to deal with challenges.
  • You will remove negative energy from your body because you have shifted your perception into positive thinking.
  • You will be more flexible because you’ll know how to deal with new environments, situations and people.
  • You will enhance your relationships because you will have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the people around you, expressing more love and compassion.
  • You will grow and develop personally because you can now let go and stop letting outside events shape your internal mental state.

Life is a series of changing events that can be transformational. With some practice and hard work, you can overcome your fears of change. When I accepted my new life and reality, when I surrendered to what was and quit trying to push it away or avoid it, I found myself in a state of mental peace, clarity and felt a new vibrancy for life. It just takes a shift of the mind from negative to positive to start feeling better. Then you’ll be ready to run towards change and face all your fears.

Now is the perfect time to take those steps and make some positive changes to improve your life. I wish you the most spectacular changes in 2015. Happy New Year!

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