“The only thing that is constant is change.” – Heraclitus
They say change brings discomfort. Discomfort leads to learning. Learning yields to growth. Growth fosters success. And like my mother used to say: It’s inevitable. So harness who you are and go and kick ass – that’s right my mother is my Superwoman! She gave tons of advice to prepare the young Jennifer for life. And I am more than grateful for it. But the truth is you can never be fully prepared for life and theory is most of the time different from practice.
Last year I met many changes in my life. It brought discomfort an altogether DISLIKE. Looking back on that period of my life. I can say I’ve learned a thing or two and grew a few inches. It was painful but worth the journey. As I was able to make way for a more mature version of me. I can say this now as I am stubborn to the bone and won’t lie, I asked questions like: Why is this happening? What is it that I need to learn? What kind of person will I become, now that this has happened? What has karma to do with this? Does GOD really love me, if this occurs? Did I not took a careful look? Did I not tackle it from all angles before making a decision? (as an INTJ you tend to do so often). What is still left of me and what doesn’t serve me any more? Should I shed my old skin? Am I that bad at my job? yes doubt creeps in. And there were so many other questions I asked myself.
One of the changes that occurred during this time when friendships that no longer served. These were not just friendships but people who were in my heart that I had known for over 15 years. I received the worse job review of my life! Never ever had I heard such words about my personality and my work in general. If it comes to my work it needs to be a resemblance of the Mona Lisa. My work is a beauty it’s art piece and my career is everything to me. When I started my career and moved to Berlin. I said to myself: Myself, I want you to be the best Online Marketer Manager there is. If that means I have to work more than 40 hours a week I will! Nothing will stop me from reaching my goal. So you can imagine getting a bad review in my 5th year of my career was a slap in the face! Not knowing at the time that it actually had nothing to do with my work nor my personality. The job simply wasn’t a good fit.
So I decided to move back home, found a job within a couple of weeks and it’s been great so far. My colleagues are the sweetest. They embraced me with open arms as soon as I stepped in the door. My manager loves my work and includes me. His words after reading my Online Marketing strategy (read my Mona Lisa) was: “You are going to bring a lot of changes I see.” – Yes, I said. “Good, that means I hired the right person. This is the Online Marketing (focussed on conversion) strategy I was looking for to implement.I believe in your strategy”. That was music to my ears.
I lost friends but Oh I gained so much. I made many new friends but there are a few that stand out and are deep in my heart. There is one lady whose positivity shines from her face. She made every day bearable for me. And then there are friends who simply were there. They took me to places I have not seen before, or they would take me out on hikes. They gave so much love, and they let me know that I am good. I am good as I am. They also helped me grow on a professional level. I got all sorts of books and articles to read and to develop myself more. I believe the best of all is that they encouraged me to start the blog, Paperbeau. They were there, and I am very grateful for that. So the unfamiliar isn’t to be feared: It is THE chance to turn your life around for the better. Here are five ways of how I learned to embrace change in my personal as well as my professional life:
1. Pamper yourself!
During your chaotic time is easy to forget YOU! I was so focused on how I could make things better in my life. Without knowing that self-care is probably one of the most important things when it comes to embracing change. It also helped to focus more on me than on my problems. For instance, I start reading more books (and articles), I went to the beach by myself or went for a walk. All of a sudden you would find me more in beauty salons to do my nails. There were others would go for meditation I prayed a lot. I wanted and I needed the constant dialogue with GOD. I have not been to church for a long time. But it helped me to remain calm. Another important given is forgiveness. Forgiveness to the people who did you wrong and forgiveness for yourself too. After all, forgiveness is something you give yourself so you can let go.
2. Seek new perspectives
The people I met definitely helped with gaining new perspectives. There is one male friend who always said: “Kill them with kindness”. In my turmoil of change and hurt, I could get easily angry. Just one word from someone, and they would get the death stare and a whole mouth full. Which is the worst thing ever! I talked to him about that, and he helped me to count till 10, to always see the beauty in people. And that in the end, everybody wants to be loved. It was then and there I decided to put that into practice. Another friend showed me skills that I hadn’t even known about myself, now how about that! I used to play the piano for almost 5 years when I was little. So I decided to start taking lessons and my teacher was amazing. She always said take your time no haste. That already was powerful to me. I reminded me that I don’t need to have everything figured out right now. I could take my time there is no haste. Because learning takes time. Everybody who knows me knows I have no patience and if I want something done, it needs to happen right now. Now I just think to take my time, there is no haste. Funny thing is that things started to go much faster and better once I put that into practice.
3. Try something new and scary
Trying something new was never something I was afraid to do. I always say yes to every opportunity and then learned later LOL. But I wanted to do something that I would never do and so I took a lesson KITE surfing. All I can say is that I ended up taking more lessons instead of just one. I loved it and I felt like an absolute goddess by the time I could stand still for 5 minutes on my board.
4. Embrace doubt, fear and uncertainty
I used to say I am not scared of the unknown and I don’t fear the wind that life gives. But I was scared and full of fear when I could hear my heart break. I did not want to relive that, I didn’t even know how to get out of that situation. But with uncertainty comes possibilities when you keep an open mind. Literally, anything can happen and with remaining positive you’re making it easy for you to be you. That anxious feeling does not signal that you’re doing something wrong, only that you’re trying something new. Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through.
5. Shed your old skin
Discard physical clutter, tired ideas, old routines. Seeing things through another’s eyes can help with that. After all the old you doesn’t serve the new you.