Change is a word capable of striking fear into the bravest of hearts. Sure, we might like the idea of changing our hairstyles or trying a new restaurant every now and then, but when it comes to life-altering shake-ups, we tend to brace ourselves for the worst.
In truth, we are changing all the time, whether we realize it or not, and very often, we change in positive ways. Life’s biggest highlights stem from change – getting a new job, making a new friend, falling in love, moving to a new city. Still, we fear that the big changes might lead us somewhere worse than where we are now or that we might become someone we don’t like.
With so much of our spiritual work dedicated to transforming ourselves, how do we know that we are, in fact, changing for the better? Here are 5 surefire ways to tell:
- You are getting in touch with yourself. When we talk about transforming for the better, it’s easy to think that we need to become someone completely different. In reality, changing in a positive way actually means tapping into who we are at our core.
Our soul’s essence is pure, powerful, and endless – a piece of the perfection of the Creator. Whether because of insecurity, fear, or shame, we often try to hide or deny our true selves. The more we do so, the more we cover up the most beautiful, powerful part of ourselves. Making positive change in our lives means stripping away these layers that have built up over the years and allowing our innate souls to reveal their greatness.
Take time to get to know the innermost parts of yourself. Ask yourself what are the ways you behave today that aren’t in alignment with who you are at the core, and then pursue change in those areas. The more you know who you are, the closer you are to achieving what you want.
- You aren’t settling for the easy road. In life, there are only two choices: changing or settling. There is no such thing as “staying the same.” Our circumstances change whether or not we like it, and we change as a result. We are meant to grow and learn and develop until we die - it doesn’t stop once we “grow up” or once we’ve reached a certain goal. Resisting change only hinders our growth and the fulfillment we can gain from it.
Change is scary, and “staying the same” feels comfortable, but trust that the Creator wants to change you for the better. Where you are now is not enough – you deserve so much more! Yearn for something greater and more fulfilling. Choose change over comfort.
- You embrace challenges, both small and large. We tend to think of life’s challenges as setbacks, problems to be solved, or issues we need to prevent when really they exist to push us to become better people with more fulfilling lives. If we got to choose the path of our lives, we would likely choose a comfortable, safe road with not too many hurdles. But that isn’t the road that leads to the greatest rewards. We need those challenges to force us to grow.
The Creator places things in our path for a purpose. Trust that everything is set up for your best interest. Embrace any speed bump you hit as a powerful opportunity for growth. Whether you can see it in the moment or not, it is happening for your benefit. You can’t always control the obstacles you encounter; you can decide how they affect your life. The more you practice this with the small obstacles, the easier it becomes to face the big ones.
- You take action. If you want to become the best public speaker in the world, you have to start making some speeches. We often plan and strategize a big change or goal but never really start pursuing it. One small change every day leads to great change over time.
All the thinking, planning, and dreaming will never get you there without putting them into action. How much time do you spend thinking about an idea versus making it happen? Be an active participant in change. What are some small changes you can make today?
- You make mistakes… and learn from them. Many times when we pursue change, we give up when things don’t go our way. We might get discouraged, disinterested, or just believe we aren’t meant to achieve the things we want. Remember that we are imperfect human beings, and so our pursuit for change will also be imperfect. We will stumble and make mistakes, but that is an important part of learning.
Ask yourself: how have I changed in the past week, month, year - for better and for worse. What can I learn from each mistake and choice I have made?
The only thing constant in life is change. But it doesn’t need to be scary. In fact, it can be exciting and fulfilling! Change propels us forward for growth and happiness. It can make us better people. Start embracing change in your life – seek it out and get excited about it, knowing it is an opportunity to grow into the best version of yourself possible.