We've all heard the old adages like "change is scary", "people resist change" or " even something like "you can't teach an old dog new tricks". When change is the one factor of being alive that is guaranteed, why do we have multiple sayings that affirm a resistance to it? It's incredible that we would choose to spend time fighting the inevitable. In the last months I've been to twelve countries and changed money, greetings, cuisine, culture, homes, beds, friends and even parts of my wardrobe as many times if not more. Rather than change being the occasional event it has become the norm and it's gotten me thinking. Why do people really resist change? I've realized that people aren't fighting the change per se, but rather the challenges and personal growth that accompany it. Change is often times a good thing, but it can be work and it can definitely wear a person out.
Think about the last time you got a radically different haircut, you might have hated it at first but then you got compliments on it and it grew on you. Whether or not you kept it, that feeling of uncertainty and feeling shy was a good thing. It got you out of your comfort zone. That's what I want to focus on, how important it is to get out of your comfort zone as much as possible- because guess what? Your comfort zone is a place where you don't have to think. Where status quo is the constant and where ok cuts it.
I think of change like going to an amusement park. I recently went to one in Vienna where I rode on swings that went 117 meters (over 300 feet) high in the sky while spinning and at one point they reached 60kilometers an hour. I'm terrified of heights and as I was hyperventilating at the top, doing my best not to faint as I gasped for breath, I knew going on the swings was the right choice. Besides the incredibly gorgeous(terrifying) view, I was challenging myself and my fear. There was no way I as going to skip an opportunity to experience such an epic ride AND let my fear rule my decision.
So how does this apply to everyday changes, like looking for a new job or ending an unhealthy relationship? Because you need to challenge yourself. Every day. Do something every single day that you think will be scary (and it might be) but that you are 99.9% sure you will live through. I don't say 100% because nothing in life is guaranteed. But seriously, change is challenging, but it's also a wild ride.
Don't let life's adventures pass you by because you are comfortable where you are. Challenging yourself and pushing yourself to do things you never thought possible is the best rush there is. Sure cocktails are fun, but chasing your dreams and going for something completely outside of your comfort zone will knock an alcohol buzz out of the park. Sometimes, some of life’s good stress is just what the doctor ordered to jump start a new project, hobby, job search or whatever else you might be dreaming of.
Don't live your life everyday the same, it's an incredibly precious gift that we have why waste it on mediocrity. Even if you don't like the experience, at least you tried it. Why would you ever judge something new that you had never done.
For example, I was recently in the Wachau, just to the west of Vienna and Joe ordered a very traditional dish of Ox tongue. My immediate gut action was oh no gross ew! But when he gave me a slice, I dug in and gave it a go. It was tender, flavorful and not nearly the horror story I had painted in my mind. Now, would I order a huge dish of it to pig out by myself next time. As of right now, no, bit this means that when I see of tongue on a menu that I know what it is, what it might taste like and that I'm willing to give it another go. If I had just said nope, I don't like it, I would be creating a false narrative for my story. I wouldn't actually know I didn't like it, I would just be assuming. And if you read my post about assumptions(link), you know they are a big no no in my book.
I'm just asking you to give yourself a chance. Go out there and try a wine you've never heard of, eat something you have never tried, do something that for you seems off the wall and crazy. But when you do, remember, just be there in the experience. This is the hardest part. You have to ignore that voice inside your head that is digging it's heels in and screaming bloody hell while you convince yourself to do something different. Remember that you are your own boss, not that little naysayer that might be hiding inside, doubting you, giving you a hard time when you dare to dream.
In doing this, you will open up your mind a bit more, change your perspective and challenge yourself, your ideals and maybe even your perspective on life. You might just start to see the world a little bit differently. It will be less scary and threatening and a bit more exciting when you view every challenge and change as an adventure, trust me.