Making changes in life is seldom easy. Even if it is a change that we want, this holds true in personal life as well as in business, especially if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur. We can see the benefits of the changes we would like to make, but lets face it–it’s a lot of work. And worse yet, what happens if we fail?
Sometimes the changes are not of our choosing and yet we have to deal with and make sense of them. Today’s high-tech business world means that anything can change in a nano-second, and often does. When changes are made in our workplace and we have little or no control over the situation it can easily cause feelings of stress and helplessness. The same is true when change is forced in our personal lives without consent. We all know the top of the list for stress-inducing scenarios–death of a loved one, divorce, moving, or job change. I would argue that any change, regardless of the magnitude, is stressful at the outset.
Even when we are making positive changes in our lives, the process is difficult. One of the reasons so many of us fail to cement change has nothing to do with outside forces. The biggest reason for failing to achieve a goal or a vision has to do with fear. Fear of failure, but more importantly, fear of success.
That fear is something we generate to keep ourselves safe. Our minds are programmed to protect us, to keep us out of potentially harmful situations. It comes down to survival of the fittest.
So how do we overcome the tendency to get in our own way?
One of the most powerful tools we have is the ability to look at a situation without emotion and recognize how it affects us. Not just physically or intellectually, but emotionally as well. When we are caught up in moment, it can be difficult to take a step back and examine what is actually happening at that time and how it shapes our reactions.
For example, it has taken me a long time to see a pattern in my own behaviour. I set a goal, put everything in motion, and start on my way. Everything works out to a point–then I start to doubt myself. Is this the right choice? Can I pull this off? What will people think? Ultimately I convince myself it will never work.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. In fact, I think most people go through the same cycle. Again, it is a question of the mind trying to keep us in a safe place, away from the potentially dangerous outcomes. Strangely enough ,the mind actually views insecurity as a good thing.
One of the best ways to break this cycle is by practicing mindfulness. When you take the time to be aware of things in the present moment, you strengthen your ability to view issues in a non-attached manner.
Bringing mindfulness into your day allows you to recognize your reaction to a problem without acting on it. When your mind starts to spin out stories about all the bad things that could happen with a change, label that as a negative thought, acknowledge it, and move on. It does not need to have any power to alter what you want to do. Once you label it as a thought, you have the power to take action or not. In most cases, once you develop this ability, you will choose not to give negative thought the same control over your decisions and actions as it once had.
This is only one benefit of mindful living. There are several ways to create a mindful lifestyle. One of the best is through daily meditation. In as little as ten to fifteen minutes a day you could improve your mental clarity, increase your energy, and decrease your stress.
It will be awkward at first to sit quietly and focus on your breathing, but the results are amazing.
If you want to find a positive way to deal with change in your life and reach your goals more quickly, give meditation a try. Not only will you be more centered, you may even find that life becomes easier with fewer self-imposed obstacles.
I think that is worth fifteen minutes a day.