When an upcoming life change seems scary, there are two keys to making it amazing: be intentional and anticipate growth.
Recently, someone very close to me accepted a job offer to work for a new company in a new industry. The position will require him to move by himself to a new state. It’s a tremendous opportunity for him, and from the outside looking in I can see only positives. However from my own experiences on the inside, I know how daunting the prospect of so much change at once can seem.
Often the fear of uncertainty or change becomes so strong that it forces us to shrink from the challenge. Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy has said that “everything you do is either triggered by an emotion of desire or fear.” I like to think of it this way: passion and fear can’t exist in the same place at the same time in the same proportions. One or the other will always be in control. The key is to find a way to make the more productive emotion dominate.
When the job offer was extended, I’m sure my loved one was motivated by desire. The desire to learn and grow in a new and exciting area probably elicited a passion and excitement in him. But from my own experience I know that as the time to move draws closer fear takes a more active role in the mind and can even drown out the original desire. Keeping that desire at the forefront is the real challenge. The things that motivated the desire are still there. The opportunity remains, along with all the benefits that come with it. So, in order to maximize the desire to follow through, I’ve come up with a couple of helpful things to help keep the passion going and make the most out of an upcoming life change or experience.
First of all, it’s important to go about the change in an intentional way. All experiences can be for our benefit if we’re willing to learn from them. There is an old proverb that says “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Often, the teacher comes in the form of an experience or life change. So, as you embark on a new chapter in life, in order to be intentional about it ask yourself these questions:
The key is to create the experience rather than simply expecting it to happen to you.
Second, you must anticipate the personal growth that stems from the experience. In other words, go into the experience planning for self-improvement. John Wooden once said “When opportunity presents itself, it’s too late to prepare.” Consider the upcoming experience as your opportunity to prepare for something even bigger and treat it as such. You’re being groomed for an opportunity that you haven’t yet seen nor thought of. To keep your enthusiasm going as you anticipate growth, you need to consider the application of what you’ll learn by asking yourself:
Another name for the fear that crops up after our initial passion is “resistance.” Resistance is a sinister force that pushes us backwards. In order to get where we need to be, we must press forward, through the resistance. Resistance serves as a compass pointing us in the direction we need to go to experience significant growth if we’re intentional about it. Fear doesn’t need to rule us. Make this experience your moment. This is your time to learn and grow. It’s an opportunity to stretch yourself and become even closer to the person you want to be. It won’t be easy. Nothing significant ever is. But it will be worth it.