Change can be scary, but positive

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Mind Matters, By Jeannette Kennedy

Try stepping outside your comfort zone once in a while

Making changes in our lives can be exciting. However, it can also cause us anxiety as we move from the familiar. 

We’ve angst even if that familiar is something negative and we’re moving to something more positive (but that’s a whole different topic). 

I’ve been reflecting on the disruption of change as I made the move to relocate my office. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about all of the possibilities and benefits, including the yearnings to write a book, which I’m anticipating will be easier with a home-based office. 

Despite that, there’s a sense of anxiety (“Have I made the right decision?”), as well as sadness — a grief reaction to the loss of the old. As I packed my belongings, I reflected on how thrilled I had been when I had moved into the office in Stewiacke on Sep. 1, 2011 and felt sad about leaving.

I didn’t leave something negative. In fact, I left something positive. I experienced deep gratitude for being able to sublet the office from Nova Forest Alliance. In addition to providing the space, Terry and Wanda were always so kind, welcoming and helpful. I would make calls requesting they turn up the heat so I would have a nice warm office when I arrived and, on occasion, had to request they leave a note on my door for clients that I was running late due to traffic.  

I also had the pleasure of getting to know Sonja, owner of Focus Massage and Yoga Studio, when she moved into the building, developing a new friendship in the process. These reflections generate sentimental emotions.

We’re creatures of habit and it isn’t easy to make changes. We remain in our “comfort zone” to prevent disruptions in our lives.

Keeping the status quo can be limiting and sometimes detrimental. If I hadn’t relocated my office to Stewiacke from Truro in 2011, then I wouldn’t have experienced the above-mentioned blessings.

So, I encourage people to consider whether there’s something they want to change in their lives; to push outside their comfort zone even if only by an inch. That nudge, an incremental change, could actually change your whole life direction! I’m curious as to the new blessings that will emerge and manifest with this recent change.

There are many components that aid in making positive changes in your life. First, there’s the decision. Then there’s determination and taking the steps toward something new, allowing yourself to be vulnerable in the changes. Finally, support from others makes the risk of making changes much easier. My husband’s and daughter’s support was invaluable as I made the transition.   

It’s important to note this final step of support can be complicated and not really required, even though it’s extremely helpful. I often advise new clients that making changes can actually put a strain on relationships because, more often than not, those in our lives will resist the changes. To mitigate this, enlist those who are advocates for your betterment and, most importantly, trust yourself.

I’ll end with a quote: “The three Cs of life: choices, chances and changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.”

Jeannette Kennedy, M.Sc. is a registered psychologist with a private practice located in Stewiacke, N.S. She can be reached at kennedyj@eastlink.ca, 902-957-1987, or http://jeannettekennedy.org.

 

Organizations: Nova Forest Alliance

Geographic location: Stewiacke

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