Letting Go, Embracing Change and Closing Chapters
By: Ashley Méndez
There is something about change that makes us scared. Regardless of how strong we are or how many leadership skills we have acquire, change freaks us out. Indeed, some might argue that hesitant feeling towards change is part of human nature. Change comes in many forms, which make it inevitable. As a consequence, it requires a certain ability to adjust, let go, and a willingness to close life chapters. Perhaps the first step to do so is re-framing what change means to us as leaders and as individuals. Change is an integral part of life. Our lives are actually fueled by change because it enables us to learn new things and offers us new experiences. As leaders, we must embrace change in order to develop our weaknesses and polish our strengths. By doing so, opportunities emerge and new doors are open, allowing us to grow and expand our horizons. The moment when we realize change is not something to be feared of, we learn to let go.
A few weeks ago, I was hesitant to embrace change. In my case, when I started to contemplate the end of a significant chapter of my life I found myself unwilling to let go. Is scary… to think two years ago, I transferred to Arcadia, and in less than three months I will be graduating and embarking on a new experience. Leaving Arcadia means closing one amazing chapter of my life. There are so many memories I cherished from this place, and this makes me want to stay for a little longer. For the last few months, I had the opportunity to be part of Arcadia’s first year Men’s Volleyball Program. The bond I have created with the men’s volleyball team is special and fulfilling. It made me enjoy and love my time at Arcadia a lot more. The energy and passion they inspire in me makes me want to extend my time here in order to see them achieve all the goals they have as a team, keep fueling that passion for the sport and encouraging them to never give up.
So, indeed it is hard to let go and embrace change when chapters like this one have to be closed. It becomes problematic to allow ourselves to do so when a mix of emotions are involved; but is here were great leaders are made. True leaders acknowledge the inevitability of change. This enables them to recognize every life chapter has an expiration date because it’s the way to open the doors to new beginnings. During this process of growth and transformation, a leader can recognize the same things that makes it hard to let go are those that makes every life chapter special. Why is this process so important? This process shapes amazing leaders and great role models. When we let go, we acquire experience and create wonderful memories worth of sharing with others. By re-framing change, we enhance the definition it has for us as leaders, allowing ourselves to close a chapter of our lives and prepare for the beginning of a new one. This positive attitude shape us in a way that makes us more flexible and adaptable. It opens a window of opportunities. This will have an impact not only in a leader’s life, but also in all those lives one touches while holding leadership roles. It gives you the opportunity to re-create the existent philosophy towards change, to make an impact. In some other cases, this process can awake a sense of innovation and motivation in a leader.
There is no rule on how approach change. I wish I can tell you how to control the fear of change, but this is a personal journey you must embark on. The truth is everyone struggles with accepting change and understanding the value of change, especially when there is certain happiness attached to the present, but change is necessary for our personal and professional development. Sometimes we need a fresh start, a new beginning. Is important to let go and close chapters. It is necessary to embrace change and start over. By doing so we will reach the goal of life. We will be able to constantly learn and develop our traits. We will touch so many more lives. We will become better leaders.