Embrace The Unknown: How We Grow Through Change

I’m not here to argue that change is always a good thing. *Good* is subjective + *good* can sometimes be too boring, too safe, or not enough. I will say this though: change is an *okay* thing.

You’ve noticed it, right? The days feel a little shorter, as we race to fit in a quick workout before the sun sets. We’ve traded our Nike shorts for leggings, our tanks for sweaters. Morning runs require longer sleeves + now end with *hot* coffee, for a change. Summer has quickly become fall. Just as the leaves always turn red, orange, + yellow, we too, will find ourselves in this constant state: *change*.

It can be scary [don’t worry — I’m right there with you on that one!]. It can invoke our fight-or-flight tendency, egging us on to fly far + fly fast. But just as it’s meant to scare us, change is also here to remind us that we are human, that we are here to grow, + that truly, change can be an okay thing. Over the last few weeks + months, my own life has changed quite drastically — new apartment, new neighborhood, new job, + perhaps, most importantly, completely new outlets for personal happiness. Through this entire process, I’ve come away with three main takeaways on how exactly I ended up right here [+ what will continue to push me forward].

#1] SURPRISE! CHANGE CHANGES US. WE ARE NOT STAGNANT BEINGS.

Every single moment, we are physically changing. Think about it. You are not who you were last night, not who you were this morning, + not who you were before your last sweat sesh. Accepting that change is a fundamental part of our everyday lives is the first step for understanding + embracing it [we’ll get there!]. If we were not meant to experience change, we would never get to the point we’re at *right now*. Imagine always being a little kid + never getting to experience the things that motivate us daily — love, friendship, travel, CHAARG. We can’t either.

#2] CHANGE FORCES US TO BE VULNERABLE. BEING VULNERABLE ALLOWS US TO BECOME WHO WE ARE MEANT TO BE.

Change scares us, because we fear pain. We are afraid of getting hurt. These are valid fears, as many of the most defining life changes usually involve loss. We might lose someone we love, a comfortable + forgiving environment [our childhood home, a college campus, a sports team//CHAARG Chapter//etc.], or we may even lose ourselves in doubt or deprivation. In these moments, we will find ourselves to be vulnerable, no longer able to hold onto the very thing that we have lost. ++ you know what? There’s something quite beautiful about our own vulnerability.

It is only when we put our guard down — voluntarily or not — that we find ourselves that much closer to who we are truly meant to be. When change forces us to be vulnerable, we must dig deeper — beyond who we think we are + claim that turning point [whether it’s reaching out for help and//or coming to the realization that we are good enough] for ourselves. It’s not supposed to be easy, but nothing worth having is.

#3] CHANGE BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN US. THROUGH CHANGE, WE ALWAYS BECOME BETTER.

Since high school, I have found solace in this quote: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” Just as change is inevitable, so is becoming our best self. In many instances, it’s not until the change occurs that we realize how we could actually become a better version of ourselves. When you go through a change + experience something new [a perfect job interview, a breakup, a first workout class or race, etc], you will always learn something new. You will always find a new strength you didn’t know you had before. You will always become a better you. + that’s a pretty *okay* thing ; ).

+ Jessica [@jessicasmith_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG NYC


Originally published at CHAARG.com on October 19, 2015.

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