The Writing Life: Developing a Change Mindset

Image courtesy of Eileen Rackus

Change is inevitable and inexorable. No matter what we do or don’t do, change happens. It is thrust upon us by people or forces, known or unknown, and there is nothing we can do to stop or prevent it. Change can happen at any time. Even during the midst of change that we have initiated, the unexpected can happen. There is no predicting how or when unplanned change will occur. This is just how life is. But this doesn’t mean that we are powerless.

I have written quite a bit about habits and the importance of creating balance. But there is more to thriving than just helpful routines and practices that ensure wellbeing. To do more than just survive, we need to be resilient and foster a change mindset.

Resilience is the ability to adapt to challenges and hardships. It means being flexible and able to bounce back quickly when unexpected or unwanted things happen. Developing good habits, creating a balanced life, and having a strong support system allows us to be more resilient. Curiosity is important during uncertain times and contributes to resiliency. When we are curious, we seek to understand and learn from something new. This helps us to get back up and get moving more quickly.

Many of you have probably heard of a concept called a growth mindset. A growth mindset means that you believe you can grow and change, choose to be open to new experiences, and seek out opportunities to learn new skills and abilities. What I like to call a change mindset builds upon that. Having a change mindset is believing that opportunities are always present and being prepared to take advantage of them to improve a challenging situation. It is believing that you can thrive even in the most difficult of times, that you can learn and grow in positive and life-affirming ways from hardship, believing in yourself, and having faith in the unfolding of life.

Even during periods of planned change, there are always opportunities around us that, if we only paid attention, we could take advantage to make our lives even better than initially envisioned. Having a change mindset means knowing that life doesn’t always work out the way we plan. Sometimes, it can be even better. That is why being curious, flexible, and adaptable is so important.

Having a change mindset means being prepared to jump on chances that come our way. It means not getting bogged down by emotions or negative thoughts. It means to keep moving forward and always looking for opportunities to improve and not being afraid or allowing ourselves to get stuck because things are good. There is always something better waiting for us if we have the courage to take a chance and change.

Don’t think of the discomfort of change as negative. Change helps us get out of ruts. When we are outside our comfort zone, we have to pay attention in order to navigate our way through uncertainty. This is where meditation can be of great benefit. Staying calm and present are necessary to finding ways to mitigate or improve a situation. Developing a change mindset will make us more flexible, more adaptable and, rather than just surviving change that has been thrust upon us, we will thrive in the face of uncertainty with a mindset that gives us the power to plot a course to a new normal.

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