Finding The Courage To change
“A bit of advice
given to a young Native American
at the time of his initiation:
‘As you go the way of life,
you will see a great chasm.
It is not as wide as you think.”
Joseph Campbel, “In The Field”
How can you find that courage?Do not linger in the warm nostalgia of the good old times. It may be comforting at first, but if you linger there, you will make no progress. Do not see yourself as a victim, either. That path is full of self-pity and leads to hopelessness and inaction.
Instead, keep your mind open, focused intensely on the changes happening around you. Stay alert to detecting the opportunities that might be to your benefit. Turn the new circumstances to your advantage. Shift quickly from something that doesn’t work or only works so-so to something new and exciting, with a much higher likelihood of success. Seek trusted advice from mentors and sages in your life. Do your homework and do take some calculated risks. Your mind, guided by your will, consciously and unconsciously, will start finding new ways to lead you where you want to be. Thus you will discover a new framework of thinking and living, new means of being at your best, new patterns of relating to yourself and to others. As you strive for this new you, if you fully embrace it, you will soon realize you actually like and respect the renewed version of yourself. These are only a few examples. If you get the idea, please add your own.
This way of approaching change will greatly increase your emotional and social survival ability in the emerging post-recession world. It will also help you achieve financial and emotional security for yourself and your loved ones. Successfully managing change will make you, more innovative, more skillful and much stronger. This, in turn, will make you even more successful. It is an upward spiral.
To remain in control, fight your “fight or flight” instinct and embrace the change. Find the mental strength to build a strong will, so powerful will that will dominate your fears. Maintain an open, flexible mind. Accept that "new" can be both challenging, exciting and renewing, all at the same time. Change can bring about opportunities you have never dreamt of. Hold on to the belief that New is Good and give yourself the chance to grow stronger and wiser out of your own fears.
If you face unemployment or other difficult transitions, make New is Good your guiding belief. It will inspire you to keep going, unstoppable, until you achieve your goals. Stay open, work hard, don't look back and never ever lose hope.
P.S. The idea of New is Good as a guiding belief, has already been tested by one of my patients. She was fighting the despair of looking for a job for over a year despite her sound education, excellent references and plenty of experience in her field. She felt scared and confused facing the dramatic changes in the work force today. But she did not give up and worked on reinventing herself. We came up with New is Good while looking for a way to strengthen her will to keep going, keep fighting for the right job. It became her constant companion even long after she exceeded this goal. We both hope this will help you too to keep going until successfully overcome your own challenges, whatever they may be.
New is Good! Make it so!