While I’ve always thought of myself as adaptable, the truth is – I’m a creature of habit. I’ve always enjoyed the comfort of my routine, living in the same area (for my entire life), doing the same job (for nearly 20-years), and being comforted by a sense of certainty and predictability.
But, over time, I’ve come to realize that maintaining the status quo for the sake of comfort and security can hinder our personal growth, lead to stagnation and self-limitation, and prevent us from exploring new opportunities that expand our sense of self.
Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to more friends who have decided to relocate their homes to new cities (due to the new WFH life), who are electing to change their jobs or careers, and who are even giving up all the security they know, to allow themselves the freedom to explore the unknown for a while. To be honest – I admire all of them, as their willingness to be open to change inspires me to think differently about my life too.
While we all talk about the changes we want to experience in our lives, quite often, there’s a part of us (usually our ego or identity) that fears change. We become accustomed to living, working, and being in a particular place. We get used to our surroundings and the people who we meet. We find a sense of safety and security in knowing what to expect. But all this comfort comes at a price – the price of expanded self-awareness and personal growth.
In order to learn how to embrace life changes and new experiences more easily, we must start from within by shifting our mindset. In the midst of being presented with new opportunities or paths, the feeling of fear and uncertainty will usually creep in. This is because our ego (or identity, if you will) is often defined by what we’ve grown accustomed to knowing. Who we think we are is often a reflection of where we live, what we do, and who we are surrounded by. But, this is a limited perspective on who we truly are, as it puts us in a self-limiting box.
When we allow our minds to strip away the identity we have built for ourselves, all we are left with is just us – a soul dwelling within a body. But that doesn’t mean we’re left with nothing. It’s actually quite the opposite. We’re left with the infinite potential of who we are and who we can become. We’re left with the opportunity to become and experience anything we want, and that’s where the adventure in life begins…
To help you shift your mindset toward embracing life changes and new opportunities, here are 3 tips to radically help you overcome fears and uncertainty, and to approach life with an adventurous spirit.
View Life As An Adventure
Think about the last time you went on a fun adventure. Perhaps you explored a beautiful new hiking trail that you had never been to before. The excitement of the unknown, the anticipation of what you might see, and the thrill of going down a path you hadn’t been on before all gave you the courage to explore more and expand your horizons. You weren’t thinking about your fears or dwelling on what might go wrong, but rather, you were feeling alive and excited by the possibilities.
This same attitude and mindset can be applied to life changes and new opportunities as well.
When evaluating new directions to go in, choose to view life as an adventure. It’s the same as setting an intention. You’re making the conscious choice to open your mind, generate emotional excitement for a new experience, and embrace change. This attitude shift can help you to more easily adapt to new circumstances, to enjoy the process of growth and change, and to face uncertainty with greater ease and confidence.
Let Go of Your Ego’s False Sense of Identity
Who you once were is different than who you are today, most likely. That’s because, as we go through changes and experiences in life, we discover new sides of ourselves that we didn’t even know existed. A big part of who we think we are stems from our ego’s false sense of identity. Unfortunately, when we’re wrapped up in this fragile identity and lack a deeper connection with our core self (higher self, spirit, soul – whatever you want to call it), we limit ourselves. In addition to which, our ego’s false sense of identity can crumble in an instant.
Think about all the people who base their sense of self-worth on their status or career. In an instant, everything can change and their entire world can come crashing down on them. For example, a person who believes that they are important only because they are wealthy or successful might feel like they’ve lost everything if they lose their job. However, a person who recognizes that their self-worth extends far beyond their accomplishments, their status, their belongings, and even the world’s perception of them, often has greater self-esteem and self-confidence.
This is why letting go of your ego’s false sense of identity allows for deeper self-awareness, greater personal growth, and a sense of security within your deeper self (not based on external factors, like where you live, what you own, or even what you have created in your life).
This attitude helps you to embrace life changes and new opportunities more easily, as it enables you to detach from your preconcieved idea of who you think you are, by allowing you to discover who you truly are.
Seeking Higher Purpose Will Guide You Toward Your Best Path
A good friend of mine recently asked me, “what is your purpose in life?”.
At first, I thought of all the definitions and labels I had created for myself (such as being a good daughter, sister, friend, citizen, humanitarian, businessperson, creative, caregiver, etc.). But then I gave it more thought and realized, I am so much more than the labels I have used to define myself.
My true higher purpose is “to be happy, to share love with people, and to enjoy my life”.
When I thought about this answer, it made me realize that I can fulfill my higher purpose anywhere, by doing anything, and with anyone. This gave me a feeling of freedom and independence that allowed me to think of myself as something greater than the labels and titles I had set upon myself previously. It also got me thinking about the fact that when I focus on seeking higher purpose in my life (instead of fixating on who I think I should be), it allows me to expand my sense of self and broaden my horizons. In so doing, I believe that this mindset shift can guide us toward finding our best path – one that will truly serve us and fulfill us on deeper levels.
If you’re exploring life changes and new opportunities, remember that your mindset will either hinder you or help you. While you can’t control everything that happens, the one thing you can control is your mental outlook.
For more inspiring self-help tips and advice, check out the Personal Growth section on Inspirations & Celebrations.