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  • Susie van Nieuwenburg

Embracing Change



The only real constant we have in life is change. Everything is changing all the time within us and around us. This is something we cannot necessarily control or influence to the extent some of us might want to.


If we know that change is happening all the time, why are there so many people resisting change in their work and home life? Why are we making life more difficult for ourselves than it needs to be?


It has to do with our brain and our belief system. Let’s simplify this. We can divide the brain into different parts. The survival self, the undercurrent self, the ego and the higher self.


For the purpose of this article I will focus on the survival self, because it is a key driver that causes resistance to change. The survival self is fully focussed on getting through each day and each experience. When we are in our comfort zone, we know what is going on and therefore, we minimise our risk. This does not mean that this is necessarily the best or easiest way, it is just the way in which our brain believes that it is safe and able to survive. Therefore, we are more likely to resist changes that are not familiar to us, because the survival self perceives this as a risk to its survival.


How do we know what safety or survival means for a person?


Let’s take an example: what happens to you when you think about skydiving? Some people don’t see the danger in this adventurous activity while others freak out, seeing it as risky and very dangerous.


The reason why this situation is perceived differently by individuals depends on their belief system. About 90% of our belief system is in our subconscious, meaning we are unaware of most beliefs in our belief system. Our belief system is created by our own individual experiences in this life and also by experiences passed down to us from our ancestors. Hence, our beliefs can be transferred to us via our hereditary DNA as well as being influenced by the view of the collective consciousness or by being held on a soul level.


So how does this link to the resistance to change?


If there is a belief in your subconscious that change is dangerous or change leads to uncertainty, it can result in you being wary of or unwilling to try something new or different. The survival self will come to the forefront and will influence a person’s decision making.


What can we do to embrace change instead of resisting it?

When we quiet the mind, for example through breathing exercises or meditation, we can avoid the survival-self taking over and hijacking our decision making. It allows us to see opportunities in proposed changes, instead of perceiving them as challenges or obstacles. When we give our brains a well-earned rest by connecting to nature or taking time for ourselves, we can see new perspectives without being overwhelmed by an underlying fear or distracted by worst case scenarios that we might be imagining.


When you want to embrace change, focus on calming the mind and allow the situation to unfold in front of you. This way the life force can work its magic, without being interrupted by controlling behaviour.


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