Change. It’s constant.
And it’s in every area of our lives: health, work, family, and internally. I say it often because it’s true: change is the only constant in life. It’s a part of life. Period. So why do we have so much trouble with it?
As humans, our dislike for change is so strong that even when we are unhappy with something, we are reluctant to modify it. We often just keep things as they are. Whether it’s a job we dislike, a relationship that makes us feel bad, or bad habits we know we should break.
We resist change because in order to make improvements, we first have to experience some discomfort getting there.
The unknown stage in between the old and new can be unsettling. It’s natural to not want to feel uncomfortable, so we avoid it.
In his book, The Essene Book of Days, author Danaan Parry effectively captures the feeling of this “in-between” stage by comparing it to swinging on trapeze bars. As he explains, in life we are “either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along” or “hurtling across space in between trapeze bars.” We often want to keep swinging on the same bar, even though we can see the new bar ahead in the distance is where we need to go. It’s that transition between bars, where we risk letting go of the old and having faith that we will reach the new, that can be paralyzing.
But Parry argues that it is only between bars that “real change occurs.”
Crossing the transition void from what we know to where we need to go takes courage and effort.
We will feel vulnerable. There will be a period of uncertainty that we must accept. But it is essential to discover new possibilities, purpose, and joy.
And it’s never too late.
My good friend Ronit, at 50 years old, went from being a molecular scientist to the proud owner of a yoga studio. My father, at 60, closed his business to launch a renewal energy startup that became his life’s most successful work. And, after 20 years in a stable job in the health sector, I became a coach and entrepreneur—and found my life’s passion!
Remember that life doesn’t follow a straight line.
It is only through zigzags and difficulties that we cross to the other side and discover where we truly need to be.