The world around us changes constantly. Not just with the seasons, the passing years, but the tools of living, the way of living, the world in which we live. And we change too…
From birth we change, learning to communicate, to walk, to make friends, to become part of the family, to find our place. We learn to learn, we go to nursery, to school, to university, at each stage taking more responsibility for ourselves. Our family may move house, add family members, lose them too. Our friends may change. Our location. Our journeys. At work, our job roles change. Our bosses. Our colleagues. Our employers. We change our house, our car, our hairstyle, our look. Our hopes, ambitions, desires change. We meet new people, new friends, new loves. We start a family. We nurture them, they grow, they leave. Later, illness may strike and our lives change again. Relationships falter and new ones are born. We leave the world of work. We become grandparents, great grandparents. Challenges and opportunities emerge constantly in our human lives and we respond, changing to adapt, to thrive, to grow. We choose to change, incessantly.
Much of this change has a connection to learning and growth. The opportunity to become more. Positive outcomes. Yet often we are worried by change. Anxious about what it will mean. Will we cope, will it be good, will we be good enough, are we doing the right thing? It can become a psychological and emotional wave machine. Hard to keep your head up. Hard to put your feet down. Hard to breathe.
I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity of a six month career break. An incredible opportunity to take time out, travel, try something new, recharge. Yet I’m worried. It will be a change. Not the routine I have become used to. Will I be prepared enough, planned enough to reap the rewards? How will things have moved on whilst I’m away? Will I want to return? Will I be able to do the things I want? How will relationships change? How will I change?
I notice that all the uncertainty, all the doubt, is in my head. Imagined. Foretold. I have become an anxious soothsayer.
We do this at times of change, particularly in work, in organisations – catastrophising, worrying about the impact, the implications, the problems. Yet when we look back, after the change, we seem able to find good. To find benefits, positives. A new lease of life. Fresh shoots. New learning. Even in the most extreme circumstance we are, as human beings, remarkably resilient and accommodating of change.
Yet still the worry persists.
Why is it there?
What’s its purpose?
How does it serve me?