What will be different? How will my routine be impacted? What can I expect week to week? These are just a few of the many questions that churned around in my mind while I was preparing to come back to work for the year. And while I’ve had plenty of questions, I haven’t been met with many answers. There is so much ambiguity and change in our world right now, so I understand the lack of concrete answers. However, I still noticed myself becoming anxious, frustrated, and stressed. So with that said, I realized it was time to adapt.
For someone like myself, who likes to plan and be prepared, constant change is maddening. If you say the word “change” my body immediately reacts like you actually said “chaos”. Since I know that about myself, I’ve put time and effort into learning how to be flexible and adapt to my surroundings. #Tenacity, am I right?
Reframing and challenging my thoughts has been crucial in allowing my newfound flexibility to become a lasting change, rather than an effortful, daily focus. Don’t get me wrong, it still required effort on my part. But now it’s become more like a reminder to myself to embrace my new mindset instead of a more frequent effort to mold and form my thoughts to match the mindset I wanted.
When it comes down to it, I haven’t changed who I am. I still love planning and order, and might get a little uneasy at the mention of change. However, the difference is that change and transition are no longer the enemy. I don’t see these things as a threat, just waiting to heighten my levels of stress or anxiety like it used to. Not anymore. Change and transition can’t control me, because I’ve learned how to “roll” with whatever comes my way.
I share my own experience with the hopes that it can help someone reading this blog know that they’re not the only one having a hard time with this transition. I also hope that this might serve as encouragement to lean in to any discomfort you might be feeling and embrace it instead as an opportunity to grow.
If you’re looking for ways to adapt and overcome some of your own thoughts and reactions related to change and uncertainty, I encourage you to first be present with your thoughts. Gain an understanding of yourself and any patterns of thinking that may emerge. Once you have that understanding, you can begin to break each bit down to a more manageable level, and challenge the thoughts for what they are. This can also be thought of as reframing, which might look like shifting something that might seem negative or scary, finding a way to see it from a new angle, and adjusting the initial thought to a positive outlook or perspective. After tackling each of these parts, continue to integrate them into your routine and check in with yourself on which areas might need some adjustments.
The beauty of a growth mindset is that you decide what you want yours to focus on. It’s also a fluid concept, allowing you to alter it when necessary and integrate new ideas or concepts. So here’s to you, the mindset you choose to embrace, and a semester of rolling with whatever comes next!