Whew! Say that a few times fast…

I remember decades ago when the self-help scene was blowing up, the “it” topic everyone talked about was fear of change. Before Tony Robbins was a powerhouse and life coaches took over Facebook, there was this undercurrent, a rumbling of a new industry about to take off and it was obsessed with this idea that we were no longer participating in a class-built society. You could outpace previous generations of your family, you could escape poverty, or become a pillar of your community or a six-figure earner. You could dream the American dream, and the one thing stopping everyone from doing this was fear of change. 

Change is ironically the only thing that doesn’t change. It is a constant of life and we all seem to deal with change differently. 

Why Am I Telling You This?

The journey down memory lane into the old worlds of self-help is for a reason. Last year I felt called to change. Not that I needed to seek out change, but called to the idea of change, the force of change, and how we all deal with change in our lives – and the outcome of our relationship with change. I set out on a mission to change the way people deal with change. 

The concept seemed simple, and I’m not one to ignore purpose, so I put my head down and went to work. At the end of my research, I coined the term Change Proof – because I had figured out a huge missing piece – how to use change and everything that goes along with it. What I found was this Universal truth that there is power in the uncertainty that surrounds change. That means we can use change – and even change how that change changes us… if you catch my drift. We cannot avoid change but we can change how we deal with it – and even use it. Now THAT’s the power of uncertainty and it’s a beautiful thing. Pretty cool, right? 

Change Proof Sneak Peek 

Just as much as I am known for being “The Resilience Guy” for my resilience keynote speeches, I want to become “The Change Proof Guy”. To me, being change proof is the result of resilience. Being change proof means I have overcome challenges and I have used those challenges to grow and learn. Someone who is change proof actually celebrates change because they understand that something great happens when we lean into the resilient future. Just like I want resilience for everyone – I want everyone to become Change Proof. To celebrate the challenge AND the growth and to know in their hearts that they can withstand anything life throws at them. 

Using Uncertainty + Stress As Stepping Stones

Learning to Pause. I will keep this on repeat until I see every single person I know taking two kinds of pauses – and those pauses start to change the world (no big deal;).

  • Habitual Pause. The first is a daily pause and is something you have built into your routine. It’s part of a ritual where you take a daily time out to reflect and reset your mind. This can be in the form of a quick nap, meditation, yoga, a brief walk outside, or anything that allows you to simply recalibrate. 
  • In-the-moment Pause. Have you ever said something or made a decision and thought you were doing the right thing… and later felt that moment of dread as you realized perhaps you should’ve thought it through more? We can all be in a place where we give ourselves time to pause, before we say yes, before we commit, before we decide, and even before we speak. 

So often, I find that when I take time to pause, the things that have been stressing me throughout the day, either aren’t as daunting as they seem, or happen to be something that needs to happen for growth. When we pause, our brain goes to work reframing and this is one way we can change the way change changes us. 

This talk about fear of change reminds me of a buddhist tale about how the mind distorts reality – and how pausing eliminates that distortion. The story tells about how a man walks into a storage shed looking for a rope. The man already has fear in his mind, and jumps when he sees a coiled snake in the corner of the shed. Terrified, he exits the shed. Later, once the man has paused and the fear in his mind has subsided, he returns to the shed only to realize the “coiled snake” was actually the rope he was looking for in the first place.

Get used to pausing. Slow down. Don’t rush your life away. Pause anytime you can, make it a habit, make it a ritual, and watch how life follows your lead. Fear is distorting your reality, tricking you into thinking opportunities are dangerous and preventing you from using your challenges as stepping stones. 

If you love this content and want more easy-to-apply tips on leveraging uncertainty to build long-term resiliency, check out Change Proof.