May 12, 2022

The Paradox of Change

Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth; a time of transformation. Here in Boston, a city known for its abundance of colleges and universities, Spring is marked by people in caps and gowns with balloons and celebrations everywhere. It's one of the things I love about this city.

One of my clients told me she had just graduated.

"Oh? Congratulations! How do you feel?" I asked.

"I'm so excited, I get to start a whole new phase of life, get going with my career...

Also, I'm terrified. I have to learn how to do the job, meet new people, it's all unfamiliar."

Excited and terrified, both at the same time. That's the paradox. Change can bring opportunities, energize us with possibilities, motivate us to grow. It IS exciting. Change also often comes with a lot of uncertainty, it can bring us to doubt our abilities, pushes us out of our comfort zone, raises our awareness of risk. Sometimes it IS terrifying.

Both feelings give us important information and can help us make wise decisions. If you only focus on one feeling it can limit the choices you perceive. If you only focus on what's exciting you might not be prepared for challenges, might take risks that are a bit TOO risky. On the other hand, if you only focus on fear you may not push yourself to try new things and you may not learn and grow as a result. It is important to recognize and acknowledge both feelings as valid. Use them to guide your decision-making. They can help you move away from seeing situations and choices as "either/or" and instead see them as "both/and."

What paradoxes do you experience in your daily life? When you notice how you feel about a situation, ask yourself, "what ELSE do I feel too?"

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