Adapting to Change is our only Chance of Survival

Charles Darwin wrote this way back in the 1800’s:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
not the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

We are going through a tremendous period of change right now. No one is really calling it that. They are calling it things like “horrible,” “awful,” “terrible,” “unjust”… yet it is all just a huge shift in the way we do things.

We are all resistant to change. Why? Because our Ego Function, the part of our mind whose job it is to keep us safe and to survive (and this period of change is definitely threatening our survival) likes routine. It likes to know what will happen next so it can keep us safe. That is why we like lists, checking off lists and having daily routines. Our ego mind then knows exactly what will happen next and it can keep you safe and sound and SMALL, and limited, and in a little safe bubble of limitlessness – experiencing a very limited life.

Right now, we are living in a world of unknown – and our minds are going haywire. Gah! First, we had to adjust to sheltering at home; and just when that was becoming unbearable, yet still sort of routine (our minds could handle being inside all the time), this made the ego’s job pretty easy. It was keeping us safe. But it had to navigate around scary things like supermarket shopping experiences and any other time we were coming into contact with other people. That was absolutely terrifying for our minds. How would it keep us safe and alive? Just as our ego mind was just getting used to all of that, bam, complete social unrest – protests, looting, riots. Our poor minds have had their challenges the last few months trying to keep our survival its number one priority.

So here is a little truth bomb for you.

We are always living in an atmosphere of the unknown. We just don’t know it. Funny, right? Every day is unknown. We think we know what’s going to happen because our ego wants us to think that. But actually, we don’t know what will happen from moment to moment.

The only way for REAL SURVIVAL is to be able to adapt to change very quickly.

The more we RESIST change, the more PAIN we are actually causing ourselves. That sounds strange, right? Well, the world, and the universe, are constantly changing; in fact, our cells regenerate every 7-10 years. So, you are kind of a completely different person every 7-10 years. You just don’t realize it.

According to Live Science (and other scientific sources) every seven to ten years we become essentially new people. Every cell in our bodies has been replaced by a new cell. Freaky, right?

It is true that individual cells have a finite life span and when they die off, they are replaced with new cells. Imagine if we resisted that change? We’d be walking around with cells that had died and not been replaced because we were resisting change. That would be incredibly painful. What if you applied that analogy to the rest of your life? Things are changing and evolving every minute of every day, and when we resist it’s like not allowing your body to generate new cells for you. It’s painful. We stay stuck and we are in pain, wishing for the past. But the past is gone, so we are stuck in a painful situation – wishing for something that we can no longer have. Personally, that image makes me want to cry.

So, then…the more we are OPEN to change the more PLEASURE we will experience. Ahh…

Mainly we fear the unknown more than the actual change itself. It’s the fear of the unknown that is so scary. If we can start to embrace the unknown and be nimble and flexible in the face of change, it becomes a beautiful dance. We may not know the steps but we can sway gracefully to the music.

The other very important point is that we don’t know what is on the other side of change. We think it’s going to be horrible and most times (because God and the Universe always has our back) there is something wonderful and even better waiting on the other side for us. Something even better!!!! My oh my – why don’t we ever think of THAT???? We always see the gloom and doom, not the rainbow waiting on the other side. THERE IS ALWAYS A RAINBOW. The problem is we do not TRUST. We want to see to believe but it’s the other way around when we believe we will see.

Here are a couple of examples:

If the caterpillar resists change, it will NEVER turn into a beautiful butterfly. If a seedling does not fight to grow out of the ground, it will never experience sunlight and turn into a beautiful flower.

Do you know how hard it is for each of those to GROW out of their safe little spaces? The caterpillar has its safe snugly cocoon to protect it. Why on earth would it want to come out of its cocoon? Nature knows that it will outgrow the cocoon and if it doesn’t come out it will die. There will not be enough nutrients or air or space, because it is growing too big for the cocoon. Of course, we know it turns into a beautiful butterfly that is magnificent. The caterpillar just trusts the journey – it doesn’t question the journey or say, “No I don’t want to emerge as a butterfly.” It just trusts nature to take care of it. And voila – beauty ensues.

The same goes for the flower. Think about how scary it must be to be buried in the ground, not knowing which way to go or what to do. But it trusts that by moving upward and fighting through the dirt and darkness it will find the light – sunlight which helps it to bloom into a beautiful flower.

We are just the same, but we resist. We resist change and we cause ourselves pain. What if this period of tremendous change was our opportunity to blossom into the best we could ever imagine? Observe how you are resisting change; then take little spoonful of change each week and see how it goes.

For me, I am incredibly grateful for this period of change.

joanne newborn
Joanne Newborn is CEO & Founder of Newborn Evolution LLC. She is an Executive Leadership Coach, Trainer and Strategic Advisor working with Organizations around the globe. Her Superpower is interpreting Senior Leadership’s vision and strategy and translating it to achievable goals to ALL levels of an organization from C-Suite to Middle Management to Individual Contributors. She and her team are transforming organizations’ visions into results by using a unique blend of Eastern & Western Methodologies. She has her MBA from Penn State, her ACC from the International Coaching Federation, is a DiSC Certified Practitioner and a DEI Certified Coach. Her company is a Certified Women-Owned Small Business and a Silver Associate Member of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association. She can be seen speaking on Leadership and Building High-Performance Teams around the US and at Conferences and Universities. You can connect with Joanne on LinkedIn or visit her website.

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