Change happens whether you want it to or not. This is the way of the universe. Either you make the change or something is going to make the change for you.

Yes, change is inevitable. The cherry tree turns green with leaves, then buds form, then the cherry blossoms bloom into vibrant color, then the flowers and leaves fall off and the cycle repeats itself. The cherry tree cannot prevent this change from occurring.

Sometimes change is thrust upon us by outside events and other people that we have no control over. In other cases, the choices we have made put us in a situation that cries out for change, though we may resist it. In either case, the force of change relentlessly moves forward.

While we can’t prevent change in our life, we can control how we respond to those changes and the choices we make following them. We can improve our journey through life by becoming the force of change instead of the roadblock to change.

It all starts with how we see the situations unfolding in our life. We can either look at change as something to avoid at all cost or an opportunity to flow with the currents and move forward with our life.

Our Barriers to Change

We have several human barriers to change that we need to become aware of to get in that flow.

1. We Have Our Comfort Zone

This is where things are good enough that we don’t want to spend the time or effort to change them. We can live with what we have.

Comfort zones are also about our attachment to the way things are now. We can become emotionally attached to everything about our current life, the way it works, the people in it, and more. Changing any of this can feel like a loss to us. We don’t want to give up what we have to begin something new and different.

Yet, the force of change continues to beat its drum. The longer we hold onto these attachments, the longer we stay within our comfort zone, the more difficult the change will be for us. The world continues to change around us. As we hold onto this place longer and longer, it begins to fray at the edges and then starts falling apart. There is no way to stop the change. If we learn to embrace change and let go quicker, life works better at all levels. Now we are in the flow.

2. We Have a Fear about the Unknown

We may prefer a less than ideal situation we understand than a new situation that we don’t know enough about. What surprises lurk around the corner? Will it really be better? Once again, if we hold onto our current situation for too long, it will deteriorate, and we won’t be able to hold onto to what we did like about it. The earlier you can move on the better because you’re going to have to move on at some point anyway. Change just keeps coming at us.

3. We May Not Be Aware of All the Changes Around Us and How They Might Affect Us in the Future

We can hold onto what we have for too long out of ignorance. Whatever we don’t know can hold us back and hurt us. Either out of comfort, fear, or denial, we can too easily tune out all the signs around us that change is about to break through our front door.

Window To Open Our Awareness

Keep creating new windows from which to look at your world. Never accept your current view of the world as the only view. Let new awareness help you to alter your view and motivate you to be the force of change in your life.

Awareness Unlocks Our Potential. As Our Awareness Grows, So We Grow.

Let’s return to our cherry tree. The level of air and nutrients in the soil, how well the tree is watered and pruned, and how much sunlight it receives will all affect the quality of its bloom. The same is true for us.

Prepare yourself to handle any change and turn it into something better for your life.

  • Expand your knowledge about yourself, your life, and your world.
  • Build new windows so you can see your world in a new way.
  • Engage in new experiences that further expand your awareness.
  • Keep taking in new information, ideas, and experiences.

All of this will give you perspective to help you see all of your options, move away from the past, and take new forks in the road with more confidence. It shows us why we can’t stay attached to the past or hold back out of fear of the unknown.

While we can’t know what will happen in the future, we do know that the world we are trying to hold onto is changing faster than we realize. Moving into the unknown may be safer than staying with the past.

When you change yourself, the world starts changing with you.

Don Shapiro is the author of the book in the making, Life Is a Fork in the Road, about how we make choices and use our inner wisdom to guide our life’s journey. He is conducting research for the book by collecting stories from people around the world on the book’s Facebook page and website.