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Beliefs around change

Often when I work with people who move and travel, the following questions tend to come up:

  1. What do I need to do to prepare?
  2. How do I do these things?
  3. Why is it so difficult/different?
  4. Why do I keep doing x even though it’s not really working?

These types of questions obviously come up for many different people in various situations, but they have something in common. They all circle around wanting to know what is going to happen (what to do and when) plus why the old way of doing things might not always be working for you in a new place.

To get right to the bottom of this, we need to look at what you believe about change. Why? Because it all starts with your beliefs.

Simply explained a belief is what we believe with certainty to be true about something. Examples of this would be ‘People are kind/stupid/loving/easily confused‘ or ‘I am smart/ugly/nice/a good friend‘. It could also be ‘I always do this/standup for myself/trust people/let myself down‘.

Beliefs come from experiences we have had in our lives up until now and what we have made those experiences mean. For example, a child that grows up with an over protective parent might take on the belief that it’s dangerous to go out and explore. Most of it’s life the child will look for evidence of how dangerous it is to try unknown things and as an adult this person might be very uncomfortable with changes around them as it makes them feel unsafe. This is just one of many examples.

In terms of travelling and relocating, one core belief to be aware of is what you believe about change. Because when you move or travel to another country there will be quite a few changes in your life from where you started.

How can you then explore your beliefs around change? It’s actually quite simple, but it requires absolute honesty with yourself. So follow the below steps when you have a quiet moment to yourself and remember that you don’t have to share your answers with anyone if you don’t choose to.

  1. Fill in this sentence: ‘I believe that change is …‘ Be honest with yourself here, because if you are not, the rest of the steps won’t assist you. Follow the first instinct that comes up for you when you see this sentence and fill in the blank.
  2. Look at your answer. If you have filled in your sentence with ‘I believe that change is difficult‘ this is a great clue for the next step. The same is true if you have answered with ‘I believe that change is exciting‘. Basically, any answer you have provided will give you insights for the next step.
  3. Ask yourself: ‘I wonder where I learned this belief?‘ Again, be honest and trust in the first instinct. Often our beliefs are triggered by specific experiences or what we have been told by people around us. If you believe change to be difficult, can you remember a time in your past when you had an experience of change being difficult or someone telling you over and over again how hard it is to cope with change. Or maybe you saw someone you love going through a big change, struggling a lot and you telling yourself that you’d never do that to yourself. Only you will know what’s true for you.
  4. Now that you know more about what you believe and where it came from, it’s time to assess if this is a belief that is going to serve, support, nurture and challenge you. If not, it’s time to bin it! To have a resourceful belief around change is vital for people in general, but especially those who travel.
  5. If you decided to bin your old belief because it does not serve you, what could you choose to believe about change instead?I believe that change is exciting and helps me grow‘ or ‘I believe change is fun and helps me learn‘ or maybe even ‘I think that change is the key for me to not only survive but to enjoy my life fully‘ Picture how different your move or trip will be with these beliefs in mind!

What do you believe to be true around change? Is this something you have thought about in your previous travels?