I was lucky to get to sit down at the end of last week with Kirk LaPointe at Roundhouse Radio Vancouver. I didn't prepare or have any questions going into our sit down, but I knew we were going to talk about sport and my life beyond. It ended up being a candid sit down on the topic and I had fun with the opportunity. It is a cathartic exercise to share my story, but my main hope in sharing is that someone out there might hear me and it might help them to interpret their own personal situation. (See link to hear my chat with Kirk at the end of this post.)
Ultimately, my goal is to share, reflect and come up with tactics and action plans that will make life change and transition easier for others. Not only Olympic athletes, but everyone and anyone. I believe that transition is a universal experience with challenges that we all need to work through at some point.
Change can be uncomfortable and no matter how much it is anticipated, it can be difficult. It is important to frame our minds and thoughts and know that change is a great thing that is more a sign of growth than anything else. We all know the saying "all good things come to an end" and although I am not sure I believe that, I would adapt it to say "all good things evolve and change over time". Sometimes that change is small and gradual and sometimes it is big and drastic. Either way, it should be welcomed despite the discomfort it can cause.
The comfort zone is a safe place. It is meant to be that way in order to protect us from harm, but rarely does anything outstanding happen in our lives when we hang out ub comfort for too long. I was out of my comfort zone when I was training for the Olympics, as I was mentally and physically pushing my limits for performance. Beyond sport, I have been out of my comfort zone as I pursue new goals, like writing a book and finding a job and speaking in front of large groups of people when it scares me more than I would like to admit.
I have given it a lot of thought and I would like to share 5 ways in which life change can actually lead us to personal growth and development. Here is my personal opinion and proof as to why I think we should go after change. Whether you are anticipating a big change, and or in the throngs of it, here are my reasons I am grateful for big changes.
1) Out with the old, in with the new. Change does not always mean we are leaving behind something positive. Often it can means getting rid of that which does not serve us and allows us to adopt a new way that can serve us better and allow for us to shape and achieve new goals.
2) Moving forward and moving on can mean looking back. Hind sight can be 20/20. Space and time can be a gift in that it can give perspective which allows for you to see how your past helped you achieve some of your greatest strength.
3) Change can improve other areas of your life. Just because one thing changes, doesn't mean everything will or won't. I know someone who quit her job and shortly after her boyfriend, now finace, told her that she should never go back to work because she was so much happier. Her choice to make a change probably saved her love life.
4) Struggle makes us stronger. It is never fun to feel out of sorts, and unsure of where we are going next, but it is not all for nothing. Resiliance is like a badge of honour. You are better for having those times when you were down and had to climb your way back.
5) The mirror provided by the people closest to you. When all is going well and your just trucking along in life you are probably not getting vulnerable with the people closest to you as much as when you are in a testing time and need their support. In talking with people, hearing different perspectives and sharing your feelings (I hope you do), you actually can develop closer bonds with people and in doing so also learn a lot about yourself and how people see you.
There you go! Change is where it is at and at the end of the day life is a journey and as Steve Jobs said, "the journey is the reward".