I was talking to some friends this past week, and the topic of “change” came up. To some, the thought itself is very uncomfortable and something to avoid. This got me to thinking that so much of how we perceive the world is based solely on words.
So I asked my friend “what if you replace the word ‘change‘ with ‘improve‘?. We were discussing the fact that I’m re-reading the book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and she related it as a self help book that would make her change if she read it.
Let’s acknowledge that change is necessary to grow. So it cannot be avoided.
There are a variety of reasons why the word and the idea of change is so uncomfortable. But by changing the words (ironic, right?!), you can re-frame your perception of it and experience less (if any) discomfort.
So, let’s go back to the original suggestion of replacing the word CHANGE with the word IMPROVE. In the quote above “The secret to IMPROVING is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Okay, that works.
Life should be an ongoing classroom, where you continue to learn and build on the lessons you’ve learned through experience. (And preferably, passing these lessons on to others to leave your legacy.) Imagine if you hadn’t changed since you were in high school or college. CAN YOU IMAGINE?! Oh my gosh, I’d be such a wreck today! Trying to navigate my adult world with my baby brain. Ugh.
Back to my point, replacing the word with “improve” even works on this next quote too. Right?
Because we cannot avoid changing. And knowing that, our goal should be to always change for the better. To improve ourselves. Whether that is through developing new, healthier habits, moving to a new city or house, getting a better job, reading self-improvement books or listening to podcasts to learn new things, and so forth. Change is not a dirty word. But if it gives you anxiety, find a word that comforts or motivates you and use that instead.