The Power of Choice: How Fear and Change Can Lead to Personal Growth
To stay the same is to experience disappointment. To create change is to be willing to experience anxiety.
As we enter new phases in life’s journey, we must be willing to confront feelings of fear and anxiety.
Or we will get bogged down in the disappointment of staying the same.
We delve into the crucial process of preparing for life-changing moments in order to live a fuller and more empowered life.
I share a pivotal moment where an unexpected change in my business arose, what happened in my nervous system, how I navigated that moment, and the challenging conversation that followed.
What can we do to prepare us for those “sharp intake of breath” moments, when we are standing at a fork in the road of our life?
Because change and growth can be painful, our automatic, protective reactions cause us to shut out change possibilities.
But when we understand our inner landscape, we gain powerful tools to navigate life’s experiences and invite in transformation. This understanding allows us to choose the path of growth, even in the face of fear and uncertainty.
As we discuss the energetic invitation of the heart center and setting intentions for change, we uncover the impactful process of inviting and embracing change.
Midlife becomes an opportune time for significant personal and life-altering transformations.
Come along with us as we embark on a journey of transformation, exploring fear, change, and the power of choice.
00:00:46 Embracing change and creating internal shifts.
00:03:04 Choose familiar or embrace change and growth.
00:09:01 Nervous system understood. Change ahead.
00:13:37 Midlife brings hormone changes, opportunity for growth.
00:17:13 Self reflection: noticing bodily reactions to emotions.
00:19:41 Observe body, support change, navigate challenges, grow.
00:22:44 Growing through shared experiences, join waitlist.
Jump on the waitlist for the next cohort of The Midlife Upgrade Course here
Full Episode Transcript
Welcome my friends to the podcast. This week we are talking about change, transformation, the cost when we are not willing to embrace change. The opportunity and the challenge when we are willing to embrace change and actually how to invite in change because I think that that is a really key piece for us women in midlife.
I do hear a lot that women feel stuck in their lives. And to be able to create change, we need to create a shift internally, and in a way we are opening the door and inviting change into our lives. So I wanna talk about that, but I also wanna talk about how when change does come up, We’ll often either not see it or default to habitual patterns of turning away from change, minimizing it, feeling too worried or afraid to embrace it.
And that is a sort of a, a habitual pattern that can come through as we are in midlife, but it’s not too difficult to change if we understand the mechanics. What we can do to prepare for these change moments. So here we go. So I love this and I heard it last week and I wanted to really speak to it and expand upon it to stay the same, is to experience disappointment.
To create change is to be willing to experience anxiety. Love that really, really spoke to me because when we embrace, you know, these new classrooms in this school of learning, that is our human life. When we do that, we are also saying yes to the experience of more fear and more anxiety. But that is not a bad thing.
It’s a different kind of anxiety in this context. So this is the sort of the fear and worry anxiety when we step out of our comfort zone and we are stepping into a whole new learning zone. And so if you imagine yourself at a crossroads. And you get to choose out of two paths
and the first path represents you carrying on down that same path of your life. Just notice how that feels inside your body. And then this second path, Like a, a new doorway. And yes, it will come with that fear that comes along with being outside of our comfort zone, but it also holds change, possibility, evolution, and growth.
And notice how you feel at that as you face into that path. Which one are you choosing, my friend? Which one are you choosing now? I’m sure that I’ve had moments in my life where I have chosen the former, where I have said no to the possibility of change, and I’ve stayed on the tried and true the path that.
Is not surprising, is not new, does not create transformation.
And then I’ve gone a little way down that path and I’ve realized that I maybe missed an opportunity there. What I love about life is that we get to choose over and over again and we are able. To invite in more opportunities for change and more opportunities for transformation and we get to Rett. True.
So how do you invite that in? Well, I think there’s an energetic invitation that is connected to your heart center, and it is when in part. Our energetic heart is open to new possibilities, is like that beautiful sunflower unfurling her petals to the sun, that we open our heart, our awareness and our intention for new possibilities to arise, and you can really just set those intentions for yourself.
So that’s, can you feel how that’s different to when we sit in that sort of,
for me it’s an experience of self pity, where inside myself I’m thinking I just want this to change. I want it to be different and I want it to change, but there’s not inside me that heart open invitation for change. All of its fullness. That includes some fear, some worry, some challenge.
So we can very consciously intend and invite in change.
You might say, inside your mind when you feel that openness in your heart or generate that openness in your heart. I’m inviting in change. I’m inviting in transformation, and we know that learning comes along with change and transformation and the learning can feel a bit uncomfortable, and that’s okay because the next step of this is how do we navigate that in a way that we stay open to change and we’re able to ride those waves, those uncomfortable waves that come along with change, All right, so if you’re feeling stuck in your life and you want something to change,
then call it in, intend it. Invite it in. Be ready to say yes to the change as it presents itself. And here’s how we get better at saying yes to change as it arises. Because there’s this place, space moment in time we change and emotion intersect.
This is often the place where we say no and stick with the disappointing status quo of our experience of ourselves, of our experience, of our career, our business, or our life. But
this intersection, this place, moment in time. Is an opportunity for us to open up and say yes to this change, to this stepping outside of your comfort zone and what we can do to prepare ourselves for those sharp intake of breath moments to know those moments. It was, oh, last year I had a message from my business partner and we had a meeting due and she said, oh, I just need to talk about something with you.
And I felt my nervous system go. What is it? I could feel the rise in the contraction in my nervous system, which is not normal when I, you know, her words were very neutral, actually. They weren’t loaded. But of course, being my business partner, we know we knew each other. We still know each other really well.
I could feel through that communication that it wasn’t just a normal, Hey, we need to chat about this part of the lease or this part of the admin. It was something more than that.
And I knew in that moment that I was at that crossroads. I didn’t know what the details were. I didn’t really know what was going on, and my tendency is to rush in. And I want to get the difficult moments out of the way quickly. So once somebody opens up the doorway for a conversation that might be challenging, that might make me shake inside, I go quite fast in my nervous system and try and get it out in the open, try and rip that bandaid off really fast.
So I sort of, I pushed for more, for more information. I yeah, so that I could be clear about what was actually going on so that I could understand in myself was that nervous system response that I had to these pretty innocuous words from my business partner. Was that a reliable response to who message, or had I misread what was going on?
Had I read between the lines incorrectly? Turns out I hadn’t. read between the lines incorrectly. My nervous system had interpreted her message correctly, and it was the start of me selling my partnership and my business handing it over to its next rightful owner because the next person that took my place in my business was she so surely has been the best possible.
Person to come in that business.
And that was just one of those moments where I had that message, I had that sharp intake of breath and I knew things were about to change. And in that moment I was able to say yes to the discomfort, yes, to encouraging. And asking my business partner to share with me what was really going on for her now so that we could prepare well for the meeting that we had.
And turns out, you know what, you know when you have those conversations, when you, when your voice is shaky, you feel the shake in your body. You, you feel that you’re, you’re on the edge of something that is, You know, seemingly in quote marks dangerous for your nervous system. And if you’re an empathic person, if you have any kind of early life trauma, then potential for conflict can feel really dangerous for your nervous system.
But what we also know is that if we, if we take care of those parts, when we step into those challenging conversations, they can be so, Fruitful, they can put us on the path of, of our next level of expansion. And so whilst I find them really uncomfortable and a little bit scary, I’m all for those conversations.
I really am and, and so much kudos to my business partner ’cause she knew that she needed to speak to me. That week, that day, and get clear within herself about what was going on for her. And it’s set in motion a really powerful, healthy, healthy change for our relationship, for the structure of our business.
That has been something that really needed to happen, so, so much credit to her for opening that up. So, Back to what I was talking about, how do we prepare for those sharp and take breath moments? You know, when you’re standing at that fork in the road of your life and so that you can choose the path that opens you up to a fuller, richer, more empowered, more expansive life, because it is very easy to shut down, avoid, turn away from the possibility of those moments. Now, I had another party in that moment in time who had needs of her own, so it wasn’t gonna be so easy for me to turn away from that, although I could’ve, I could’ve gone into that conversation and.
Plastered over things and made it all okay for now, and then probably likely three months down the track, we would’ve been in the same place of disquiet because we both knew something had to change, something was changing and something was inviting us to change through the structure of our business.
And so that is what is what happens for us if we are. Not able to ride those really uncomfortable waves of that change moment. So remember how I said there’s this place where change and emotion intersect, and in that snapshot moment in time,
if you can keep metabolizing more, that just means staying open to more, to what’s here. To what’s present, to what’s truthful and deep, to what’s like, brutally honest. Then you, you are able to really stay open and say yes to profound change in your life.
And I wanna couple this with what happens for us in midlife is that, We have, you know, thirties, forties, you’re kind of steadying up within yourself hormonally, and we know that like puberty, you go through this massive change of hormones and look at all the change that happens there in our life. We leave home, we might get each education, start jobs, do new jobs, different relationships, changes happening all the time and all around us and the fluxx of our hormones.
Supports that and contributes to that. There’s a big change that’s going on in the structure of our brain and the way our brain works. Well in our thirties and forties. Things are sort of, for the most part in that area, leveled out, and then we come into midlife, and once again, we now have this fluxx of hormones.
As women, when we come into perimenopausal, the body’s preparing to come into perimenopause, and so you’ve got this opportunity for change again. You’ve got this opportunity for saying yes to something new, for saying no to what is no longer serving you anymore.
But because we’ve got these grooves ground in from our behavior, from our repetitive behavior, a lot of what we see happening is women feel really stark. We know we wanna make a change, but it’s difficult. It feels difficult to create that change.
And then for some women, what happens is you get these change moments that appear, these choices on your timeline. I. But you either don’t witness them or you don’t see them or somehow close down or turn away from them because of that cost of Yeah, it’s frightening, it’s fearful, anxiety promoting, but in a very, very growthful way.
Right? So that’s different. It’s a different experience. So how we prepare for these moments so that we can say yes to what life is. Offering us, inviting us into that next change moment is that we get really, really practiced with self-awareness, especially as it relates to your emotions and your emotional energy so that you understand your internal experience so much more.
’cause you’ll be able to then track when there’s an opening or a shutting down. When fear arises, you won’t just jump into that automatic reaction of shutting down or turning away or distracting yourself. You will be much more able to see, hear, and feel the fear and allow it to be just as it is to ride that wave.
So what does that mean specifically, right? How do we. Practice self-awareness, especially in regards to our emotions and our emotional energy. So here’s an example of how we can do that
in a, in a very specific way. So I want you to think about this. If I say to you, I’m angry, I was angry that that happened. Not angry with you, just angry with someone else. You’re just observing. You know, I’m telling you about my experience. I was angry when he did that. You’ll get a kind of a, a one dimensional sense of what angry is for me.
It might sort of be filtered through your own experience of anger. It might be filtered through your perceptions or your, you know, your perceptions about who you think I am and how I show up in my relationships. But if I was to deepen that awareness and to describe actually my somatic awareness, I might say something like this.
Yeah. When he said that, I felt my chest area, my heart, it feels like to me, contract. I felt my breath, a sharp intake of breath. I felt this contraction in my heart and my gut became twisted. Then I felt my pulse rates speeding up, so I felt my heart rate speeding up. I felt tension in my jaw, and I felt a fire in my chest.
I just wanted to tell him all the things, all the names of what a terrible person he is. I had a lot of self-righteous thoughts, and I had a lot of heat and speed in my body, so that’s a little different to hear and experience than if I said, yeah, when he said that, I felt anger. Those are the different levels of awareness that you can experience for yourself, and it is really helpful to understand ourselves at that level because these are all bodily changes and bodily experiences that repeat themselves, that show up when I’m angry, that show up with different emotions.
They’ll have some kind of sequence to them. Something will show up first. You know, for me, the very, very first thing I mo notice might be my heart space contracting getting really tight. And so when I can track those internal feelings, then I can notice much more quickly when emotional energy is moving in my system.
So then I can ask myself some really useful questions like Uhoh, I just noticed that, you know, the center of my chest just really contracted right then when he said that. What’s that about? What’s happening inside me? So that can be a really helpful self-reflection for you, and you get a better understanding of your inner landscape and when you have a better understanding of your inner landscape, then.
You are not so much reacting without awareness to moments of change, potential potentials of change, turning away from them, shutting them down. You are actually able to slow things down. You notice that moment arise, then you might notice what goes on in your system. As a response to that, but because you now know that with every opportunity for change, along comes our friends, fear, worry, anxiety, they come with it.
They come with the the territory. You’re in that growth zone. You are now no longer just reacting to what happens in the body. You can observe what happens in the body. Notice the responses and support your system because you can separate out, oh, there’s this opportunity for change. And actually I think that’s really gonna be beneficial for me.
I can feel that, you know, that evolution’s gonna happen and my body has responded this way, and I know that’s because that will mean I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone and there will be challenges for me. But I’m willing to grow. I’m willing to step on that path that is going to lead me to a greater evolution, to greater fulfillment in my life.
So I think understanding our inner our landscape
gives us really powerful tools to be able to navigate many, many experiences in our life, actually. But specifically today, I’ve been talking about how we can invite change and transformation end. Then how we can navigate the waves of worry, fear, anxiety that might come with that so that we don’t turn away from the change and the opportunity for growth, but rather we say yes to it and we, you know, learn to, we are learning to manage our inner state as we’re along for the ride.
I’ll come back to the beginning because I think it really wraps things up beautifully. You know, to stay the same as to experience disappointment, to create changes, to be willing to experience anxiety.
If you are battling with something, my friend, and you’re, you’re in midlife, and it could be about. Yourself. You know, you want to step out of your comfort zone. You want to do that thing in your life that brings greater fulfillment, brings greater joy. Not what you think you should be doing, but what you might want to do or how you might want to express yourself or connect with more people in a deeper way.
is super powerful and it’s really, really supportive for us in inviting change and navigating those stronger emotions that can come along with those change moments.
Because life is about change,
and I think that in midlife nature opens the doorway for us to create. Actually tremendous change within our own psyche, within our own life,
and it feels so much better to say, yes, to change, to be able to navigate our life’s journey from a place of responsiveness. From a place of self-awareness, it’s not all like smooth sailing with this journey, right? It can feel really challenging and really difficult at times,
and that’s how we know we’re growing. That is how we know we’re growing.
Okay, my friends, I hope that’s been really helpful. We’ve been talking about change on And I’m just so thrilled to see the experience of, you know, when you share. Even if you’re feeling stuck, you wanna create change, but it’s not there yet and you’re feeling stuck and you share with your, with you know, depth and honesty, what’s going on for you, and that is heard and that is reflected back by other people.
That is a powerful experience because you are speaking your experience out to the world. But you’re speaking it to a community of people that have got you, that have got your back, that are there to support you, and that is an empowering and an and a powerful experience. So if you wanna join the next round of the midlife Upgrade course, I’m gonna open up a wait list.
So that you can get all the info when it comes out. It will be happening in a couple of months, but it will be happening this year, 2023. And from the looks of this group of amazing women that have joined this round and how it’s going and what’s arising if you are at all interested, jump on the wait list because it is going to be, A one of those experiences that connects you back in with yourself with a sense of community, you feel connected again.
You feel heard again. You feel like people are cheering you on because they are to be your most confident, courageous self. That is what the Midlife Upgrade course is all about. So to get on the wait list for the next iteration of the midlife upgrade course, go to my website, Meegan care.co.nz/waitlist, and I’ll put a link in the show notes as well. Jump on the wait list and you’ll hear as soon as the doors open. Okay, my friends have an amazing, amazing week.
Go forth choose the fork in the road that is gonna bring you that next level of change, transformation, and evolution. You’ll be so glad you did. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye for now.