The colorful views in every direction outside mean one thing…fall is here and change is upon us.  Seemingly overnight, the warm sun-soaked days sitting on the deck sipping an ice tea switch to apple picking and sipping warm cider and hot chocolate. All around lush green has been replaced by brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds providing simply breathtaking views.

The natural beauty outside provides a clear reminder of why the fall is such a popular time of year.  With all the splendor fall brings, I’m also reminded that it is ushering in a new season. Chillier nights are yielding to colder shorter darker days. And despite how much I want to cling on to the sunshine and warmth of summer, it will happen with or without my permission.

But isn’t that how it is in life? We find ourselves at an intersection and there it is, change. And, if you are like me, sometimes it’s exhilarating, fun, and truly exciting. But often we’re struck by the uneasiness of the unknown or the sadness of letting go of the comfortable. Indeed, change seems to be a two sided coin – it can be a welcomed shift that we hoped and prayed for yet still stop us in our tracks and challenge us with the uncertainty.

I don’t have to look far to recognize I’m knee deep in a season of change myself. At work we’re switching our primary software system calling for long days and intense work ahead of the launch. Inspired by the recent change of seasons and the change that currently surrounds me, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on three empowering benefits of change. Truly it doesn’t have to be scary. It can be a positive time causing us to grow because of it.

1. Change provides a natural time to reflect and celebrate past blessings

Take time to reflect and be thankful.

I recently had the opportunity to put this into practice first hand. Hugging a co-worker on her last day at my office, I was sad to say good bye. We’d worked together for nearly 7 years. But with her new opportunity and the change it brought in our work place, I could step back and be incredibly thankful for the over 6 years of collaboration. Rather than focus on the negative, I choose to celebrate a life-long friendship that has developed.

When faced with change, look for a blessing tucked in it that can be celebrated. Closing a tough chapter allows us to focus on positively writing the next one. Or, if your closing a good chapter, be thankful for what has been but look ahead with optimism. Take the time to acknowledge the blessings the change brings as you move on.

2. Change teaches you more about yourself

When we find ourselves standing in the midst of change, we quickly find what we like and what we don’t like. I’ve found that while I like the beauty of fall, I don’t particularly the cold weather that is creeping in. Realizing how much I appreciate being out in the warm sun has me reflecting upon my priorities for next summer. I plan to make adjustments to my schedule so that I can enjoy it more knowing that it is so fleeting.

Have you ever noticed that the situations brought about by change can bring unexpected discomfort that speaks to us? Listen to the discord and allow it to teach you more about yourself. What don’t you like? How does it challenge you? Can you grow from this? On the flip side, we can find ourselves in the middle of change and find that it feels right, it fits, it’s welcomed and the timing is right. Choose to listen to what that change is telling you. When you take time to ask yourself questions amidst the your adjustments, it can teach you more about yourself. The result is you’ll step forward with greater confidence, self awareness and strength, ultimately making you more resilient.

3. It allows you to write a new chapter

Regardless if change enters our lives as something we pursued or it is thrust upon us, change is like turning to a brand new page in a notebook. We may not have initiated the page turning, but, we hold the pen that will write what happens next. We decide what attitude we will have as we begin to fill in the new page.

When my co-worker left for her new opportunity, I knew I was losing a coworker – I couldn’t change that. But I didn’t want to lose a friend. I had a choice moving forward by owning my part in how we’d stay in touch. I didn’t have to let the friendship drift because of her change of employment.

When change turns a page in your life, ask yourself how you would like this next chapter unfold. Consider what you need to do to make this chapter the best it can be.

It’s your turn

Whether you are in the midst of change now, or it finds you in the near future,  remember these three empowering benefits  – it helps you to recognize and celebrate your blessings, it can teach you more about yourself, and it gives you the opportunity to begin writing a new chapter. When you focus on the positive, you can enjoy the benefits and the new scenery it brings.

How do you embrace change? What do you do to find its benefits? Click to join the conversation. And, if you were encouraged, why not click to share. And, be sure to sign up below so that you know when the next encouraging post is available.

Until next time, be blessed!