Life Hack #23 – Be A Chameleonaire

Over the last week, I have taken a complete, thorough leave off of social media, my phone, social life, and blogging. This was as a result of having to make some fairly substantial changes within my life that I have been struggling to transition and to adapt to the way I would like to. In addition, this transition seems to be taking longer than I had expected.

My life has been a little stressful and overwhelming, as I am experiencing a time of transition and change – one that is positive and beneficial for me, but been quite difficult. While I have been enjoying every minute of it, and sometimes struggling to adapt calmly, I needed to realize my priorities and separate myself from social media, the Internet, blogging, my friends, my phone, among other aspects in my life.

During times of change and transition, which are completely inevitable during life, learning to accommodate the alterations of your life may consume your life, stress, and thought processes, in which you completely forget and disregard other relevant, or irrelevant, stressors in your life. Your life completely becomes consumed by the change happening around you and your focus barely leaves the attention of the “newness” of your life.

The “newness” of your life can be completely exciting, but it requires one to make changes and adjustments to one’s daily routine, priorities, and time-management.

In order to make a successful, and somewhat smooth, transition to the changes that you are incur during your life, it is best not to overwhelm yourself with the frustrations of having to make these changes in your daily routine. Having synchronicity and a sense of familiarity and comfort truly provides a sense of a security blanket, allowing one to build a daily routine, know one’s limits, know how to manage your time, and reduces one’s stress levels.

The process of adapting to change truly depends on the person, the timing of the change, the predictability of the change, the level of extremity of the change, and one’s willingness to want to make the change. Do not expect the journey of adaptation to take 24-hours, as it takes much longer to adapt to changes within your life.

You may find yourself frustrated, as you may find that you have to make extreme accommodations to your life and daily routines, which I find the most frustrating. In addition, it takes much more time to truly be adapted and feel comfortable with the changes you make within your life.

As adapting to changes is a process, you will begin to realize that while the journey may become more comfortable with time, there are many layers to adjusting and transitioning to changes. While you may have found some ease in some aspects of the change, making a full transition in all aspects of the change within your life may take years.

If only it was much easier…

The fascinating thing about change and learning to transition and adapt to any new aspects of your life is that adapting to new situations, circumstances, etc. occurs daily and more than we know.

No day ever goes PERFECTLY. In fact, every day, every individual must overcome some sort of hurdle within their day, whether it may be seen as big or small. These speed bumps are within our daily, regular routines, require one to make transitions and adapt to the roadblock ahead of them, in order to conquer this “change.”

Changes make anyone and everyone feel extremely uncomfortable, whether they show it, or express it, or not. Some individuals are great at masking their unconformability, frustrations, etc. when being faced with change. Others express their struggle to embrace change differently, or perhaps more visibly.

Adapting to changes, or being forced to make changes in your life, no matter who you are, is difficult. Changes bring out our greatest insecurities that may unveil some behaviors that are risky or unhealthy, changes in our mood, raise feelings of self-doubt, and have us feeling extremely vulnerable, insecure, and unsure. It is important, especially during the first few days, weeks, months, or even years, to be kind to yourself, and understand that we all internalize and process the idea of change at our own pace.

While it is easy to preach that having the best attitude possible towards the situation of change is the best way to handle it, it is not easy and you will, even I find myself, having a bad attitude, displacing my negative feelings onto others, acting impulsively, and engaging in self-doubt. I definitely fake it, even fight it, until I make it, at whatever cost.

But, while I secretly deep down possess a love/hate relationship with change, I believe it is one of the most beneficial experiences that one must go through.

During this journey of adaptation, you are able to learn a substantial amount about yourself. All the insecurities that you try to hide, all the walls you try to keep up, all the ways that you negatively cope with these changes, and all the ways you try to appear from being vulnerable or weak all reveal themselves. You must learn to test yourself and find productive ways to overcome these struggles, anxieties, and emotions. As, the longer you fight making adjustments to your life as a result of the inevitable, or inevitable change, the more difficult things may become for you.

And, yes, you will, whether you would like to or not, find yourself asking for help. No one wants to seem weak, clueless, out of the loop, etc., however, the only way to get through these times is to understand that it is okay to ask others around you for help. If you do not feel like you need help, simply asking a friend, trusted source, or opening up to just anyone can help alleviate your stress. Dealing with change is something that everyone can relate to, as nothing ever stays the same.

Personally, when change involves having to get accustomed to meeting new people, working together with those who are strangers, etc., I find myself struggling to adapt to overcome my own insecurities and clam up. I tend to isolate myself, which at times, makes me seem and come off as a nasty, shy, or catty girl. For me, adjustment serves the hardest when I have to encounter a new group of people, as I have found that I am an acquired taste and somewhat hard to understand, or perhaps relate to, especially when one first encounters me.

I, for one, hate seeming vulnerable, hate not coming off as perfect or professional, and sometimes, find myself suppressing my more humorous, outgoing side. So, often, when I first meet a new group of people, or a new person, I am often quiet and find myself observing those strangers around me, rather than focusing on getting acquainted with these new individuals. I would normally find this exciting, however, recently adjusting to meeting new people has become difficult for me.

For the first week of work, awkward, silent, and moderately funny was the approach I was going to take, as I wanted these new co-workers to realize that I am a hard-working, all while being taken seriously. I also, due to my own insecurities, took on a negative attitude of “why having to take on the burden of having to get to know 30 people who I will probably never talk to or hear from in five years,” so I decided to be negative, have an attitude, isolate myself, and change my whole persona. I felt those around me either confused, annoyed, and even not wanting to exert energy in even having to deal with this attitude and behavior. This was not successful, as I highlighted in my resume that I am outgoing and I am a team-player. Honestly, being cold-shouldered and not caring, is truly not who I am.

So, as the second week of work approached, I tried yet again. This time, I was going to try to take a chance, despite what my inner, negative thoughts were yelling at me. “This is work, it sucks anyways. Why waste energy to get to know these people? Just get into work and then get out.” But, I love to make the best out of everything, even long hours at work. Yes, work is work, but why make it more painful than not?

In this moment, I realized, “WOW! I am over thinking things. Just take a deep breath, accept the change, be awkward, and do not force anything out of myself or anyone that I do not want to. JUST CHILL OUT.” Instead of hiding my personality, or trying to pretend to be hardcore, I tried simply being vulnerable, asking for help, and most importantly, putting myself out there. Also, I needed to spend time worrying less about other people, worrying more about learning the job, and worrying about myself doing my job correctly. With that said, the rest would fall into place. I cannot change who I am, constantly going back and forth with how I want to present myself at work, so I just succumb to being the derp that I am.

Now, over the weekend of the second week of work, my true colors (the ditzy side of me, the more outgoing side of me, the less serious side of me, the weird side of me, etc.) began to show. The “little Ms. Perfect” act only worked for about two weeks, maximum. Now, I must say, even I was a little shocked by how quickly letting go of these negative feelings, over thinking, and all the toxic thoughts in my head, lead to me finally beginning to realize how quickly these adaptations could have been made, if only I had stuck to worrying about the important, more relevant things about transitioning to a new job.

Yup, to be real, my “little Ms. Perfect” persona was quickly murdered when I literally took a spill in front of one of my co-workers that I did not know very well and presumably gave a cold-shoulder to. Everything was going great, as I pretended to be perfect, to maintain composure and suppress my personality.

Here we go…this is what I call true embarrassment and revealing your most vulnerable side.

I literally slipped on a slippery and wet floor, as it felt like the concrete I was standing on was ripped from underneath me. I slipped on my butt, bruised every inch of my body, and knocked over quite a few many things. This was the moment when I decided to reveal my biggest secret of all: I am NOT perfect, I am very ditzy, I from time-to-time suck at life, and this is me most days. I am a human.

To say that my co-worker had tried hard not to laugh at me, as it happened so randomly, is an understatement. I am sure my cold-hearted exterior and negative demeanor made her hesitant to even crack a smile, as she had seen me crack, WHICH I NEVER LIKE PEOPLE SEEING ME DO. She just could not help it – “Finally, we see her in her true flesh,” she probably thought to herself.

She laughed VERY HARD, but apologized after laughing histarically and even in between every breathe. I am assuming, because she finally was able to capture a glimpse of the somewhat ridiculous and far-from-perfect person that I am. Whether she felt bad or not about actually laughing, does not matter. It was funny – she truly did not even need to ask if it was socially acceptable to laugh. In fact, I encouraged it. All this time I spent acting like I did not want to meet new people, make new friends, bond with others, and not seem perfect, all dissipated within seconds. I finally showed my true colors – I am not really the serious person, or whatever person, that I was trying to present myself as.

This slippery fall was the most painful reminder I have received in a while, as I have bruises everywhere to show for it, to remain true to yourself, not be so bitter, to not pretend like I do not make mistakes, to not make your life so much harder for yourself, etc. Most importantly, it taught me that being vulnerable and having fun at work is possible – also, there’s no need to hurt yourself in trying to present yourself as the perfect worker ever and isolate yourself from others.

No matter how hard you fight trying to be relatable, or trying to fight enjoying life, the gig will be up quickly.

Yes, you will take spills when you are experiencing changes, but yes, people will be understanding and are not trying to make things harder for you. Ask for help, especially when things are new to you. Take time to get to know your new environment. Open yourself up to new experiences. Learn that it will not be easy, but that is what others are there for.

While my new job occupies a significant amount of time, I have found that letting go of the animosity of having to make changes to my life and adjust to them has made it much easier on myself to process and transition much more quickly. Being open about communicating your thoughts and insecurities that you may be experiencing, while you are enduring these transitional phases of changes, is in your best interest. Not having a cold attitude, standoff-ish attitude about these changes, and realizing that it is uncomfortable for everyone, including your co-workers to also endure these changes, as there is once again a new employee, is also important. Getting acquitted with your new environment to the best of your extent and with a positive, outgoing mind is what is best.

An opportunity for change often leads to new experiences that you would have never come across if you had not taken a chance to take a leap of faith for change. Do not be afraid of the challenges, or fears, that may come of making a change to your life.

Change is difficult, can suck sometimes, but KNOW IT IS HEALTHY AND BUILDS CHARACTER. Allow yourself to be vulnerable during these times and get to know yourself a little better. Change is inevitable, however, there are ways to alleviate the stressors and anxiety that come of it. Remember, learning to adapt and transition to new situations, new environments, or even to new co-workers or to peers, is a process. Do not be hard on yourself.

The more experience you have to adapt to changes, the more accepting you will become of change.

Open your heart to some new experiences. It is much encouraged. Sometimes, it just takes a little bit of courage.

Let life shake you up a little bit, and as Taylor Swift belts, “shake it [the insecurities, emotional stressors, negative thought processes, and animosity, as a result of the change] off.”

As my mother constantly reminds my father, “You are a chameleon.” My father has the ability to adapt to changes in environment, social situations, professional changes, circumstantial situations, or many challenges very easily and quickly accordingly, taking into consideration the thorough circumstances of the “change,” without hesitation or without a negative attitude. This is something I admire. In fact, it almost seems unnatural how accepting and willing he is to embrace change and how quickly he is able to adapt to and make solutions to any changes he may encounter. It is a skill that I truly admire, as he does it with ease.

[Take some notes]


Here are some noteworthy features of chamelone’s that may serve useful in embracing a chamelonesque ability to adapt to change:

  1. Be vigilant of your surroundings & use your eyes, in order to successfully adapt and assess your next move
    “Each eye of the chameleon can move independently… They have a 360-degree wide view arc of vision and are capable of seeing two directions at the same instance…When they lock down their vision on any object (let’s say a prey), both eyes are brought to focus offering a sharp stereoscopic vision. This gives them the ability to precisely gauge the distance and plan on the next move.” (http://www.chameleonsaspets.com/chameleon-facts/)
  2. Learn to adapt to situational circumstances quickly (however, changing the color of your exterior is optional)
    “Typically, the top layers of the chromatophores have either a yellow or red pigment while the lower ones have white or blue pigments. These four colors combine to give the chameleon the color it desires. While it was believed for long that this camouflage feature helps the animal to avoid detection in a hostile environment or while stalking its prey. However, recent studies have proved that the color change is due to variation in mood, temperature, and light.” (http://www.chameleonsaspets.com/chameleon-facts/)

Learn to be a chamelone.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade


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Sources

  1. “10 Interesting Chameleon Facts.” Chameleons as Pets, www.chameleonsaspets.com/chameleon-facts/.


 

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