Change can sometimes be difficult. If you’d like to discover how to embrace change in your life, I hope this post will be helpful for you!
I have never been good with change. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I have chosen to stay still and stuck, regardless of how unhappy I was because I was terrified of change. I know that for some people, change can be exciting and thrilling but that was never the case for me.
I have always found it so overwhelming and daunting to the point that it paralyzed me. I’ve allowed myself to hold on to what’s familiar, even if it was making me feel so unfulfilled because I believed that the risks of embracing change were greater than the unhappiness of staying put.
But the thing about refusing to embrace change is it can feel very lonely and isolating. Every day, it felt like life was just passing me by. Like everyone around me was just moving forward, exploring new opportunities, growing, and learning while I remained stuck and anchored in the same spot.
However, life has a way of forcing change on us, whether we are ready for it or not. It was actually during one of these forced transitions that I realized that while change can be challenging, it can also be worth it. Sometimes, it’s just the push that we need to discover new aspects of ourselves and re-evaluate our goals and priorities that’ll ultimately help us start improving our lives and be happier.
Yes, it might force us to face our fears, step outside our comfort zones, and venture into the unknown but it also paves the way for newfound strength, resilience, and growth.
In this post, I will be sharing with you the steps I took that have helped make change less overwhelming and more manageable for me. While I know that everyone’s journey is personal and unique, I hope that some of these steps might resonate with you and offer you guidance (even just a little) as you navigate your own transitions.
How To Embrace Change In Your Life
One of the most vital steps in helping you learn how to embrace change in your life is by accepting that change is inevitable. Regardless of how hard we try to avoid it, life will always present us with unexpected twists and turns.
I have always been terrified of change and all the uncertainties that it brings. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve found myself trapped in a cycle of what-ifs, always assuming the worst-case scenarios. Doing this was not only mentally and emotionally draining but also kept me from fully experiencing life and all its possibilities.
The more that I view change as a threat or something that I constantly have to avoid, the harder it is for me to cope, every time life forces it on me. It took a real wake-up call for me to realize that I needed to change my perspective.
Instead of viewing change as a threat, slowly, I began to embrace and accept change as a part of life, understanding that it’s not always about loss or disruption, often it can also be about growth, opportunities, and new chapters.
I certainly know how difficult it can be to start accepting change and embracing it, please remember that being terrified is completely normal. I felt this too and if I’m being honest, sometimes I still do.
But it was in embracing change that I discovered resilience, adaptability, and strength that I never knew I possessed. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves that life is not static, it’s always evolving and one of the best ways to truly live and experience every moment of it is to evolve with it.
2. Let Go Of Control
Often, one of the biggest reasons why we fear change is because we want to maintain control over our lives. This is certainly what it felt for me. For the longest time, I have always been guilty of constantly trying to control every aspect of my life ( down to the smallest detail ). At that moment, I believed that as long as I keep doing this then I am preventing things from going wrong.
I believed that as long as I tried to control everything around me then I could prevent things from falling apart. But of course that certainly was not the case. Because life has a way of throwing curveballs our way that no amount of planning or control can prevent. Regardless of how hard I try to manage every little detail of my life, life will always be full of uncertainties.
Focusing all my attention and energy relentlessly trying to control everything was not only so exhausting but by doing that, I was also constantly setting myself up for disappointment and frustration. There were so many times when despite all my best efforts trying to keep things in line, everything still seemed to go wrong.
It was like I was hit with one problem after another. It actually felt like life was challenging my need for control and I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of stress, frustration, and anxiety that it brought. The hard truth is that no matter how hard we try, we can’t control every outcome or predict every turn in our journey.
There will always be things that are beyond our control. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves that there is a big difference between planning and controlling. Planning is about setting intentions and preparing while controlling is our attempt to force a certain outcome and it’s often fueled by our fear of change and uncertainties.
I’ve learned that letting go of control and embracing adaptability doesn’t mean that we are giving up or we are just leaving everything to chance. It means focusing our energy on the things that we can truly influence and accepting the things that are beyond our grasp.
When we learn to let go of control, we are not only giving ourselves the opportunity to be more open to change and stepping outside our comfort zone, but we are also finally freeing ourselves from the stress and anxiety of constantly trying to mold every outcome in our lives.
3. Live One Day At A Time
There’s certainly no denying that stepping outside our comfort zones can be so overwhelming and daunting. Every time, I was presented with big changes in my life, my thoughts would automatically spiral out of control, ruminating on all of these what-ifs and painting the worst possible scenarios in my mind, making it certainly clear how I was so terrified of change.
This was not only mentally draining but it was also making me so unhappy and miserable. I know that the mere idea of the uncertainties that change can bring is already so daunting, not to mention the additional stress of having to readjust.
One of the things that helped make the idea of change more bearable and less overwhelming was learning to live one day at a time. In today’s world, we are often encouraged to constantly plan, forecast, and worry about the future. While it’s certainly important to plan and prepare for the future, we have to remind ourselves that there is a balance that we need to maintain.
Obsessing over every outcome does not only rob us of the chance to enjoy the present moment but it also causes us unnecessary stress and anxiety. Living one day at a time doesn’t mean that we are neglecting the future or that we are failing to make plans and be prepared.
It’s about focusing on today’s tasks, challenges, and joys without being dragged down by the uncertainties of tomorrow. When I began to focus on the present moment, I realized that most of my fears about change were just based on uncertain situations that may not even happen.
Every time I would catch my mind spiraling into all my what-ifs, I would gently remind myself to come back to the present moment. Instead of worrying about things that I have to do next week, I focus all my energy on the task at hand. Instead of allowing myself to be paralyzed by all my problems, I focus all my attention on the things that I can do today to help better my tomorrow.
If you’re also guilty of spending so much energy worrying about the future and all of its uncertainties, please know that you have the ability to handle whatever comes your way and you can certainly adapt and grow through every experience. Don’t let your fear of the future rob you of the chance to enjoy the moments that are currently happening in your life.
4. Be Kind To Yourself
I know how easy it is to become our harshest critics, especially when we are going through big changes and struggling in life. I know this feeling all too well.
When I started a new chapter in my life, I was overwhelmed by all the big changes and major transitions, I thought that one of the best ways to motivate myself and push myself to be more focused and determined was to become my own worst critic.
At that time, I actually believed that by setting incredibly high standards and being hard on myself, I’d be more driven to improve my life, achieve my goals, and be less likely to make any mistakes.
And it worked for a while but after some time, the constant pressure became too overwhelming. Also, what I failed to realize is that this approach was not only diminishing my confidence and self worth but was also negatively impacting my mental health.
If you’re guilty of being your harshest critic too, please know that you deserve to give yourself the same amount of love, understanding, and kindness that you so freely give to your loved ones. Embracing change in our lives is not easy and you’re only going to make it more difficult for you if you continue to constantly put yourself down.
There is no better time to offer yourself compassion and understanding than during periods of change, struggle, and transition. Life will always have its ups and downs but constantly beating ourselves up during challenging times will only amplify our struggle.
Please know that self compassion is not about being complacent or self indulgent. It means acknowledging your efforts, celebrating your progress, and meeting your shortcomings, flaws, and mistakes with kindness and understanding, instead of judgments and criticisms.
It’s time to stop being your enemy and start being your best friend. You, just like anybody else, deserve love, kindness, and compassion. Please don’t hesitate to give yourself those.
Learn how to start loving yourself more by taking this 30 day self love challenge now.
5. Learn From Past Changes
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times, I was too paralyzed by my fear of change believing that I wouldn’t be strong enough or good enough to handle the challenges that are coming my way. Have you felt this way too?
If so, please know that you are certainly not alone. I know how easy it is to feel that we are not good enough and strong enough to handle the twists, turns, and changes that life throws at us.
One of the things that helped me find hope during moments when my worries and self doubt were threatening to consume me is by remembering all of those times I thought that I wouldn’t be able to overcome it and yet, here I am, proving that thought wrong.
Allow yourself a chance to reflect. Think back to a significant change in your past, remember the time when you thought how daunting it was and how the change seemed so difficult and insurmountable but you adapted, you learned, and you have not only survived but even thrived.
Every time you feel like the hopelessness and overwhelm of embracing this new change starts to consume you, go back to this moment and remind yourself that you have proven this self doubt and fear wrong countless times before and you can certainly do it again.
You have within you this invaluable strength, resilience, and adaptability that will allow you to navigate whatever unexpected changes and challenges life throws your way.
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6. Prioritize Self Care
It’s easy to practice self care when everything in your life is going smoothly but when life feels overwhelming, and you have so much on your plate, practicing self care and making time for your needs can feel like a total waste of time.
I know how this feels. When I was starting this new chapter in my life, I was so overwhelmed with everything that had been thrown my way. There were even so many days when I actually felt like I was in the middle of my own storm and all I could think about was surviving and pushing through, instead of taking time for myself.
To be honest, self-care wasn’t even on my mind during that time. I believed that any time spent taking care of my well-being was just not productive.
I mean, there were so many other things to do. In my mind, it was always “Why would I waste precious moments on anything that doesn’t directly help the problems that I was facing?”.
This belief persisted until the day I found myself so mentally, emotionally, and even physically drained. What I didn’t realize during that challenging period of my life is that self care wasn’t a luxury. It is a necessity, especially during difficult moments.
Taking care of yourself is never a waste of time. Self care is not self-indulgent. It is about protecting your well-being and making sure that you are in your best state to handle whatever challenges life throws your way. Please know that making time for yourself is not selfish.
You, just like anybody else, deserve moments of peace and self reflection. We have to keep reminding ourselves that taking a step back to prioritize our needs doesn’t mean that we are neglecting our responsibilities.
Taking time for self care isn’t a sign of laziness or even weakness. It’s simply an acknowledgment that we are only human, with limits and needs that we need to honor. So, please don’t hesitate to take that time for yourself.
Remember that by taking care of ourselves, we are also making sure that we are better equipped to take care of those around us.
7. Set Realistic Expectations
When we are going through big changes or when life gets hard, it’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of expectations, both from others and sometimes mostly from ourselves.
I was certainly guilty of this. When I was navigating sudden big changes in my life, I placed immense expectations and pressure on myself by believing that I should be able to navigate this transition seamlessly, or that I should be able to bounce back quickly from this setback.
I set all these huge goals for myself thinking that doing this would push me to work even harder but that certainly wasn’t the case. Setting all these unrealistic expectations for myself did not motivate me, it only made everything more overwhelming to the point that it paralyzed me.
Instead of actually taking the necessary steps to better my life, I found myself constantly ruminating over the gap between where I was and where I felt I should be. Every time I would fall short of my expectations, I would feel so disappointed and frustrated.
The burden of setting all these unrealistic expectations was just too much that it began to crush my spirit, leaving me feeling defeated and questioning if I even have what it takes to turn my life around.
This made me realize how important it is to set realistic expectations, especially when we are going through difficult times or embracing big changes in our lives. What we are going through is already difficult, if we continue to set all these impossible standards for ourselves, we are only making things more difficult for us.
We have to remind ourselves that there is nothing wrong with setting realistic expectations. While aiming high is certainly commendable, it’s important to strike a balance between aiming high and being realistic.
Setting realistic expectations does not mean that we are just settling for mediocrity nor does it mean that we are not aiming high. It means that we are only ensuring that our goals are achievable within a certain time frame and with the resources available to us.
Doing this will make the transition easier for us and less overwhelming.
8. Take Deep Breaths
Taking deep breaths might seem so small but it can make a huge impact in making it easier for you to learn how to embrace change in your life.
This past year, I had to go through unexpected big changes and since I have always been terrified of change, facing these sudden twists was just so difficult for me. There were so many days when I felt like all my worries and anxieties were consuming me, making it so difficult to breathe and get out of bed.
It was during one of these moments that I decided to practice deep breathing exercises. To be honest with you, at first, I was really skeptical. I mean, how could simply focusing on my breath make any significant changes in my struggles? But since I was so desperate for even just a small pocket of peace, I gave it a try.
I started with just a few minutes every day. I took slow deep breaths and focused all my attention on my inhales and exhales. Even when I was doing certain tasks or faced sudden disappointments, I would allow myself a few minutes to step back and just take deep breaths.
Doing this did not only help pull me away from my worries and fears about the future but it also allowed my racing thoughts to slow down, giving me few moments of clarity enough to gather my thoughts and refocus.
It made everything less overwhelming and it gave me the strength and willpower that I needed to keep pushing.
If you ever feel overwhelmed by embracing all the changes happening in your life, please don’t hesitate to give deep breathing a try. I know that it may sound like just a simple act but its impact can be really powerful.
Here’s a great guide to deep breathing from Everyday Health.
9. Start Small
There is no denying that embracing change can be overwhelming. When we are faced with sudden changes, it’s easy to feel like we have to tackle everything at once or find solutions to everything right away.
I felt this way too. I wanted everything to be back to the way it was or at the very least, turn my life around for the better, so I pushed myself to do too much too quickly. I thought that if I just pushed myself to work hard enough and fast enough then I could regain control.
And it worked for a while until I found myself so exhausted, disappointed, and burned out. I realized that lasting change doesn’t come from grand gestures but from small and consistent efforts. There is nothing wrong with taking small steps.
Success is not always about making huge leaps, often it’s about the little steps you choose to take every day. It’s okay to not have all the answers right away. You don’t have to figure everything out at once.
We have to remind ourselves that we can’t force growth, healing, and moving forward overnight. Real growth and meaningful changes are cultivated over time. Please know that it’s perfectly okay to move at your own pace. This is not a race. Know that every step forward, no matter how small, is still progress.
The important thing is you keep going, and celebrate every effort that you put in, big and small.
10. Be Patient
This goes hand and hand with what I’ve mentioned above. It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game. We compare our progress and journey with others and we feel like we are lagging behind. This is certainly what I felt.
When I was starting over, I felt like everyone around me was just moving at a pace that I couldn’t keep up. It seemed that they had everything figured out and they were making all these huge improvements, while I was here, still figuring out my footing.
This made me so angry and disappointed with myself. I can’t even tell you the number of times I put myself down for not achieving the immediate results that I wanted. It took a real eye-opening situation to make me realize that I was being too hard on myself.
Each of us is moving at our own pace and that’s perfectly okay. I know how easy it is to feel discouraged every time we can’t see tangible progress.
We have to keep reminding ourselves that growth and healing are not linear and they are certainly not straightforward. There will always be moments of setbacks, days when we feel like for every step we take forward, we are taking three steps back.
And that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. They are just part of the journey. They are not a testament to your worth or your capabilities. Give yourself the patience and kindness that you deserve.
Recognize how far you’ve come. Remind yourself that every step, every effort, every decision that you’ve made to keep going is a testament to your strength and resilience.
You have come so far. Don’t rush your journey. Celebrate your efforts and know that with time, effort, and patience, you’ll get to where you’re meant to be.
Please know that learning how to embrace change in your life is not something that you can easily achieve overnight. So, please give yourself the grace and time you deserve.
I know that sometimes we want to find stability and regain control and comfort quickly. But one of the lessons that I’ve learned from navigating a new chapter in my life this past year is that embracing change, acceptance, and growth comes from allowing ourselves the space to process, reflect, and adjust at our own pace.
We have to keep reminding ourselves that everyone’s journey with change is different. What might take someone a week to adapt might take someone else longer than a month. And that’s perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong with that.
Please remember that your timeline and your feelings are valid. Don’t pressure yourself to “move on” quickly. Be gentle with yourself and know that life doesn’t have a set timeline to overcome challenges.
Allow yourself to heal and grow at your own pace and please know that I’m always rooting for you!