Life is constantly changing. Just when you start to get comfortable, life decides to throw a massive curveball at you. Some changes are in your control, and sometimes they aren’t. Our mood, our jobs, our relationships with others, our perception of the world around us, all of these are just a few of the common changes that we experience on a daily basis.
Recently, I have dealt with my fair share of changes. This last summer, my parents (who are also my two best friends) packed up and moved across the country. I went from being able to see them on a daily basis to only being able to see them once every other month.
In the fall, I decided to make a career change and accepted a new job. While I love it, it took more than a month for the anxiety of change to start to decrease. I expected to come into my new job and be the best right off the bat. When I realized how different it was in comparison to my other job, I started to second-guess whether or not I had made the right decision or if I was even cut out for it.
Then the new year came around. I had a vision for myself and set all of these goals for how I wanted my year to look. I know that we are only a month into the new year, but I have started to realize that I put too much on my plate. I had to push some of these goals to the side. It’s not to say that I won’t pick them back up again, but for right now, it was just too much.
Dealing With Change
There is a saying that my mom likes to use. Whenever I am trying to do too much, she tells me to “Quit trying to fit ten pounds of shit into a five-pound bag.”
These words have stuck with me. When I start to feel stressed, I am forced to remind myself that it’s okay to breathe. It’s okay to give your body and mind a chance to relax and regroup. It’s okay to not try and fit ten pounds of shit into a five-pound bag.
Change is inevitable. It’s one of the few constants that we are all going to experience on a daily basis. It’s why we are able to show optimism in a negative situation. It’s why we are able to realize that struggle and pain is only temporary. When we endure a negative or a situation that is going to cause stress, we know that there is a time in the future where we will feel the exact opposite. And this is what drives us forward.
The opposite stands true as well. We know that change is just around the corner, which is why we need to cherish all of the good times in the present moment. They aren’t going to last forever. In the matter of just a short few seconds, we can go from feeling as if we are on top of the world to feeling alone and isolated. Why? Because of change.
Since change is one of the few constants in life, it only makes sense that we learn to deal with it, cope with it, and embrace it. While it may not always be pleasurable, I want to share some insight as to how I deal with change.
In no way is my life perfect, and I will be transparent with you and say that some of these strategies don’t always work. Sometimes the level of change can be too astronomical, which is why it’s important to develop an arsenal of strategies that will help you in dealing with changes.
1. Have a positive attitude.
When you are positive, you see the world in a different light.
It was difficult for me when my parents moved away. I saw the whole situation as if I was losing my two best friends. But what helped me get through while still being able to have a positive outlook on life, was knowing that they were now chasing their dreams. For 25 years, they have supported my dreams, and it was about time that they started to do the same for themselves.
There is so much good in life. Sometimes, we just allow the stress of life and the stress of change to hinder all that is good. Not all change is bad. While it takes some time to adjust and get used to a “new normal,” change is an incredibly important part of life. Be positive about change because you know it’s coming, and because having a negative attitude isn’t going to do you any good.
2. Be open about how you feel.
I’m open about my life for two reasons. The first is that it gives me an outlet to express the thoughts that I am thinking. They don’t do any good being trapped inside of my head, so I try to release them into the world.
The second is that I want to inspire others. If I can positively impact just one person’s life from sharing mine, then it is all worth it. We need each other to grow and to better ourselves. I want to do my part in helping to make the change others are wishing to see.
Remember that you are never alone in life. No matter how much something may be eating away at you, there will always be those who care about you. So share with them what you are feeling and maybe they can help.
Sometimes you’ll feel better if you ask those around you for help. You just need to be willing to ask for help if you ever want to get it.
3. Accept that the past is the past, but create your future.
All of the changes that life has thrown at me recently have been difficult to deal with. But what else can I do other than to move forward? I can’t go back and relive the past, so why let the past determine my present and future?
As difficult as a challenge might be, there is no changing what has already happened. We all have a choice to make. We can either allow change to negatively impact our present and our futures, or we can accept change so that we can move past said challenge and create the future that you want for yourself.
Even though we are never free from change, we are always free to decide how we respond to it. So accept it, move past it, and become a stronger and better version of you because of it.
4. Learn to be more flexible.
I have to ask myself why I hate change so much, and honestly, it’s because I hate not having control. I hate not knowing when and where I need to be, not being able to control every outcome, and not knowing what’s going to come next.
One of the things that I have tried to implement into my life to help minimize the stress that I associate with change is learning to be more flexible. Sometimes it’s good to let go and not be in control. My way and your way aren’t always the right way. Unless we learn to be more flexible, we will never be exposed to new possibilities.
5. See change as an opportunity for growth.
If you want something that you don’t currently have, then you need to be willing to do something that you currently aren’t doing. If you have become so fix-minded, then nothing in your life is ever going to change. Imagine for a second how boring that would be.
We all want to create opportunities. We all seek adventures. We all want to live a meaningful and thrilling life. None of this will come if we don’t embrace change. We need to constantly be willing to learn if we want to grow from who we are today into the person who we want to become. Change is the only way to make this happen.
6. Celebrate the present.
When my parents took the move across the United States, only then did I realize how much I had taken for granted. There were by my side in every step that I took in this journey called life, and all of a sudden, I was on my own. It’s helped me to cherish every moment that I get to spend with them all that much more. And that’s what change does.
Change is a cause for celebration. If you are overcoming a negative change, you celebrate because you finally feel a sense of freedom from it. If you experienced a positive change, you celebrate it because you had the privilege of experiencing it. However you look at it, change is a cause for celebration, so accept it and celebrate the present for you will never get this moment back.
The more my life is changing, the more I am actually learning to enjoy it. Everything starts to become better when you have a positive mindset. Not only that, but since I have learned the importance of having a growth mindset as well.
We are not the same individuals that we were yesterday. We are stronger, we are wiser, and we are better. With each day comes an opportunity to continue to grow into the person that we want to be. It’s time that we embrace that opportunity and continue to change along with the world around us.