“Change is the only constant in life” — Heraclitus
Everything around us is constantly changing, whether we perceive it or not. Society changes, technology evolves further every day; the world is always in flux, but what’s most important is that we ourselves undergo change too. But despite this knowledge, one of the most difficult things human beings learn during their life is how to embrace change.
Many people find change terrifying. And that’s normal. Change reminds us that we’re getting older every day, and there’s something so melancholic and scary in this inevitable passage of time.
Change and novelty can be perceived as way too challenging, risky, and uncertain.
As Tim Ferris once said: “People would rather be unhappy than uncertain.” And there’s a scientific backup for that. One recently conducted neuroscience research discovered that our brains register uncertainty the same way they register errors. We simply crave to resolve it so we could feel comfortable again.
Embracing change means accepting that you can’t keep everything under control. As frightening as this thought is, it’s also very liberating. In fact, embracing change is key to your growth as an individual and highly affects your overall success and happiness.
Let’s dive into this topic further and find out how to embrace change in your life.
How to Embrace Change Instead of Fearing It
Let’s start by giving you a shortlist of tips to guide you towards accepting change in your life. Then, we’ll share with you some amazing examples of how embracing change positively affected people’s lives, so that you’re even more motivated to start welcoming change in your life today.
1. Adopt a Growth Mindset
Facing change becomes so much easier when you think in terms of growth and learning instead of seeing your identity as a rigid, unchangeable set of traits and skills.
The concept of a growth mindset was first described by Dr. Carol Dweck along with its opposite: the fixed mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe their qualities, skills, intelligence, personality traits, abilities are carved in stone, and therefore unchangeable. That’s why they don’t embrace challenges, avoid risks and learning new things, and find change to be a major frustration in their lives. However, these people also don’t make much progress in life, as they struggle so hard to maintain the status quo.
On the other hand, adopting a growth mindset can help you change the way you see life. People with a growth mindset view challenges as opportunities, mistakes as valuable lessons, and their personality and character as ever-changing and evolving, rather than static.
Adopting a growth mindset can help you become a person who is ready to embrace change and life challenges. When you look at life from the perspective of growth, you’ll see that changes are major opportunities, not obstacles.
2. Create a List of Changes
Are you aware that you’re going through constant change? Do you feel it happening?
We assume not. Here’s one amazing method that could help you learn how to embrace change in your life: creating a list of all the changes you’ve been through since your childhood. In order to come to terms with change and beat the anxiety it’s causing, try going all the way back to your childhood and remember all the major changes you’ve been through since then. The point of this list is to show you that changes were present in your life long before you became aware of them.
Here are a few examples:
- Separating from parents to go to nursery;
- Making first friends;
- Starting school;
- Getting a brother or a sister;
- Moving into a new neighborhood and changing school;
- Getting your first pet, and so on.
These are just some common examples, but when you start writing your own list, make it personal. Remember all the important events that changed the way you live your life. Try to incorporate the goals you used to strive towards, the actions you took to achieve them, and the successes and failures you had along the way. All the important insights you had that completely changed the way you see the world. When you reach this day and start re-reading your list, you’ll realize one thing: you’ve been changing all along.
3. Set Clear Goals
If you’re sure where you’re going, change should be a normal and desirable part of the journey, right? If you learn how to set SMART, achievable goals that are relevant to your life, embracing change will become a normal part of achieving those goals.
Setting the direction towards achieving those goals means defining actionable steps, tasks, necessary resources, and time-boundaries. When you’re striving towards a specific goal, change means getting closer with every completed task or learning a new lesson with every mistake you make.
4. Practice Gratitude
Fear of change is often related to a negative outlook on life and the world as a whole. This negative outlook can be a byproduct of the way we were raised, for example, the negative outlook on life we may have adopted from parents who consistently perceived life as burdensome. Or it could be the result of us being overwhelmed with life’s problems in a particular moment.
It’s not just nurture, but nature as well: we’re naturally wired to perceive and experience negative outcomes more intensely than positive ones. Now, combine that with everyday stress, and voila: you’re stuck in a rigid comfort zone, trying to keep things just the way they are, or better yet, fearing and avoiding change.
But, don’t worry. There is a simple and elegant way out of this negativity bias: gratitude.
Expressing gratitude is a simple, yet often neglected behavior that drives our minds towards greater positivity. It has deep roots in our evolutionary history and has been recorded among animals as well.
The simplest method of practicing gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal. A curated gratitude journal like The Five Minute Journal is designed to gear your mind towards greater positivity every single day. Add five minutes into your morning routine to answer the morning prompts, then repeat before going to bed by positively reflecting on the day behind you.
If you have children, you can practice gratitude with them as well, as we have designed The Five Minute Journal for Kids. This can help parents observe changes their kids are going through in a more positive way. Find out more about the science-backed facts about why children should start practicing gratitude at an early age and how to create a positive morning routine for your family with The Five Minute Journal for Kids.
5. Be Confident and Listen to Yourself
Change can sometimes be scary because it can make us think that we’re losing our true selves. And it gets even worse when we start comparing ourselves to others. It’s something we can’t help, it’s in our DNA: we look at other people and try to figure out whether we are doing okay or not, based on how they are doing.
Embracing change comes a lot easier if you stop comparing yourself to others and instead focus on your goals. All the novelties you need to go through should only be measured in relation to yourself.
Inspiring Examples of People Who Embraced Change
Mimi and Alex Ikonn, creators of Intelligent Change brand, are not only an inspiration themselves when it comes to embracing change and living a healthy and productive lifestyle, but they also collect stories about inspiring people and share them on their podcast, The Ikonns.
In order to show you what can happen when you learn how to embrace change in your life, we’ve decided to share with you some of the stories from their podcast.
Brian Paes-Braga: The 30-year Old Millionaire
In his early teenage years, Brian experienced a loss of an important figure: his father left the country to work in a hotel in his native Portugal. This left a huge void in his soul that was filled with insecurity and uncertainty.
However, this change motivated Brian to take care of himself and work on embracing change in his life. He began earning his own money and very soon ended up in entrepreneurial waters. He succeeded in selling his company for $265,000,000 at the age of thirty.
Learn more about the challenges and changes Brian had to go through on the Ikonns podcast.
The Ikonns: Maintaining a Healthy Relationship after Facing Huge Changes
The Ikonns themselves are a huge inspiration when it comes to embracing change and living with it. In this episode on their podcast, they explain how they maintained a healthy relationship after getting a baby.
Although incredible, babies can be one of the biggest and most stressful changes in a couple’s life. You change from being a duo to being a trio. Everything becomes different: your routines, expectations, your primary focus, free time… your entire identity. The Ikonn couple share some of the amazing tips that helped them go through this major change.
The Global Change: The Ikonns’ Inspirational Reflection
When we talk about change, we cannot undermine the importance of the global COVID-19 change, as well as the economic and moral crisis it put into motion. This is something we all need to reflect on, and The Ikonns selflessly share their opinions, experiences, and tips on how to remain sane and productive in these uncertain times.
Find more stories for boosting your morale, productivity, and creativity directly on The Ikonns’ podcast.
Wrapping It Up
Although change is a normal and necessary part of human life, accepting it can be a real challenge. Still wondering how to embrace change? Or whether you’ll be able to do it? We believe that you can, because, in all honesty, anyone can if they want to.
Working on your self-esteem, building a growth mindset, striving towards achieving your goals, as well as practicing gratitude can be real game-changers.
Learning how to embrace change in your life can help you become more mature, more confident, and happier. And there’s no better time to start doing this than today.