How to Make Friends with Change

How to Make Friends with Change

“Change can be so constant you don’t even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don’t even notice that your life is better or worse, until it is. Or it can just blow you away, make you something different in an instant.” – Life As a House (2001)

 

I grew up with a lot of change in my life. We moved from Toronto to Ottawa when I was 3, and my parents divorced 5 years later. I was constantly moving around, splitting my time between my parents’ homes. My bags were always packed and I didn’t really get a chance to plant my roots. 

But the opposite can also be true. I know people who have always stayed in one place, reluctant to venture into anything unfamiliar. 

In this way, embracing change is about recognizing where you are getting too comfortable. If you’re always moving, maybe staying still is where you feel the most discomfort. Or if you rarely invite movement into your life, you may need to switch things up more often.

I used to resent the fact that change was so present in my life, but now I think of how much more resilient it’s made me. Along the way, I also realized that change is inevitable. Whether your life is full of change or it only hits you every so often, there’s still no escaping it. Rather than fight the inevitable, why not learn how to lean into it and appreciate its lessons?

 

Here are 3 ways to embrace change in your life.

1. Focus on the Opportunity

When it comes to change, we tend to focus on what we’re losing. Whether it’s the end of a relationship we thought was perfect or an amazing boss deciding to take on a new job, it’s easy to fear letting go of that thing that was once so great. 

The first step to embracing change is to focus on the opportunity. That means looking at what new doors will open because of this change. Maybe you will meet someone who you’ll fall even more deeply in love with than your last partner. Or maybe you’ll end up getting promoted to the position your boss left vacant. When you really think about it, so many possibilities open up after a big change.

2. Strengthen Your ‘Change’ Muscle

Any perfectionists or control freaks out there will want to practice this one. In my earlier blog I talked about the two types of change: change that chooses us and the change we choose. I like to think of our ability to deal with change as a muscle that can be weak or strong.

When you start a new workout routine, you lift the 5-pound dumbbell first, not the 50. In this same way, change is something you can prepare yourself to handle. 

To strengthen your change muscle, make a conscious effort to make changes in your life every so often. That means actively taking on new challenges or responsibilities at work. Or exploring a country you’ve never been to.

Choosing to make small changes will help build resilience for when bigger changes that you have less control over appear in your life.

3. Change = Growth

At the end of the day, the easiest way to embrace change is to understand that without change there is no growth. When we avoid or resist change, we also close ourselves off from the person we are becoming. Without change, we stay small.

Just as the caterpillar morphs into the butterfly, when we see change as a natural process of evolution we can surrender to its beauty.

Ultimately, embracing change is about reframing what it means. Change can be scary, unpredictable, and vulnerable. But it can also be liberating, exciting, and expansive.

 

How has change influenced your life? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Keep living your truth,

 

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