How To Look Forward To And Embrace Change

If there is one thing that has a permanent place in the lives (albeit not in the hearts) of many of us, it is change. It is omnipresent and happens to the best of us, no matter how much we wish for permanence and consistency. How do we cope with change and uncertainty? We do it by slowly but surely acquainting ourselves with unfamiliar situations until they lose their anxiety-inducing grip over us. Eventually, we will be free of suspicion and fear when it comes to changing life situations and instead embrace the possibility of them turning our lives around for the better.

The tips and advice within this post are tailored towards dealing with change that happens to us, NOT towards creating change ourselves. The latter warrants a separate post that will be linked here as soon as it has been written.

This post is a part of the The Beauty Of… series which concentrates on shifting our focus away from the negatives in life and towards finding the positives and improving certain aspects of a situation so that we will actually enjoy it.


: How I Opened Up To Change :

I used to be someone who was afraid of anything I wasn’t familiar with. And those were a lot of things.

Everything that was unknown to me and that I couldn’t assess scared me. Not just in theory and hypothetically, but actually. And not just big and important things but even the small and insignificant stuff others didn’t even pay attention to.

I worried about anything and everything, and the safest solution in my eyes seemed to be avoiding risks altogether, no matter how unlikely they were to come true.

To some, life is an adventure they’re excited to be on – to me, life was a test I was afraid to fail at.

Without me realizing it, slowly but steadily, the world out there grew bigger and more dangerous, and at the same time, my small comfort zone shrank further and further. Until one day it was no longer the safe haven I had once retreated to, but a prison into which I had voluntarily locked myself.

When I was 27, my dad died of cancer, and looking back at it today, this was the turning point when my outlook on life and its “risks” changed once and for all. I wish it hadn’t taken this experience to open my eyes and realize how wrong I was, but sometimes fear holds us back until an even greater fear comes along and overshadows the old one.

My father knew he was terminally ill and still didn’t give up for much longer than any of his doctors deemed possible. Watching him hold on to life because there was still so much to experience, and at the same time voluntarily letting my own life pass me by just because I was afraid of something intangible suddenly seemed like sheer madness.

Things could change and go wrong. My (supposedly) comfortable life could end and turn into something different. So what? Maybe it would and maybe it wouldn’t, but the thing is: If we avoid any change for fear that it might be negative, we also shut out any change that can turn our life upside down in a positive way.

And that is the only true risk any of us really runs in life.


: The Power Of Change :

Change in itself is neither positive nor negative, it is merely the transition from one state to another. Whether we get excited about it or reject it with every fiber of our being depends on how we evaluate it, and that in turn depends on whether we are aware of the positive aspects.

:1. Accept The Inevitable :

Change is a part of life. Period. Nothing ever stays the same and wishing that things were never-changing means closing ourselves off from reality. It simply doesn’t work that way.

We may be able to control what happens in our life on a small scale (the food we eat at home, the books we read and movies we watch, the friends we surround ourselves with), but we don’t have a say in the bigger scheme of things.

As we don’t live in a vacuum, there will always be something happening that doesn’t fit into our plans and doesn’t turn out the way we expected it to. Situations change without our doing. Other People make decisions that affect us. Life takes a detour we didn’t anticipate. And that is okay, and moreover: It’s normal.

Our goal shouldn’t be to avoid all changes because if that’s what we’re aiming for, we are bound to fail and become unhappy. This goal is simply unattainable.

Making a conscious decision to accept that change can occur anytime and anywhere, lifts an unnecessary weight off our shoulders. We no longer need to try to avoid change altogether (because we can’t anyway). Instead, we are free to prepare ourselves to adapt to and handle change as it comes our way.

:2. Expect The Best:

Life is good, and it means well for us. If we manage to go through life with this basic attitude, we are already halfway there.

For the longest time, I was afraid of every and any kind of change coming my way and consequently lived in fear all the time. The sad thing is, by fearing change before it was even on the horizon, I successfully ruined the good times I could have had as well.

An interesting question arising from this is: What makes us think of change as something negative in the first place? Why do we expect the worst instead of being open to the possibility of it changing our lives for the better?

By worrying that something might change, we don’t prevent it from changing. So we might as well stop investing time and nerves in it.

Instead, let’s be aware that things will happen regardless of whether we want them to or not. The best we can do is not prepare for a specific change (it will always turn out differently than we expected), but prepare for change in itself.

The more we get used to life going differently than planned, the less threatening that fact becomes and the better we can deal with it.

:3. Helpful Solutions Are All Around Us:

Postponing dealing with change until it actually happens is a helpful and efficient way of handling the unknown. Remember, we’re NOT talking about changes we already know are coming – in these cases, it does indeed make sense to prepare ourselves in advance.

We’re talking about changes occurring in our lives that we DIDN’T anticipate, and preparing for these is entirely impossible. And it’s okay that way.

We are living in an era where getting answers to our questions is easier than it ever was before. No matter what we want to know, enlightenment is just a click away.

Being a child of the late 70s, I grew up without the internet, and exchanging ideas with other people was locally limited. If I was faced with changes in my life, all I could do was ask my immediate friends and family what they would do or consult the local library to leaf through books hoping they were the right ones for the topic at hand.

Since then, things have changed quite drastically, and this is especially helpful when it comes to overcoming the fear of change. Feeling anxious about something changing in our life is no longer necessary, and neither is being downright afraid of change.

Think about it: Thanks to the internet, we have access to all kinds of possible solutions in all shapes, forms, and colors. When faced with something new we’ve never encountered before, we have a million ways of asking for help and getting it.

We can use numerous search engines to find websites and blog posts. We can get in touch with other people across the entire world on dedicated forums or social media platforms such as Reddit. We can watch helpful videos on YouTube that show us how something works not just in theory but in practice.

So let’s sit back and relax in the face of any changes that may eventually occur – we will find the corresponding solution immediately once we need it.

:4. Rediscover Your Childhood Courage:

As children, we are naturally immune to fear of change. Some people argue that it is because children cannot yet assess consequences and connections in life, but I’m convinced it is because it is simply vital.

If we were afraid of changes from an early age, we wouldn’t learn to walk for fear of falling and hurting ourselves. We also wouldn’t look forward to kindergarten or school because who knows what may happen, right?

The opposite is the case. As children, we still have a basic trust that everything will be fine. We are invincible, and every new thing we learn or experience holds the promise of exciting new possibilities. And if life turns out differently from what we expected, we will find a way to change it again.

Somewhere along the way of growing up, we have forgotten how adventurous we once were. And that applies to every single one of us. We were little discoverers ready to take the world by storm and make it ours. Little by little, though, we became more weary and cautious until one day we found ourselves not only NOT looking forward to change anymore but often avoiding it at all costs.

Let’s get in touch with our positive and childlike side again. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again.

:5. Be Open To Surprises:

I used to be deathly afraid of surprises because I felt they were too risky – and by going through life that way, I deprived myself of numerous enjoyable and beautiful memories.

I didn’t try out new sports because there was a chance of getting injured when doing something wrong. I asked friends to not throw surprise birthday parties for me because I felt uncomfortable not knowing what activities they would come up with. I stuck to a living situation I felt unhappy in because I was afraid of getting out of the frying pan and into the fire with a new apartment.

Is there a risk involved whenever we do something whose outcome we cannot control? Of course, there is. What weighs heavier than that, though, is the chance of things working out in our favor.

By avoiding anything and everything we cannot foresee, we do minimize the risks – but we also make sure that nothing good comes out of trying. And I truly believe this is the wrong way to go about living.

Life is about living it to the fullest. Surely not about deliberately taking incalculable risks or doing objectively foolish things. But about having a basic trust that things will develop positively and in our favor. Because more often than not, they do.

Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.

Elon Musk

Help this ugly duckling turn into a swan.
This website is brand new and hasn’t gained much traction yet, so I rely heavily on word of mouth. If you enjoyed what you read so far, it would make my day if you shared it with friends and family and followed me on social media. Thank you! ❤︎


: Getting Used To Change :

By exposing ourselves to changes that we have control over, we can easily prepare ourselves for dealing with change that catches us unprepared. Questioning the status quo, and approaching things in different ways regularly helps our brain to not see changes as a potential threat.

:1. Do Little Things Differently:

As human beings, we are creatures of habit, and that character trait is deeply ingrained in us. Predictability provides us with security, or so we think.

In reality, nothing is for granted or “safe”, not even the solid and stable ground beneath our feet (I learned that the hard way myself during a 7.6 earthquake once).

We can help our brain learn to be open to and more serene regarding changes by constantly doing little things differently in our daily lives. Choosing what those things are and how exactly we go about them provides us with a secure environment in which our mind and body can deal with them in a fully relaxed way.

When doing things differently while still within our comfort zone, we can rest assured that everything will be fine eventually – after all, we’re still in our safe space. By changing that safe space in little ways, we also learn that nothing bad happens just because single elements change. The overall situation might change, but it’s not for the worse. It’s just different.

When I suggest doing little things differently, I mean examples like the following:

  • Brush your teeth with your left hand when you would normally use your right hand
  • Make a phone call when you would normally write an email
  • Exchange familiar foods with others you haven’t tried before
  • Sleep the wrong way in bed (swap where you rest your head and feet)

You will realize that while it might feel weird and maybe a little bit daunting (simply because it is unfamiliar), the universe will not collapse, and you will likely feel a little proud for daring to do something new. And deservingly so.

:2. Switch Up Your Routines:

Children love routines and even master situations they would otherwise steer far away from by implementing them. As adults, we tend to stick to this habit as it has proven to work, but it isn’t necessarily beneficial at all times.

We are often quite blind to how set we are in our ways. Many things we do in a week and the way we go about them follow a certain routine, and most of the time we are not even fully aware of it. Things have simply settled into place the way they fit best.

By first becoming aware of the routines we follow day in and day out, we can then make conscious decisions to adapt them. And by adapting them, we already incorporate change into our daily life which in turn – again – helps us become less afraid of it.

Think about all the routines you have created for yourself. What are the things you do the same way or at the same time regularly?

Maybe we’ve commuted to work and back the exact same way for years. How about heading out the door earlier or later than usual or taking the bike instead of the subway?

Maybe we spend every single evening during the work week on the couch watching Netflix. Why not have a games night with ourselves or with friends for a change?

Maybe we spend every Saturday running errands and cleaning our apartment. Let’s get all of this done during the weekdays so that we have Saturday all to ourselves.

Whatever it is: We should give ourselves the opportunity to realize that change is possible and a good thing by regularly implementing it into our lives again.

:3. Do One New Thing Every Week (Or Month):

Another way of sensitizing ourselves to change is to do one thing every week that we haven’t done before. If once a week sounds too big a task, we can also go for once a month.

This doesn’t have to be a dare, and the goal isn’t to get ourselves to do something we’re scared of. The only important thing is that we’re doing something entirely new to us. This is about our subconscious learning that new equals familiar in the way that we get used to dealing with unknown things regularly.

Ideally, we’ll make these things we’re interested in and expect to enjoy. That way, our mind and body will learn that changing things up is actually something to look forward to.

Initially, coming up with 52 activities to try out (during the 52 weeks within a calendar year) may seem like a challenge, but it’s not when we break it down into subcategories.

  • Eating out: Book a table at the new restaurant that recently opened around the corner or visit the old snack bar you used to frequent with friends but haven’t been to for decades
  • Exercising: Try out the trampoline parcours you’ve heard so much about or go for a walk in your neighborhood for as long as your feet will carry you
  • Making art: Lend a musical instrument or art supplies from a friend and make godawful music or art – remember, this is about having fun, not about being perfect

You get the idea. There is no right or wrong or too small or too big – there is only new.

An additional advantage of this is that we can slowly but surely cross off items on our bucket list every single week. And isn’t that something to look forward to?

:4. Learn Something New Every Year:

Look up classes offered in your area and sign up for something that sounds even remotely interesting to you (it does need to somewhat fascinate you, however, as otherwise you won’t stick to it).

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a 3-month course or takes half a year, as long as it teaches us the basics of a new skill so that we can then perform it on our own, we’re good to go.

This could be any new skill you’ve ever thought about wanting to pick up, either to just have fun with it or to pursue it seriously.

To give you an example of what I have in mind: I take one class ranging anywhere from 3 to 6 months (with get-togethers once a week) every single year in the fall or winter and have done so for approximately 15 years now. Some of them, I signed up for by myself, others I joined with a friend that was also interested in it.

Over the years, I learned to touch-type (which wasn’t taught when I went to school), picked up photography, dabbled in goldsmithing, and qualified in five levels of sign language (my best friend and I actually sign in libraries or theaters or when sitting apart on public transport to this day).

What’s still on my list for the upcoming years are things such as learning to read Braille, taking lessons in professional tailoring, and trying out sculpting.

So now it’s your turn: What are you interested in learning and who would you most enjoy doing it with? The sky is the limit. Be creative and don’t be afraid of failing. You will get there eventually, and even if you don’t – this is not about excelling, it’s about being open to and looking forward to change and doing something you haven’t done before.


: Questions To Ponder Over :

  1. How has a change you were unable to avert changed your life for the better?
  2. In what areas of your life do you find dealing with change the most difficult?
  3. Why do you think you associate change with being negative instead of positive?
  4. If your life wouldn’t change AT ALL going forward how would that make you feel?
  5. What unexpected changes in your life have you already dealt with successfully?

I’d be thrilled to hear from you in the comments below.
Don’t be shy.


: Information For Research :

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: Key Takeaways From This Post :

Change is a constant part of life, and fearing it doesn’t prevent it. Consequently, the best (and really only) solution is to accept and arrange ourselves with it.

Change is neither inherently positive nor negative – the way we perceive it determines how we react to and handle it.

Since we cannot control the way our lives change, we might as well not even try to anticipate change in advance but instead invest our time and focus in the here and now. We will deal with changes as they occur – if they ever do that is.

Our body and mind initially interpret every change as danger, and it is up to us to make them realize that there is also a second interpretation that makes life a whole lot easier:

Change can and does enable positive development – if we let it. So let’s get ready to become more adaptable and open to new experiences. Trust me, it’s worth it.

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1 Comments How To Look Forward To And Embrace Change

  1. Avatar for AlexAlex May 6, 2024 at 1:49 PM

    Dear special someone who is reading my blog,
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