Tip #34: Learn to accept change, because change is the only thing that stays the same through life.
The why: Change can be an incredibly daunting prospect. Changing job, changing home, changing partner, changing diapers (no really, nothing is more terrifying that what such a small human can produce believe me).
But if you learn to accept and embrace changes in your life, you can do anything.
So many people fight against change, they desperately hold on to things that are no longer making them happy, things that are not meant for them, things that cause them harm, simply because they are afraid of the unknown, the break of routine.
Here’s the thought process:
“At least if you stick with it, you know what the bad parts are. The unknown could be so much worse! Better the devil you know right?”
You know what happens when you don’t learn to let go? You get rope burn.
Believe me, I’ve been guilty of this many times in my life.
I first went to university when I was 18, bright-eyed and optimistic about my future. I hated it. I was so deeply unhappy that I entered the most severe depression of my life and didn’t leave my room for six months.
But did I consider dropping out? Yes.
But did I actually think I could do it? No.
I knew it wasn’t right for me after a month. Wrong course, wrong place, wrong time. But still, I didn’t want to let my family down. I cared about the opinions of people who would be shocked to hear that I, a former teacher’s pet, had quit. Given up.
I was so afraid of all the judgement, all the difficult conversations, but most of all, I was afraid of changing.
Taking a leap of faith in myself, and my future, and heading straight into the unknown.
But after one year of misery, I did it, I dropped out, and it was the best decision I ever made!
Now, I’ve finally found what I’m meant to be doing, and am so glad I embraced and accepted the necessary change.
(Apart from when I put maple syrup on bacon for the first time, that was also a great decision).
You can take control of your life, you don’t have to get stuck. Believe me, the unknown may be terrifying, but you know what’s even scarier?
Waking up one day and realising you spent your life unhappy because you were scared of change.
Trust in yourself. You can do this. Change can be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
But sometimes things change without you wanting them to.
Sometimes you drift from a friend who you deeply loved because they stop picking up the phone, sometimes your favourite TV show runs out of episodes, sometimes your parents decide to move house.
These can be the worst. The lack of power you have over these things can trigger some serious anxiety.
You’re not in control! You liked the way things were!
But wait. There is one thing you are in control of: how you react to the situation.
You can react with fear and regret and anger – but these are futile and will not alter the situation. Rather, they will only cause you pain.
You can react with sadness (because we can’t pretend like everything is totally okay when it’s not), but also with acceptance, dignity and readiness. Perhaps even excitement about the future!
If you learn to accept the things that you cannot prevent from changing, you have the keys to inner peace (which sounds rather lovely doesn’t it?).
Mourn for a moment, and then move on. Because life will move on, with or without you.
Somehow, find the silver lining in everything, even when it all seems incredibly grey.
Speaking of change: I am currently moving house! Packing my life in boxes has been an odd experience. Finding old mementos from other lives, other times, and other versions of myself. I won’t have wifi over the weekend, so normal anti-anxiety tips shall resume on Monday.
Until then my friends. Take care of yourselves.