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How to Be OK with Change

May 28, 2014

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Change is something that’s still pretty new to me. Until recently, I did whatever I could to keep it out of my vocabulary – and my life.

I chose to stay home and attend a commuter college while my friends went off to dorm rooms and new adventures, and I remained in a toxic relationship for more than five years because I believed it was more secure than starting fresh with someone new.

But that’s all in the past. As I get older, I find myself itching to make positive adjustments in my life more and more.

And with this, I’ve discovered how important and healthy it is to push ourselves to do the things that make us uncomfortable. It’s these actions, and not remaining in the bubble of our safe little worlds, that build our confidence and enable us to accomplish what we never thought we could.

Change is actually a really awesome superpower that we all have the ability to harness!

Getting to this realization wasn’t easy for me, but it’s totally doable for everybody if you take the right steps. Here’s what I’ve found helped me on my path to getting comfortable with that scary but remarkable six-letter word we call change:

  • Start small. The old adage “go big or go home” need not apply if you’re someone who shudders at the idea of change. Instead, take baby steps so that you’re at ease with stepping outside of your comfort zone. Get the haircut you’ve been eyeing on your favorite celebrity, or paint a room in your home a bold shade of your favorite color. These may seem like minor adjustments, but dipping your toes in the water slowly will help you warm up to bigger changes down the road. For me – someone who is super uncomfortable speaking or performing in front of a crowd – it was signing up for an Improv 101 class at a local theater.
  • Trust your gut. Daydreaming about moving to a new city or switching careers means the wheels are already in motion. So go ahead and explore those desires because they’re a good indication that you’re longing for something new. By making any one of your dream changes you may decide that your fantasies aren’t all you’d initially imagined, but on the flipside, you could find that starting fresh is exactly what you need to do. Either way, you won’t know until you follow your intuition.
  • Find a buddy. Take any opportunity to join forces with a loved one who is on the road to making a similar change. Whether it’s scoping out apartments with a friend who also wants to move or teaming up with a family member to lose the winter weight you both gained, having a companion will relieve the uneasiness you may experience when coming face-to-face with change. That person will also help you stay committed to the task at hand, increasing the chance that you follow through.
  • Take time to reflect. Make a list of all the adjustments you’ve made in your life, whether big or small, up to this point. Having them down on paper will help you see that you’re more capable of change than you may think. Whenever I practice this exercise and reflect on my time studying abroad or the chance I took moving out of my cute apartment with my amazing roommate to live with my boyfriend (now husband), I feel a strong surge of pride in myself. So go ahead and give this a try – it’ll serve as an awesome reminder that change really does the body, mind, and soul good.

How have you embraced change in your life? Share your experience with us in the comments below.