April 25, 2024

13 Steps On How To Accept Change And Transform Your Life

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James Gordon

Actor and Director

It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t . . . It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.

Sometimes, change can be sudden and difficult to cope with. Other times, it can be exciting. Whatever emotions it might bring up, change is a necessary and natural part of life.

As per my experience and my learning, I do not fear change, I embrace change and view it as a positive force in my life. 

Here I am going to share 13 powerful steps on how to accept change and understand why change is important to move on in life in this dynamic and changing world. 

#1. It's Your Decision To Change or Not to Change.

Although it’s often easy to say you want to change, successfully making and accepting change is hard.

Our thoughts and emotions often prevent us from creating behavioral change, even when it will improve our lives. 

Many people shy away from making changes that can drastically improve their lives.

See if any of the following apply to you and understand why change is good as well as important.

  • You tend to justify a bad habit by convincing yourself what you’re doing isn’t “that bad.” 
  • You experience a lot of anxiety about changes to your routine.
  • Even when you’re in a bad situation, you worry that making a change might make things worse.
  • Whenever you attempt to make a change, you struggle to stick with it.
  • When your boss, family, or friends make changes that affect you, it’s difficult for you to adapt.
  • You think a lot about making changes but put off doing anything different until later.
  • You worry that any changes you make aren’t likely to last.
  • The thought of stepping outside your comfort zone just seems too scary.
  • You lack the motivation to create positive change because it’s too hard.
  • You make excuses for why you can’t change, like “I’d like to exercise more, but my spouse doesn’t want to go with me.”
  • You have difficulty recalling the last time you purposely tried to challenge yourself to become better.
  • You hesitate to do anything new because it just seems like too big of a commitment.

#2. Why We Shy Away From Change Even When We Know Change is Important.

Initially, when you try to change too much too fast, chances are you'll quickly become overwhelmed. 

Because whenever you think of change, your mind says it is going to be too hard, and you allow yourself to give up.

But remember persistence is key to success and when you persist for long enough you'll began to see some positive results.

And your thoughts will start to become more positive and it will be easier for you to stay motivated.

That is why it is important to find ways on how to accept change and understand that change is for good when you think long-term. 

Many people shy away from change because they think that doing something different is too risky or uncomfortable.

#3. Types of Changes.

We can experience different types of change, some you might find easier than others. But remember if you want to change your life you'll have to find new and innovative ways on how to accept change and that's where this article will help you.

  1. All-or-nothing change—Some changes are incremental while others are basically all or nothing. Deciding to have a child, for example, isn’t something you can do in steps. Once you have that baby, your life has irrevocably changed.
  2. Habit change—You can choose to either get rid of bad habits, like sleeping too late, or you can choose to create good successful habits, like exercising five times a week. Most habit changes allow you to try something new for a little while, but you can always revert back to your old habits. 
  3. Trying-something-new change—Change sometimes involves trying something new or mixing up your daily routine, like volunteering at a hospital or taking violin lessons.
  4. Behavioral change—Sometimes there are behavioral changes that don’t necessarily constitute a habit. For example, maybe you want to commit to going to all of your child’s sports games or maybe you want to behave friendlier.
  5. Emotional change—Not all change is tangible. Sometimes it’s emotional. For example, if you want to feel less irritable all the time, you’ll need to examine the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to your irritability.
  6. Cognitive change—There may be ways in which you want to change your attitude and thinking as well. Perhaps you want to think less about the past or maybe decrease worrisome thoughts.

#4. Readiness to Accept Change.

New Year’s resolutions are commonly broken, because we try to make changes based on a date and not because we’re really ready. 

And if you aren’t ready to create change, you likely won’t be successful at maintaining it.

Even changing one small habit, like deciding you’ll floss your teeth every day or giving up your bedtime snack, requires a certain level of commitment.

#5. Feeling Discomfort When Trying to Accept Change.

Many people associate change with discomfort. And often, they underestimate their ability to tolerate the discomfort that accompanies a behavioral change.

Many people know what changes is needed to improve there health, but most people don't want to give up foods they like or feel the pain that accompanies a workout.

And most people have negative belief that losing weight meant he’d have to be hungry. They dread on all those realities, but they don't realize that these slight discomforts are just that, and nothing worse.

But once you start gaining confidence in your ability to tolerate discomfort that is when you truly feel like making further changes.

#6. The Problem With Shying Away And Not Accepting Change.

Shying away from change can have serious consequences. In many cases, continuing with current habits is likely take a serious toll on your life.

The longer you delay making change, the more irreversible damage you are likely to suffer.

But avoiding change doesn’t always have just physical consequences. Remaining stagnant can also interfere with personal growth in other areas of your life.

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#7. Consequences of Not Accepting Change.

  1. Staying the same often equals getting stuck in a rut. Life can get pretty boring if you don’t do anything differently. A person who simply decides to keep things as mundane and low-key as possible isn’t likely to experience a rich, full life and might become depressed.
  2. You won’t learn new things. The world will change with or without you. Don’t think that your choice not to change will prevent anyone else from embracing change. You’ll risk being left in the dust if you choose to keep doing everything the same for the rest of your life.
  3. Your life may not get better. If you don’t change, you can’t make your life better. Many problems that are waiting to be solved require you to do something different. But if you aren’t willing to try something new, those issues are likely to remain unresolved.
  4. You won’t challenge yourself to develop healthier habits. It’s easy to develop bad habits. Breaking bad habits requires a willingness to try something new.
  5. Other people will outgrow you. “My husband isn’t the same man I married thirty years ago.” I hear this all the time in my office, and my response is usually, “Let’s hope not.” I hope everyone grows and changes over the course of thirty years. If you are unwilling to challenge yourself and improve, others may grow bored with you.
  6. The longer you wait the harder it gets. Do you think it’s easier to quit smoking after your first cigarette or after twenty years of smoking? The longer you keep the same habits, the harder they can be to break. Sometimes people put off change until the right time. They say things like “I’ll look for a new job when things calm down” or “I’ll worry about losing weight after the holidays.” But, often, the perfect time to do something never arises. The longer change gets delayed, the harder it is to do.

#8. How to Accept Change by Creating Pros And Cons of Changing.

Create a list of what is good about staying the same and what is bad about staying the same.

Then, create a list about the potentially good and bad outcomes of making a change. Don’t simply make your decision based on the sheer number of pros versus cons.

Instead, examine the list.

Read it over a few times and think about the potential consequences of changing versus staying the same.

If you’re still considering change, this exercise can help you move closer to making a decision.

There’s no need to change for the sake of change. Moving to a new home, starting a new relationship, or switching jobs aren’t inherently going to increase your mental strength.

Instead, it’s important to pay close attention to the reasons why you want to change so you can determine whether the decision is about doing what’s ultimately best for you. If you’re still ambivalent, create a behavioral experiment.

Unless you’re dealing with an all-or-nothing change, try something new for one week.

After you’ve done it for a week, evaluate your progress and motivation. Decide if you want to continue with the change or not.

#9. Develop An Awareness of Your Emotions.

Pay attention to the emotions that are influencing your decision as well. When you think about making a change, how do you feel?

For example:

  • Are you nervous that the change won’t last? 
  • Do you feel exhausted at the sheer thought of doing something different?
  • Are you worried about your ability to follow through with the change?
  • Are you scared things may get worse?
  • Are you sad that you’ll have to give something up?
  • Are you uncomfortable even admitting a problem exists?

Once you identify some of your emotions, you can decide whether it makes sense to act contrary to those emotions.

Don’t allow your emotions to make the final decision.

Sometimes you have to be willing to change, even when you don’t “feel like it.” Balance your emotions with rational thinking and keep the idea behind why change is good at the back of your mind. 

If you’re terrified of doing something new, and it really won’t make a big difference in your life, you may decide it’s not worth putting yourself through the stress of change.

But, if you can rationally identify how change will be best for you in the long term, it may make sense to tolerate the discomfort.

#10. Manage Negative Thoughts And Realize Why Change is Important For You.

Look for unrealistically negative thoughts that may be influencing you.

Once you’ve started to make changes, the way you think about the process can also greatly affect how motivated you’ll be to keep going.

Be on the alert for these types of thoughts that will tempt you to shy away from change:

  • This will never work. 
  • I can’t handle doing something different.
  • It will be too hard.
  • It’ll be too stressful to give up the things I like.
  • What I’m doing now isn’t that bad.
  • There’s no sense in trying because I tried something like that before and it didn’t help.
  • I don’t deal with change well.

Just because you think it will be difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Often, some of the best things in life come from our ability to conquer a challenge through hard work.

#11. Create a Successful Plan to Accept Change.

Preparing for the change can be the most important step and if you understand why change is important and why change is good for you...you'll happily create the plan. 

Create a plan for how you’ll implement the change and how you’ll stick to it. Once you have a plan in place, then you can implement the behavioral change one small step at a time.

  1. Create a goal for what you would like to accomplish in the next thirty days. Sometimes people try to change everything all at once. Identify one goal that you want to focus on first and establish a realistic expectation for what you’d like to see change in one month’s time. 
  2. Establish concrete behavior changes you can make to reach that goal each day. Identify at least one step you can take each day to move closer to your goal.
  3. Anticipate obstacles along the way. Make a plan for how you will respond to specific challenges that you’re likely to encounter. Planning ahead can help you stay on track.
  4. Establish accountability. We do best when we establish some type of accountability for our progress. Enlist the help of friends and family who can provide support and check in with you about your progress. Be accountable to yourself by writing down your progress daily.
  5. Monitor your progress. Determine how you’ll keep track of your progress. Keeping a record of your efforts and daily achievements can help you stay motivated to maintain changes.

#12. Accept Change And Behave Like The Person You Want to Become.

If your goal is to be more outgoing, behave in a friendly manner. If you want to be a successful salesperson, study how successful salespeople behave and then do what they do. 

You don’t necessarily have to wait until you feel like it or until the right time comes; start changing your behavior now.

Clearly identify the type of person you’d like to be. Then, be proactive about becoming that person.

So often I hear, “I wish I could have more friends.” Don’t wait for friends to come to you; start acting like a friendly person now and you can develop new friendships.

#13. Common Traps When it Comes To Accepting Change.

Unfortunately, your life will change whether you want it to or not. Change created by job loss, death of a loved one, a friend moving away, or kids moving out are all a part of life.

When you practice adapting to the small changes, you’ll be better prepared to deal with the large inevitable changes that come your way. Pay attention to the way you handle change.

Watch out for warning signs that you may be avoiding important change that could ultimately improve your life.

Although change can feel uncomfortable, you won’t be able to increase your mental strength unless you’re willing to grow and improve.

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Manish Yadav

My name is Manish Yadav and I’m the owner of the blog "Love Finds its Way". My advice does away with the manipulations and mind games recommended by magazines and the surface level advice of TV gurus… We’ll dive DEEP to you actionable steps you can use today. Over 900,000 men & women have transformed their lives, and I've been featured in Lifehack, Return of Kings, Menimprovement, Urban Dater, and so on...
...My only intention is to help you have all of achieve your dreams and desires and live a beautiful and prosperous life.
And we’re just getting started!

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