8 Reasons why I have learned to embrace change.

This last couple of weeks have had a fair share of upheaval and it has got me thinking about how I cope with change.

I have said for years that I don’t like change and looking back that has been true. I have resisted it and resented it and made my life more difficult in doing so. But, it all depends on what’s changing doesn’t it?

Our living arrangements have chopped and changed a lot over the last few months and even now I write this in temporary accommodation.

I remember learning in high school psychology that moving house can cause as much stress to a person as a death in the family. That’s pretty heavy. Looking back at past moves with 4 small children I can relate to the stress factor. The short-term chaos of packing, moving, unpacking, finding things again all while trying to carry on a normal life is exhausting but mostly worth it. The new environment soon becomes comfortable and familiar.

I find now, as I am getting older, I actually look forward to change in general. Of course, the thought of some possible changes freezes my heart. But on the whole, I have found that getting out of my comfort zone, which change forces me to do, turns out to be a good thing.

Image by Javier Allegue-Barros

Here are a few of the things that I now love about change:

1. It gives me a chance to re-set.

Having a line in the sand so to speak that comes with the change is a great time to start fresh with something. For me, it’s usually a diet or exercise or a healthy habit I want to start.

2. Clutter clearing/releasing the past.

This is especially true when the change involves a physical move. Although packing is tedious and if you’re like me, done in a screaming rush at the last minute, it can be a time to sort through possessions. This is when I find things that I wonder why I own. I ask myself is this thing valuable enough to me to pack it up here then unpack it over there? If the answer is no it gets donated or discarded. Packing and sorting also lets me discover items that I really value that I may have had tucked away in a safe place. It reminds me to enjoy those things andkeep them where I can see or use them often.

3. Leaving behind things that no longer serve you.

This is a bit like the point above, it gives me a chance to reassess my personal habits and activities and decide what is important for me to continue. It can be a really good time to give myself that excuse, not that I should need one, to stop doing something that isn’t working for me. Or, to quietly let an acquaintance go.

4. A chance to re-assess and make personal changes and start being that new person.

This follows on from the point above too. In my new environment, I can be a better version of myself. It is a chance to decide how I want to be and a deadline to start being that person.

5. The opportunity for new relationships and to make new friends.

Making new friends in a new environment can be really hard. When my children were small it was easy because there’d be many parents to meet at their schools and after-school activities. These days I find my life is much more routine and it is harder to meet new people. Going out to the ‘local’ for lunch or dinner or an after-work drink has brought new friends. I’m so lucky, my husband is a people magnet and I meet many lovely people through him. I have also met lovely new friends through my interests like sewing and exercise/walking.

6. Learning new things – about self or in general.

Being in a new environment or starting new habits, or trying to start new habits, can teach you a lot about yourself. It can highlight areas where you struggle against your own attitudes or where you find success easy. They say with knowledge comes power. I remember that I tried so many times to give up smoking. The final time when I succeeded was due to me knowing all the pitfalls and excuses why I hadn’t succeeded in the past and ensuring I had countermeasures in place.

7. Learning a new environment and discovering new things.

I love exploring new environments to discover new places. When my children were small we used to play a game when driving in the car, left or right. We’d pull up to an intersection and I’d call out ‘left or right?’ and consensus would rule. We discovered a lot of new places around the new town we had moved to doing this and had a few adventures.

8. How even the most mundane tasks seem different and now take more thought.

Changing your environment certainly makes everyday things different for a time. Need to go to the shops, where are the best shops? How do I get there? How do I find a good doctor or dentist? For a while, everything is an adventure.

This post has been mostly about the changes that come when you move house. But, in writing it, I am reminded how these types of changes have caused me to grow and to fear change, in general, a lot less. When things get too routine and comfortable they can also get stale and we do too. Change brings growth and even when I’m struggling with some changes that happen I love knowing that it is giving me something in return.

One of my favourite authors has written a book all about ways we can bring about purposeful change in our lives for self-growth. It’s definitely worth a read. Gretchen Ruben’s Better Than Before.

Better Than Before

It has a companion journal so you can track the improvements in your life.

Better Than Before Journal
Megan Ruffino
Latest posts by Megan Ruffino (see all)