Change is inevitable, so don’t fear it!
People usually avoid change because they like to stay in their comfort zone. They become complacent with situations or people and don’t realize how much more there actually is for them. But, when you challenge yourself or take a risk, your life can change for the better.
You learn and grow from new things whenever something changes. You have different insights and lessons you most likely didn’t even have control over. I read a book called “Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now” when classes first started at Temple last semester. I had a mental breakdown because I thought I was so far behind and my life was moving too fast. But then I realized that everyone has a different timeline, and I’ve made many difficult changes in my life that I will talk about in this article that have led me to where I am today.
Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” To decipher that quote a little bit, we look at the river and see that it looks the same as it did the last time we stepped into it, but it is different. Since the water is always moving, the river is never the same, even if we perceive it as being the same. Everything is constantly changing. I’m going to talk a little bit about how I took many steps into change, and how it led me to be the person I am today. Mind you, I’m still in my mid twenties so I am still growing, learning, and unlearning daily. But everything that I did made me adapt to new experiences, a newer mindset, and new people.
I personally embraced change since age 18. I moved from Lancaster, PA to Charlotte, North Carolina to attend an art school. I just wanted to get out of my hometown and experience something really new. I was there for about a year and realized I wanted to pursue something else, so I moved back home and went to my local community college to study communications. While I was still in school, I came to the decision that I didn’t want to waste more time in college in fear of failing, and not knowing exactly what I wanted to study and do with my life. Making that decision at such a young age is a lot of pressure, and I just was not motivated at all. When I was 20, I got my first boyfriend; his job required a lot of moving. So, I dropped out of college for a little while because not only did I not know what I wanted to do with my career, but I wanted to enjoy my early twenties and explore different places. I ended up living in Charleston, South Carolina, and Oahu, Hawaii.
Three months into being in Hawaii, I was very happy with my living environment, but I wasn’t happy with myself. It took me exploring the island and having lots of alone time with myself to realize that I wanted to focus on school again, meet new people, and start putting my priorities first. So not only did I break up with my long term boyfriend, but I went back to school to study business marketing, and moved into a new home. I am now living in Philly and finishing my bachelors degree all because I took a step forward and recognized the changes I wanted to make in my life, no matter how hard it seemed at first.
Making these changes in my life taught me many valuable lessons. I’ve always loved the idea of being in control of my own life, but I quickly learned that that’s not really how life goes. I was thrown a lot of curveballs that caused me stress, emotional, financial, and physical. I had to accept the fact that I couldn’t keep everything under control. Embracing the unwanted changes in my life made me grow as an individual, and I can now face future changes that come my way head on. Here are just some things that I learned to help accept the changes in my life.
Adapt a growth mindset: Embracing change in your life can be challenging, especially if you are used to the same routine, people, and environment. Change can mean accepting the wrongs you’ve made, and taking accountability for your actions. There are some people who have a fixed mindset, meaning their qualities, traits, personality and interests are set in stone and they think they’re unchangeable. They avoid risks and challenges because they are used to living a very particular lifestyle. These people don’t make much progress in life, and overall won’t be able to emotionally mature and have a better outlook in life. Adapting a growth mindset allows you to see a bigger picture and bigger opportunities; it changes your mindset for the better. Having this mindset will allow you to see change as an opportunity and not an obstacle.
Create a list: Creating a list in your head of things you might want to change, whether it is physical or emotional, will help you expand your mind to many new ideas and options. It can be as small as not going to the same Starbucks you usually go to and trying out a new coffee shop instead, or going out to a bar you have never been to before. It can also be something as big as finally signing a lease and living alone for the first time. This list is something you can look back on and recognize the good, or bad that may have come from taking those risks.
Express gratitude: Thanking the universe, God, or whatever you might believe in for all the things you do have will allow positive changes flow to you. If you appreciate the 2005 Honda Civic you are driving, then eventually you’ll be gifted a brand new car in the future. Having a negative outlook on life, and complaining about the things you don’t have rather than focusing on the things you do have, won’t allow that positive change to naturally come into your life. This is better said than done because there are times where our brains are wired to see the worst in a situation and wonder why it can’t be better. But, expressing gratitude will allow our brains to live a more hopeful lifestyle and remember that positive change is going to come your way.
Everything you do has a butterfly effect; meaning one small decision you make can lead to a much larger cause, whether you can personally tell or not. If it wasn’t for the first step I took into moving to South Carolina and dropping out of college for a moment, I wouldn’t be where I am today. These changes allowed me to become more open-minded, strengthen my emotional health, and meet a lot of new people along the way.
Change can be a bit scary, and in your twenties it’s so hard to accept it because people don’t want to deal with that one thing, which is growing up. People would rather be unhappy than uncertain, and growing up means moving on, even if you have no clue what might come out of certain situations. Wouldn’t you rather say, “It didn’t work, but at least I tried,” rather than dwell on the unknown of a potential situation all because you refused a tiny bit of change? Rather than thinking about the worst that could happen, think about what good can really come out of it.
Change is inevitable, and coming to terms with it will allow you to grow in a healthy way during your twenties.