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Embracing Change and Uncertainty

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Change is an inevitable part of life, a constant force that shapes our worlds and our personal journeys. It gives us time and experience, shooting us into the unfamiliar, granting us the option for more. Change can bring so much and yet, for many of us, change is intimidating and even frightening. It can be so easy for us to simply resist it, clinging to the comfort of familiarity. But what if we allowed ourselves to see the potential of what it could be? Reframing our perspective as a chance for growth, discovery, the chance to really feel. I know that it’s easier said than done, but I’ve found a lot of wisdom along the way that has helped me embrace the growing pains. You are not alone in the way you’re feeling. Let’s talk about it.

As humans, we can’t help but set expectations for ourselves and our future. Whether it’s getting that job, attending that school or adopting that lifestyle. Whatever it is, it’s human nature to expect these kinds of milestones for yourself. While this is good in some ways, oftentimes, it can distract from the reality of what is truly in front of us. The road of life comes with all kinds of twists, turns, reroutes and dead ends. It’s important to note that if something doesn’t go as expected, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing – just a different thing than before. We set our expectations so high at times, that we often feel disappointment or are quick to give up when things don’t play out how we wanted them to go (and let’s face it…life never goes as planned).

I’m not saying having goals is bad. It’s extremely helpful to set achievements for yourself! It’s when we start to fixate too much on that end result that we begin to miss out on the opportunities that life could bring up. We risk missing out on new places and people, new experiences, new ideas, challenges, goals and of course the chance to have a little fun along the way.

THIS is why embracing that change in your life is so important! None of us are fortune tellers. We can’t really predict the future (though we wish we could). We can learn to accept these transitions, to prioritize what is good for us and to find that change isn’t the world’s downfall, but instead just a new canvas to paint on (as cheesy as that sounds).

Keynote speaker, workshop facilitator and podcast host, Aden Nepom, presented her personal take on the importance of embracing change in her 2019 TEDxMthoodsalon TEDTALK, “Embracing Change: Making New Choices Instead of “Safe” Choices.” Nepom talks about her uncertainty with how she was living her life. She felt it was not the best or most thrilling option but simply the safest option. “The thing that changed for me was by focusing on what brought me the biggest joy, I now had a mission. I didn’t have that before,” says Nepom. “I invite you to stop making safe, comfortable choices of your old patterns and behaviors and start making those new choices.”

With that, let me share with you some tips that I have found extremely helpful for myself and my journey:

1. Take Those Risks

Okay I know it is easier said than done, but hear me out. Pushing yourself a little bit every day makes those leaps into change that much easier! No risk is too small! Just remember to always have patience with yourself. Even if it doesn’t work out, the act of trying won’t seem as scary!

2. Pay Close Attention

Change doesn’t just happen. It takes cutting out some of those old patterns in our lives and replacing them with more of what we are trying to work toward. The best place to start this journey is in your head.

We are often so critical of ourselves and when we get stuck in that routine of thought, it’s really hard to get out of. A friend of mine offered me this suggestion: write down every time you’re critical of yourself. This could be in a notebook or in your notes app on your phone. Continue doing this for a period of time (I recommend about 3-5 days). Afterwards, look at how often you speak down upon yourself. Doing this showed me how critical I was of myself, what events caused me to criticize myself this much, and what I was actually criticizing myself on. It’s important to adjust that way of thinking after. The following week I wrote down something I valued about myself every time I felt critical.

Taking the time to pay attention to yourself is a great step into finding the needed confidence to not only go after change, but to seek it!

3. Keep an Open Mind!

We can’t rush the transition (though sometimes we wish we could). We are allowed to feel our feelings of frustration, sadness, doubt and everything in between. But don’t let that get in the way of you discovering something wonderful. Embracing change requires an open mind. Consider it a learning opportunity no matter what! If we stick with what we know, we’ll never get to see what else the world has to offer (and it has so much to offer).

Whether it’s a new job, a new school, a graduation into the world or a new city, no matter the change you are strong enough to navigate it. You are worthy of the good things that happen in your life and how lucky we are to experience something as grand and mysterious as change itself. We have been navigating change our whole lives. You’ve survived this far and will continue to find your place in all of this just as you always have before.

If you haven’t heard this yet today, I am proud of you. You are capable and worthy of the things you want in life. Change is just your ticket to more opportunity. Congratulations on your new step in life!

Madison is a student at The University of Florida majoring in Mass Media Production with a minor in Graphic Design. Madison is a positive individual who loves astrology, Harry Styles, and any kind of iced coffee. When she isn't writing, you can find her shopping for plants, playing Mariokart with her friends, and perfecting her strategies for making the perfect avocado toast.