How I Learned to Deal With Change

Change is something we all have to deal with in life, but it can be hard. Here is how I learned to deal with change and thrive in the face of it.


Tavian jean-pierre

2 years ago | 5 min read

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As I walked towards my grandmother’s house, I knew things would be different. It had been three weeks since she had passed away and the first time I was visiting since then.

There would be no warm welcome or embrace from her. She was gone. And although it was hard to accept, it was the reality. Every part of me wanted it to be all a lie. I still had some hope that I would knock on the door, and I would hear her scream, “Coming!”

Nevertheless, I knew that my hope was built on a determination to resist change. I still did not want to accept that she was gone for good and that I would have to move on without her. However, it was not too long after this point I was able to come to terms with change.

We are often resistant to change because we love things going our way. When things go against our plan, we tend to throw a little tantrum and tell all our friends and family how annoyed we are.

Humans are creatures of habit, so things that disrupt our daily rituals are an annoyance. Embracing change is never easy, but learning to do it is a necessity for a happy life.

In the great words of Heraclitus,

“The only constant in life is change.”

We are constantly adapting to different situations and no two days are the same. We often miss the small changes in our day due to the rush to complete our daily habits. However, these small changes are all around us, and they affect our day.

Bruce Lee’s famous clip of his philosophy is one that many have seen. In a nutshell, he highlights that one must take the form of water to be in control of themselves. He encourages us to “…be formless, shapeless, like water.”

It is through this comparison to water, I have learned to embrace change. Just like water can take the shape of the changes it is put through, we must do the same. So, here are my three ways to embrace but also thrive in change.

“Be Formless” and “Be Shapeless”

To take no form means to not allow external factors to dictate the shape you possess. Through being formless in the face of change, we can seek opportunities rather than look for ways out of the change.

Unfortunately, when we face change, we become rigid and try not to see how we can fit in the change. Instead, we try to run from it, complain about it or work our way around it. In some circumstances, this works, but not in all.

There are some changes in our lives that we will never be able to control. Like the passing away of a loved one or the weather tomorrow. Yes, we can be upset about it, but these events are not things we can find a way out of.
In these situations, we must learn to take a step back and become formless.

Learn to embrace the change and see what life looks like with the change rather than without it. Like water, take shape of the change rather than try to resist it.

In the face of change, I try my best to identify where I am resisting the change. That may be through getting angry, complaining or seeking a way out. Then, I become formless. I look at the situation and embrace the change for what it is. Then act in a way that allows for the best outcome.

Know When to Adapt

Water is the most vital source on this planet. Without it, we would cease to exist. A trait of water that is often overlooked is its ability to adapt. Not only as a liquid can it take the shape of anything, but it can also change its form based on the situation.

Water can go from water to ice. It can also go from water to gas when put under the right conditions. Being able to thrive in change is not just about accepting the change, but knowing the best times to adapt.

Not all external changes cause us to be formless and take their shape. Sometimes we have to be rigid and become ice. In some cases, we may need to remove ourselves from the situation by becoming a gas. And we may sometimes need to be like a liquid and embrace change.

To help me thrive in change, I have categorised the regular changes I go through to help me know when I should adapt. Here are the categories of change and the most likely choice for adaption.

External Changes That You Have No Control Over

These changes often call us to be formless and embrace the change. After all, we can not escape the situation and trying to be rigid will lead us nowhere.

External Changes That You Can Control

These changes can be most annoying because you have the power to control them, but it may take a lot of effort or time to do so. In these cases, you must weigh up how much control you do have in the situation.

If you can still get the desired outcome from the change, then you can be like ice and push against the change to turn it around. However, if being rigid may lead to a negative outcome or might take a lot of effort for a small benefit, it may be best to be like water.

External Changes That Can Lead To Changes in Yourself

When my identity is challenged, I often try to resist or leave the situation. We should never feel like we need to change ourselves, even if the external change is outside of our control.

Things like peer pressure or a romantic partner making demands outside of your character are perfect examples. You should stand firm for who you are and leave the situation if the change is causing you to become someone you do not want to be.

Focus On What You Still Have

Much of the changes we go through in life leave us in situations we would rather not be in. We may lose some money, time or even someone close to us. These changes do sometimes leave us in worse off positions and can cause us to lose focus on what we still have.

In times of change, the last thing we want to do is think about the positives still in our lives. We just want to focus on the negative effects of the change and rant about it to a friend. However, we can also use moments of change to reflect on the good things that have remained constant in our lives.

In moments of change, I now think about the good that is still in my life. Yes, my grandmother passed away, but I still have a family that cares. I also still have memories with her that live on in me, and I still have my mother.

Where change occurs in one part of our lives, there are still many things in our lives that we can be grateful for. So, next time you come across change, think about the constants in your life that you are grateful for.


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Tavian jean-pierre

I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.







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