How To Navigate Change in Life




3 minutes


05 May 2024

article article

Growing up during the Balkan War, change was a constant in my life, yet it often led to something positive. Moving to a new city as a kid meant we were safer than in my original hometown. Moving to a new country opened up new opportunities. That’s why I’ve always viewed change positively, even though many perceive it as threatening their security and safety. Whether it’s relocating, switching careers, ending relationships, becoming a parent, or facing health challenges—these life changes can profoundly impact our emotional and psychological state, especially when they test our personal and external expectations, and our identity.

I believe that change is inevitable and challenging, yet it also serves as a powerful catalyst for personal growth and self-discovery. Reflecting on the many changes in my life, I can conclude that what helped me survive, overcome challenges, and even thrive in the search for a better life when faced with change are three key aspects:

My Self-Awareness: Having a deep understanding of my own emotions and how they influence my actions and decisions became a survival skill for me early on. To survive and later to thrive, I had to recognize my emotional states, understand their origins, and predict how they could affect my behaviors and decisions. I also had to be mindful of my strengths, weaknesses, values, and goals as I navigated many of my life’s changes.

Maintaining My Authenticity: No matter how hard it got, I always tried to align my actions with my vision. My vision, in this case, is the desire for a better life. Staying true to this vision, even in the darkest times, was crucial for maintaining my authenticity and pushing through adversity.

Adaptability: The ability to see life’s disruptions as opportunities to realign with my true self. This is not necessarily an optimistic notion to see the cup as half full. It’s actually the opposite; I don’t want to shy away from the fact that change can suck, but you can’t allow your mind to dwell on it. You have to work with the circumstances and co-create with them instead of being defeated by them. This adaptability is a matter of choice and not necessarily of a positive attitude. I was simply forced to adapt, so making that choice was in a sense “easy” because any other choice was apparent that it was not good for me. For you, this may be harder, as your choices may not be as clear because you might have multiple similar options to consider.

It’s important to note that these life disruptions aren’t about who you must become—they’re reminders of who you already are and what you can achieve. So, it’s critical to pay attention to who you already are and to the vision and opportunities that change presents. It’s an interplay of that dynamic duality between staying true to yourself and progressing along with change.

When navigating life’s changes, consider these points to help you get anchored in turbulent times:

Discovery: Change often reveals new aspects of ourselves, especially when we are pressured to meet others’ expectations. While this can be unsettling, it also frees us to explore new facets of our identity.

Cycle of Growth: We adapt, face crises, and rediscover who we are. Breaking this cycle means learning to maintain our unique pace and rhythm, regardless of external pressures.

Challenges as Opportunities: Instead of viewing changes as battles for independence, see them as chances to realign with your true self.

Personal Time: Taking moments for yourself helps reconnect with your personal rhythm and reaffirms that disruptions aren’t threats but reminders to stay true to your essence.

Change might feel like a threat to your existence and security, but it doesn’t have to be. Rather than viewing it as a force to combat, embrace it as a natural part of life’s journey. Let yourself flow with the changes, finding rhythm even in the unexpected. This approach allows you to transform what might seem like chaos into an opportunity for growth and new experiences. Take the time to discern what aspects of change you can influence and what you must let unfold naturally. By doing so, you empower yourself to navigate transitions more effectively and with less stress. Remember, when you move with change rather than resisting it, you open yourself up to discovering new strengths and unforeseen opportunities, and there is certainty in that. Embrace change, embrace life, and let each transformation enrich your understanding of who you are and what you can achieve.

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