Change is inevitable, Progress is optional

“Change is inevitable, progress is optional.” — Tony Robbins

Change is inevitable. You experience it every day in one form or another. From choosing a new route to work to the sudden curveball that turns life upside down, change can affect you in many ways. However, it is not always easy to have a positive reaction to change. While it is sometimes easy to embrace and welcome change, other times you can experience a wide range of emotions including anger, denial, depression, opposition and fear.

When constant change is a reality in both your personal and business lives, your ability to handle change can have a direct impact on your happiness and well-being. It therefore makes sense to find ways to roll with change, react positively to the things you can and can’t control, and build change into your life rather than resisting it. Once you conquer your ability to manage change and move in time with it, you can look forward to a future of acceptance, sustained performance and ultimately happiness.

When you embrace change, it can hold so many benefits:

  • Staying current
  • Unveiling new opportunities
  • Encouraging new ideas
  • Increasing your efficiency
  • Promoting new ways of thinking

How Change Unlocks Opportunity

An agile approach to change can unlock the most unexpected opportunities from the most unlikely places. Change can be the perfect time to mentally or physically test yourself, to explore new areas in your personal or professional life that you never considered before. For example, losing your job may be a blow at first, but it is a change nonetheless. It could be the start of a brand new career, a complete change in direction or simply the perfect moment to take some precious time out for yourself.

The Three Stages of Change

Change can be hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous in the end. The most important thing is to see through that uncertainty, anxiety and mess and to use that gorgeous ending as your guiding light. Sure, you could sit in a dark room and contemplate your fate for a while, but at some point you need to get back up and accept that this change is part of your life, and you need to turn it into something positive. People who are ready to embrace change are ready to embrace life, and will naturally attract more opportunity, more light into their lives and more happiness.

Handling Negative Change With Good Grace

Of course, your ability to work with change depends on what that change is. A positive change can be accepted with grace much more easily than a change that has a negative impact. If you have a negative change looming on the horizon, try not to fear it. Instead, seek out alternatives or strategies that will avert the change, lessen its impact or, if possible, turn it into a positive.

For example, if you are worried about your job, take control. Don’t simply wait to see what happens. Start looking for new jobs and new opportunities.

Change Reveals Your True Colors

When things are running smoothly in your life, it is easy to take everything for granted. After all, why upset the status quo if it doesn’t need to be upset? Why seek out problems that don’t exist? It is only when a major change disrupts your life that your true colors can start to shine through. Your first natural instinct may be to feel anxious and worried, or to run and hide from it completely. These are negative feelings that could actually hinder your progress in life, limit your success and destroy your happiness.

It takes a strong person to adapt to change, but everybody has that ability. You just need to find it within yourself. It is up to you to take the responsibility to deal with change. It is important to remember that your problems are your own. It might feel good to blame your boss, your parents, even the president, but ultimately you are in control of your own fate. Once you accept this, you can start to see ways to steer your life in the direction you want without anyone else’s influence.

Your Capacity to Change Holds the Key to Success and Happiness

The most important thing to remember is that change isn’t always for the worse. A new baby, an unexpected job promotion, a move to a new town or simply changing your morning coffee order — these are all positive and enlightening changes (yes, even trying a new coffee can change your morning outlook) that should be embraced. By accepting change and doing good with it, you will be better prepared for the curveballs that life throws your way from time to time.

Above all else, use change to improve your life. Your personal and professional life can change in the blink of an eye, and it can become a challenge to navigate in our fast-paced society. Learning to cope with change at your own pace, to welcome new opportunities and experiences, and to see the positive within the negative can help you to not only survive, but thrive and prosper. One of the most comfortable ways of living life is to just “go with the flow” and accept that change really is inevitable, however whether or not you choose to make progress is up to you.