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The Ability To Accept Change When Life Gets Difficult

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Develop the ability to accept change when life gets difficult and discover how embracing challenges can lead to strength and personal growth.


Having the ability to accept change in the face of life’s difficulties involves developing a mindset that embraces challenges, and understands that it’s an integral part of personal development, maturity, and life.

When we hone this skill of navigating uncertainties, not only do we build resilience but we also undergo personal growth and gain a deeper understanding of our capabilities.

Life is never static, it is an ever-evolving journey characterized by the inevitability of constant changes. From subtle shifts that happen in our daily lives to major life-altering events, change is a constant force that shapes our experiences and our lives.

Understanding Change

There are various definitions and forms of the word “change.” Merriam-Webster defines change as a transitive verb, an intransitive verb, and a noun (1).

Change as a transitive verb is defined as
NOTE: A transitive verb is a verb that requires an object to receive the action (2).

  • To make radically different.
  • To make a shift from one to another.
  • To undergo a modification

Change as an intransitive verb is defined as
NOTE: An intransitive verb does not take an object (3).

  • To become different
  • To undergo transformation, transition, or substitution
  • To exchange or switch

Change as a noun is defined as

  • The act, process, or result of changing: such as
  • Alteration – a change in the weather
  • Transformation – going through changes
  • Substitution – a change of scenery

In the broadest sense, change refers to the process of becoming different over time. It encompasses a wide array of transformations, both subtle and significant, that occur in various aspects of life.

Change can occur in the form of external events, like a career change, accident, or a new medical diagnosis, or as an internal shift such as a changing perspective or emotional transformation.

Whether the change is gradual or abrupt, expected or unforeseen, changes are a fact of life and they are an integral part of human life.


The Impact Of Change On Individuals

When faced with change, we often are forced to step out of our comfort zone. The new situation may be frightening and push us into new territory. It is a part of life that requires us to embrace new challenges and approach things with an open mind.

Although change may feel daunting, having the ability to accept change also opens the door to new opportunities and challenges which contributes to personal growth.

We must acknowledge the emotional rollercoaster change often brings, a natural response when undergoing significant transitions.

Resisting Change: My Struggle To Embrace The Unknown

Going through difficult circumstances greatly disrupts an individual’s emotional and mental well-being. When we are faced with adversity, stress, anxiety, and a sense of vulnerability get heightened.

When Doug was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it seemed my whole world went dark. The heaviness and shock took over my body.

We just finished dealing with cancer. Doug was diagnosed with cancer less than two years before his Parkinson’s diagnosis, so we had spent the last two years working to get him into remission.

I barely had time to catch my breath, nor did Doug, and it felt like I was being pushed back into the caregiver role, versus that of a wife. Tired, I frankly just wanted to be cared for myself.

I desperately wanted a break from the caregiver role, or at least time to regroup. Because of life circumstances, I was exhausted, scared, and vulnerable even before addressing Doug’s health issues.

So I resisted. I got angry, bitter, emotional, and frustrated. All of these emotions came pouring out of me, and I felt like a child who was having a tantrum. Truthfully I resisted so hard that I wanted to run away. Not my proudest moment, and I definitely at the time did not have the ability to accept change.

The fear of the unknown can drive us to act inappropriately, and the compulsion to control life’s circumstances can exacerbate this behavior. Some research even suggests feeling the need to control, perceived control, is biologically necessary for survival (4).

Life’s challenges can bring about many negative emotions, from frustration and fear to sadness and uncertainty. These difficult situations have the potential to shape our outlook on life, influencing our self-perception and our ability to cope.


From Resistance To Acceptance

The heaviness of my circumstances and the fear of the unknown made me extremely resistant. It felt like I was fighting an invisible force, and the more I resisted, the more turbulent my emotions became.

This emotional battle was exhausting. Gradually I discovered that acceptance was not a sign of weakness but a testament to my inner strength.

Shifting my mindset was not easy but necessary for my well-being. It required a profound mental adjustment and a conscious decision to embrace the inevitable.

Acceptance doesn’t happen overnight, and the same was true for me. It was a gradual process of letting go of control and then opening myself up to new possibilities.

It required me to reframe my perspective and acknowledge that change was a natural part of life. This mental shift helped pave the way for a more positive outlook on life, and a greater sense of inner peace.

The Ability To Accept Change: Building Resilience and Maturity

Embracing significant changes and navigating life’s ups and downs with grace is a testament to both resilience and maturity.

It demonstrates an ability to face challenges head-on, adapt to shifting circumstances, and find strength in the face of adversity.

Resilience is not merely about bouncing back from a setback or tough times but it is also about the capacity to grow and thrive despite uncertain times in life.

Mature individuals understand that change is inevitable and they view it as an opportunity for personal development rather than a threat.

Developing the skill of accepting a changing environment demonstrates a level of emotional intelligence and wisdom. Recognizing that the ability to adapt is not a sign of weakness but a sign of inner strength, and a well-rounded approach to life.


4 Signs You May Be Struggling With Change

Change is never easy but here are 4 signs you may be struggling to address changes happening in your life.

  1. Overwhelm: Feeling overwhelmed by new circumstances in your life may indicate you are perhaps struggling to make the changes needed.
  2. Reluctant: Difficulty embracing new ways or new ideas may suggest resistance or reluctance to change.
  3. Negativity: Experiencing negative emotions like anger, frustration, or fear could signal a struggle with current changes.
  4. Pessimistic: Having a tough time finding the positive aspects amidst change may indicate you are having a hard time accepting the changes.

Top 10 Strategies For Accepting Change

Accepting change can be challenging but incorporating certain strategies into your mindset and daily practice can help ease the process.

Here are 10 top strategies for embracing change.

1. Acknowledge

Acknowledging the need for change is the first step toward accepting it.

The ability to step out of your comfort zone and recognize that change is a natural part of life is the first step toward adapting to new situations.

2. Cultivate Self-Compassion

Change can make you feel scared, small, and inadequate. It can bring on a whole host of emotions.

Try not to get too self-critical but rather embrace self-compassion. learn to treat yourself with kindness and understanding.

During challenging times, when you do not feel like you are at your best, be gentle with yourself and remind yourself that it is okay to feel unsettled and uncertain.

3. Focus on What You Can Control

While some aspects of change may be beyond your control, focus on the things you can control.

Find things that you can take small action on, small steps toward the new circumstances.

Taking proactive steps, rather than just sitting behind, will help you feel a sense of empowerment, and less like a victim.

4. Reframe Your Perspective

Instead of viewing change as scary and a threat, try to reframe it as an opportunity for growth and learning.

Look at past experiences where change led to positive outcomes or development, and let that be your guide.

View change as an adventure that will open you up to new possibilities and experiences.

5. Practice Flexibility

Change often requires us to be flexible and adaptable. Try to let go of rigid plans and expectations, and aim to embrace the uncertainty of the unknown.

Change is a natural part of life, something that none of us can avoid. When we can remain flexible, it helps us go with the flow and adapt to life’s fluctuations and transitions.


6. Celebrate Progress

Acknowledge and celebrate the progress you’ve made, no matter how big or small it may seem. Be proud of your resilience and your ability to get through challenging times.

Celebrating the little wins and small changes along the way can boost our self-confidence and motivate us to continue moving forward.

7. Stay Present

Focus on the present moment instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Practice gratitude for the things you have, right here and now, and find joy in the simple pleasures.

When we stay present, we gain a sense of peace and contentment even during life’s most challenging moments.

8. Find the Humor

Although there is nothing funny about dramatically changing events in our lives, having a sense of humor, and finding things somewhat humorous when life pulls us down can be a healthy way to cope.

Research shows that laughter promotes physiological changes in our bodies which bring about an overall sense of well-being. Humor strengthens the immune system and is a natural healing component for those trying to cope with stress (5).

9. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves staying present in the moment, without judgment, versus fretting about the past or future.

Taking time out of the day to practice mindfulness – such as prayer, meditation, or deep breathing – helps us stay focused on the present.

When we are faced with change, practicing mindfulness helps us maintain a slight distance between our thoughts and emotions.

10. Seek Support

During times of change, it is important to reach out for support. Be it with friends, family members, or a professional who can offer you empathy, encouragement, and guidance.

Sharing our thoughts and feelings with others can help us feel less alone and isolated, and provide us with valuable perspective.

Embracing change is a process that takes time and practice. By incorporating these strategies into our lives, we gain resilience, adaptability, and a greater sense of inner peace when faced with life’s inevitable transitions.

Change may be difficult but it is also an opportunity for growth, renewal, and transformation.

Finding New Opportunities In Change

Change offers a chance to acquire new skills, new experiences, and new ways of navigating the world. It presents new challenges that, once embraced, can lead to positive change and personal growth.

The main reason behind this lies in the opportunity for learning, adapting, and expanding one’s skill set. Every new project or opportunity brought forth by change serves as a stepping stone toward a positive impact on one’s life journey.

Professionally, change opens doors to new roles, new employees, and new technologies, shaping a positive development in one’s professional life.

Personally, change encourages us to step out of our comfort zone and embrace the unknown, leading to a positive outlook and positive change.

Change is not just about the fear of the unknown but also a gateway to redefining ourselves and our journeys. Embracing these new opportunities and positive aspects is the key to thriving in times of change.

Building Your Support System When Developing Your Ability To Accept Change

The support and encouragement of loved ones can be helpful during challenging times with their offerings of strength and reassurance.

Although it wasn’t easy to open up at first, when I did, I discovered that sharing my anxieties and triumphs with those who genuinely cared for me was a source of tremendous comfort and stability.

My friends and family’s experience and perspective helped me to discover new insights and gave me the courage to face the unknown.

The mutual respect and empathy that a support system provides, brings about a sense of belonging and purpose and it reinforces the belief that we are not alone.

The encouraging and supportive words from my support circle and the practical advice they gave me contributed significantly to helping me find peace amidst changes in my life.

The important thing is to nurture and cherish the loving relationships in our lives, an essential element in embracing life’s shifts and finding our equilibrium in the face of change and uncertainty.


Having Patience During The Process Of Change

Patience is a must when we are in the process of change. It is important to recognize that adjustments take time, and progress may not always be immediately evident.

The ability to accept change and adapt to new circumstances is a journey, not a race. Having the patience to navigate through uncertainty and discomfort is part of the process and it helps us develop resilience and the capacity to embrace life’s changes.

Change often requires a period of transition, during which the mind and heart need time to catch up with the new reality.

It is normal to feel initially unsettled, so giving us time to adapt to change is the best gift we could give ourselves.

Thriving And Moving Forward After Change

Change can provide us with new opportunities and allow us to develop new skills. It helps us gain new perspectives and experience growth.

Initially, change may evoke fear of the unknown but it can also bring the promise of positive change and new experiences.

When we develop the ability to accept change and stay open to new ideas and perspectives, we position ourselves to find peace and purpose despite change. This readiness to adapt and learn helps us grow and thrive along life’s journey.

As we navigate through the enumerable changes in life, with a positive outlook and a strong support system, we become more ready to embrace the new experiences, and challenges, that life has to bring.

Each change in life offers us a chance to become better, more adaptable, and ready to thrive and move forward into new experiences on the horizon.

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Let’s Connect

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you found it helpful, please consider sharing it with friends and family.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. How do you go about accepting the changes that happen in your life? I would love to hear from you.


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/change
  2. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/grammar/verbs#s-lg-box-2825916
  3. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/grammar/verbs#s-lg-box-2825917
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2944661/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10116744/

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