Dealing With Big Life Change: How to Grow and Thrive

Career choices. Living situations. Relationships. Finances. We all work through big life change as our journey unfolds.

But let’s be honest, just because we all deal with change doesn’t make it easy. #AmIRight?

I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot recently.

I’ve considered the ups and downs of change.

I have thought about the opportunities and the challenges change presents us – often simultaneously.

I’ve experienced how easy it is to focus on the negative and overlook the silver lining that’s usually hiding amidst the chaos.

We find ourselves fighting the storm of change.

We struggle to keep things the same.

And we resist adjusting our sails and embarking on the new adventure awaiting us.

Why?

Because it’s scary. And it’s unfamiliar. And if feels unsafe.

But here’s a secret: sometimes that scary place is exactly where the best opportunities are hiding.

Here’s a secret: sometimes the scary place is exactly where the best opportunities are hiding. #WiseWords #EmbraceChange Click To Tweet

How to handle big life change

Dealing With Big Life Change: Learn to Grow and Thrive

My husband and I are staring down some big changes over the next several months, and to help us prepare for the new adventure, I reached out to some friends for advice.

Today I’m thrilled to share their pearls of wisdom with you, in hopes that their advice helps you navigate your own stormy waters when they arise.

Enjoy!

1: Practice Acceptance

Change in all aspects of life is inevitable. The first step to get through big life change is simply accepting it. While this is sometimes the most challenging step, once you accept change, you have the power to decide how you’ll face it. This can turn a challenging situation into an opportunity to make it your own… to decide how you want the change to impact your life for the better.

-Yolanda from Put the Kettle On

Once you accept change, it gives you the power to decide how you want to face it. #WiseWords #EmbraceChange Click To Tweet

2: Be Patient

Like many people, I used to hate change. I have come to understand, however, that big life change is a part of everyone’s journey. Since I now know that change will happen, whether I like it or not, I’ve found that patience helps.

Changes aren’t always quick or pretty. But by exhibiting patience, I find myself calmer and better able to take the change in stages. It’s made me more successful at accepting the end result.

-Natalie from Honestly Nat

Changes aren't always quick or pretty. But by exhibiting patience, you're calmer and can take the change in stages. #WiseWords #EmbraceChange Click To Tweet

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3: Stay Committed

When going through a big life change, you should get comfortable with pivoting when something doesn’t work. It’s equally important, however, to avoid second-guessing yourself once you make a decision. Commit to the path you decide until it’s clear that it’s not working; don’t throw in the towel before you make real progress. Shiny object syndrome is real!

-Colleen from Inspired Forward

Shiny object syndrome is real! Don't throw in the towel. #WiseWords #EmbraceChange Click To Tweet

4: Do Your Research

It can be scary to jump into the unknown! That’s why I feel much better about making a big decision if I research it as much as possible. I learn as much as I can about the topic, and I try to talk with others who’ve been there before me. By learning more about the subject, I feel more confident to take the leap!

-Andrea from Sharing My Favorites

Do your research! By learning more about the subject, you feel more confident to take the leap. #WiseWords #EmbraceChange Click To Tweet

5: Focus On the End Game

The biggest tip I have with regards to making BIG life decisions is to always ask yourself: “How does moving forward with this action align me closer to my goals?”

If the change negatively impacts your ability to achieve those big life goals, then it’s likely not worth it to move forward. Listen to your heart. When we don’t, that’s when life goes awry.

-Brandi from The Cultured Baby

Listen to your heart. When we don't, that's when life goes awry. #WiseWords #EmbraceChange Click To Tweet

6: Imagine the Worst-Case Scenario

My favorite tip for facing big life change is asking the question, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

When you play out that scenario, you’ll realize that you’re either:

  1. Already in one of those worst-case scenarios.
  2. The worst-case scenario isn’t so bad after all.

Exploring this question is quite freeing, especially because the worst-case scenario is exactly that; the WORST case. It likely won’t happen and there are brighter horizons ahead.

-Becca from With Love, Becca

The worst-case scenario is exactly that; the WORST case. It likely won’t happen and there are brighter horizons ahead. #WiseWords #EmbraceChange Click To Tweet

 

There you have it, friends. Advice from the experts for anyone working through a big life change.

If you’re looking for more advice, be sure to check out my post How to Get Through Major Life Change: 3 Simple Steps. Then, snag your free ebook all about big life change here!

Get your free workbook here!

Question:

What are your strategies for working through a big life change? What big changes have you worked through recently? Share your tips below!

66 thoughts on “Dealing With Big Life Change: How to Grow and Thrive”

  1. I am one to push hard until I get through it all, but will be overwhelmed the entire time. I am trying to learn how to pace myself and deal with big life changes better. I LOVE the post!!

  2. I love this post. Imagining the worst case scenario is my top go-to methods with myself and with clients. Often, what we imagine happening holds much more weight than what is truly happening.

  3. Changes are so scary! But taking it slow and being patient with yourself it can definitely be a good thing.

  4. I am definitely the kind of personality temperament that struggles with big changes in my life. I have also found that it’s helpful for me to make myself list out and consider some best-case scenarios and reflect on big life changes in the past that turned out to be incredible opportunities once I let myself go with the flow!

  5. I love what you said about how sometimes the scary places are where the best opportunities are. So true! And I loved all teh great quotes and tips from other people. Thanks for putting all this together!

  6. These are all great tips. I have been waiting for a change, so the be patient one really hit home for me. Change is constant and being prepared to deal with it is key.

  7. This is some really great advice. It is timely too… not for myself but for a good friend. She has just discovered that her husband got a job way up north in Whitehorse. She’s having to take some deep breaths and get mentally prepared, although it is also exciting!

  8. I’ve never been great with change, either. Focusing on the end game is a great tip that definitely helps me. Good luck with your upcoming big changes!

  9. I have to say that I’ve never really liked changes. Probably because I love to take things under control and changes can’t be controlled..most of the time! I’m working on it and yoga is my key. Have a lovely day x

    1. I hear you, Marina! I am an absolute control freak – that is one of the areas I struggle with most when it comes to change.

  10. Patience and research are the two I’m struggling with these days . My husband just retired, we sold our house and moved to a new city. It’s been such a struggle!

  11. I think it’s so important to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Accepting others for how they are and for your own circumstances is an amazing ability!

  12. Last year we had a major life change-more than one. My 9 year long career as a professional photographer pretty much came to an end, we had our sixth child, and we moved nearly 2000 miles from the Midwest to the PNW. I’m still dealing with aftershocks from the changes! I enjoyed this post!

  13. I particularly related to this quote: “Sometimes the scary place is exactly where the best opportunities are hiding.” As I get older, one of the things I feel I’m gaining is a far better long-term perspective, and some patience to go with it, which makes change a little easier and less scary to face.

  14. Change is really stressful for me. I also go through the worst case scenario in my head.

  15. Accepting the change is so hard. I have PTSD and big changes really send me into anxiety attacks. These seem like a great way to try working around it though. Thanks for the list!

  16. I am one of the rare creatures that embrace and thrive on change. I love the challenge. Since being diagnosed with a chronic illness everyday is different. I have learned to go with the flow. My wife on the other hand fights it with all she has!! She keeps me grounded when I want to make too many changes at once.

  17. These are some wonderful perspectives to consider any time you’re facing a life change. I heard the *What’s the worst thing that could happen? one for the first time about 2 years ago and I have to say – it’s pretty great for putting everything in perspective. Sometimes we can fear the worst and waste all our energy focused on fearing something that will probably never happen. But framing it this way. Dealing with it up front and moving on has been such a healthy tool for me. Thanks for another great post, Paula!

    1. Yes! I love that tip from Becca, too. It is such a great tool to put things into perspective. Thanks for reading, Lori!

    1. I love doing the research, too. In fact, sometimes I get into analysis paralysis because of too MUCH research. H!

  18. Patience is so key when adjusting to big life changes! It has taken me a year to get settled back into stationary life after traveling for a year. There are times I have gotten so frustrated, because I felt like it should have been easier to feel content back at home, but I have to remind myself that its still an adjustment and I don’t ever do well with transitions.

      1. Yes! So hard to remember, especially in the moment. I love what you said about trying to focus on the endgame. I think if I can remember to do that it helps me be more patient when things seems frustrating!

  19. Change has never been easy for me either but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to handle it much better. Thanks for these great tips!

  20. I used to think I liked change. It turns out that I really do find it stressful, I just complain differently than other people.

  21. Change is a scary thing and I must admit I’m definitely one of those people that just constantly think of everything that could go wrong!

    1. I do the same thing, Kimberly! But I love Becca’s tips to allow yourself to go there – often the worst case scenario really isn’t that bad!

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