Embracing Change

There’s been a lot of change going on in my life. Between starting a web development boot camp, and more recently starting a new job I’ve been provided with an interesting array of challenges. It’s certainly been a scary, intimidating experience, and it got me thinking about dealing with change as someone who struggles with anxiety.

Change is something that’s unavoidable in our lives. Whether it’s good or bad change sometimes isn’t clear at first, but change can be a positive experience. That is something that’s easily forgotten, especially by those of us with anxiety disorders. Making or accepting change is stepping into the unknown, and not knowing what to expect is at the very least an uncomfortable experience for most people. For anxiety sufferers even the best of changes can be absolutely terrifying!

There are two types of change; change brought about by the world around us, and the changes we make in our own lives. The former is beyond our control, from huge changes to everyday life brought about by a glabal pandemic, all the way down to smaller personal changes like losing a job. What I really want to talk about though is the latter, which is mostly within our control, and influenced by our own choices and actions.

When it comes to bringing about change in our own lives comfort can be a dangerous feeling. I don’t mean comfort like “ooh this bed is cozy”, or even just general contentment. What I mean here is comfort as in not allowing yourself to take steps to make things better because change is uncomfortable. It sounds counter-intuitive, and it absolutely is. But when we’re used to the status quo and anxious about disrupting it it’s so much easier, and less scary than shaking things up in the hope the change will lead to something better.

The turning point for me was when my last relationship ended. This is something I’ve written about before so I won’t get into too much detail here, but the relevant bit of information here is that I stuck with the relationship because I was comfortable. I think deep down I knew it wasn’t what I wanted, but I was scared. Scared of having to get close to someone new, scared of whether I’d even be able to meet someone. Three years ago she took the step I was too scared to take, and I was brought kicking and screaming into a new chapter of my life.

But something inside of me got a wakeup call. I realized all the time I’d wasted feeling too scared to change. I was still stuck in a job I hated and was making me miserable, so I decided to proactively make a change. I found a new job, and yeah it was scary to make that change but it was also exciting because for the first time in my life I was making a change not because I had to, but because I wanted to.

Change isn’t always going to work out for the best, but more often than not it’s better than standing still. You have to be willing to change and keep changing if you’re not happy with how things are going. It’s not always easy, I’ve had plenty of setbacks myself, but here I am still making changes. Maybe these changes won’t be good, or maybe they’ll be the best things that ever happened to me, but that’s the beauty of embracing the unknown and accepting the discomfort that comes with it.

2 thoughts on “Embracing Change

  1. Change, wow that’s a word that always scares me. I am trying to make positive changes in my life right now. It’s really hard because of my anxiety, but I am slowly doing it. Baby steps. 🙂 Very good post.

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