Have you ever run into situations in life where you needed to switch things up? Maybe it was a relationship problem, or a new policy at your work. Were you resistant to it? If so, you are far from alone. Change can be scary, but we’ve all had to deal with it and chances are we will have to face it again. Rather than being afraid, you can learn to accept and even embrace the unknown and begin living your best life. Today we’re going to discuss some major reasons people struggle with making adjustments in life and give you some tips on learning to handle those tweaks, both big and small, you may need to make.

Maybe your dilemma comes from fear of the unfamiliar. In general, people like things that are comfortable. We are creatures of habit, and when something out of the ordinary happens, our natural reaction is to think it’s a threat. This is an instinct that can be difficult to fight, but instead of letting it overwhelm you, our first suggestion is to turn the unfamiliar into something more commonplace. How can you do that? Let’s say, for example, that the company you work for is modifying a policy that’s been in place for as long as you have been there. Or maybe you’re thinking about moving to a different city, but to do that, you would have to leave behind your family and friends. Perhaps it’s that you’ve met someone you’re starting to have feelings for, but you’re too anxious to ask them out. To get rid of those worries, you could research your situation. Look up the area you’re moving to, find other companies who have made a similar policy shift, or read up on some advice for approaching someone you like. Now your problem, which seemed so intimidating, is more manageable because you understand it better. You have taken back your power and can go in feeling prepared. 

Another way to build yourself up when attempting to make an adjustment in your life is to practice mindfulness. The negative thoughts are going to come, and when they do, acknowledge their presence. Ask yourself if the reason you’re concerned is that what you’re doing is legitimately dangerous. If it is, stop if you can and find a different solution. In most cases, it’ll be perfectly safe, and you can simply recognize your nervousness and move on.

Finally, remind yourself that even if this decision turns out to be a mistake, you can try again. If you view slipups as opportunities to learn, then even the bad outcomes have a positive side. Every action you take has the chance of going wrong, but if you refuse to take risks because of that, then you may miss out on some amazing opportunities. Living your life with too much apprehension will only drag you down. 

On the other hand, perhaps instead of adapting too little, you’re trying to make too many alterations too fast. For example, you could decide you want to be healthier and start walking for an hour every day after work. That’s great! But at the same time, you make up your mind to start doing yoga, cut sugar out of your diet, and make all your dinners at home. Or it could be that you’re in line for a promotion at work, and to show how deserving you are, you take on more work than you can handle, convincing yourself that by managing your time just a little bit better, you can get everything done. In these scenarios, you may be able to handle your new responsibilities for a few days, but eventually the stress will catch up with you and some of those extra tasks will fall by the wayside. 

It’s here that discouragement can set in. Stop that in its tracks by reminding yourself that change takes time. Expecting everything to transform in the blink of an eye will only lead to disappointment. Instead of attempting to revamp your whole lifestyle in one fell swoop, focus on one or two smaller goals that bring you closer to the larger one. Then, once you have successfully adopted those, you can come up with new ones. It may seem tedious, but by taking it slow and allowing yourself to focus on one task at a time, you’re ultimately much more likely to succeed. It’s when people try to tackle more than they can handle that they doom themselves to fail.   

In a recent episode of the Living Full Out Show about making adjustments, inspirational guest Jodi Cooley tells us about her experience living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and how she has evolved her methods over time to accomplish her goals in spite of her illness. If you would like some more tips on how to learn new habits when life challenges you, you can listen to this episode by going to livingfullout.com/radio-show/ and clicking on the episode titled “Discover How Making Adjustments Will Empower You to Live Full Out.” We believe in your ability to conquer whatever obstacles you may face. With patience and mindfulness, you can expertly reconstruct your daily routine and live full out.

Contributing Author: Ariel Zinkan