How To Deal With Big Life Changes

How To Deal With Big Life Changes

Let’s start with an oldie but goodie – “the only thing constant in life is change”. In spite of how often change is encountered in life, many of us are hesitant to plunge right in. Although, who can blame us? Change is hard enough as it is, and actively choosing to change is even more challenging. Any big change that dramatically affects your life brings a lot of uncertainty and stress, but it could also bring great opportunities. The trick is to recognise whether or not it’s right for you.

Over the last 5 years, I’ve encountered a number of big life changes. I’ve switched careers, moved to a new city and broke into a new industry. Sometimes the change was circumstantial, other times it was self-inflicted. The question was always ‘Do I really want to put myself through this?’. Through the process, I found 6 activities that helped cut through the confusion and uncertainty. The next time you’re facing the dilemma of ‘to change or not to change’, try these 6 activities to help you make that decision.

Be positive and receive the change with an open mind
First and foremost, when confronted with a big change, it’s so important to be positive and receive it with an open mind. Every big change is initially scary and daunting, making it easy to get frustrated and start listing everything that could go wrong or how it affects you negatively. While challenging, viewing change with a positive mind-set helps you adjust to the unexpected circumstances life brings.

Assess if this change was right for you right now
Change is a funny thing as the timing can dramatically affect whether or not it works for you. We’ve all had to pass up opportunities because they just weren’t presented to us at the right time. So ask yourself if this new change works with where you currently are in your life and what you want to achieve in the short and long term. The worst thing would be to change for the sake of changing, and not because it was the best move for you.

Weigh up the pros and cons
Get out that pen and paper and start listing down everything you can think of. Change is always scary so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons. Be brutally honest with yourself – what would this change really mean, how would it affect the different aspects of your life, your family, relationships, career? It’s not always so black and white, and you’ll find you place more importance on some things over others. Listen to your gut.

Consult your support network
With any major decision, one of the best things you can do is consult your support system – your family, friends and colleagues. Talking through your thought process helps solidify your ideas and identify any areas you may have overlooked. It’s normal that not everyone is supportive of the change, but the more you talk about it, the more clarity and confidence you will gain to make your decision.

Come up with a solid game plan
Major changes always involve taking some calculated risks so make sure you’ve covered all your bases. Use your list of pros and cons to help identify what the risks are and lean on your support network to help you find ways to mitigate the risks. For example, if you’re thinking about quitting your job to work in a start-up but are afraid that it will be unsuccessful, do what you can to keep your relationship with your ex-colleagues open so that you’ll have something to fall back on.

Be at peace with the consequences
Finally, the most important part of embarking on any big change is being able to make the decision and live with the consequences. If you’re taking that leap of faith and embarking on the great change, you have to be okay that it might not work out. Or if you choose otherwise, you have to accept that you might regret it later on in life. As with everything in life, there are things we just can’t prepare for.


At the end of the day, remember that life is short. Change is inevitable so embrace it, think positively and see it for the fantastic opportunities it could bring! Whether it’s changing jobs, friends moving away or a new boss at work, big life changes often gives us great moments of self-development and new perspectives. It’s up to us what we make of it when it comes.

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