Embrace Change to Build Self-Esteem

July 29, 2020 Jessica Kaley

Learning to embrace change will build stronger self-esteem. Instead of spending energy trying to keep things from changing, I have learned to focus on adapting to change for a healthier self-esteem. To do this, I rely on routines and regular prioritization of my needs.

There is a value in creating repeatable routines. They add structure to life and help you take care of yourself and your responsibilities in the most efficient and stress-free way. I thrive on routine, but I have learned it is possible to also thrive during a period of change.

I do this by checking in on my priorities as one of my routine activities. I look at my life as if I'm in charge of triage in an emergency room. I always deal with critical issues first. Deciding if anything is currently critical is a process that repeats so often it almost seems continuous. Here's how I used this skillset this past week to embrace change and keep my self-esteem from plummeting.

How to Embrace Change for Healthy Self-Esteem

  1. Reprioritize regularly -- I have a set of life goals that give me direction, but things will happen that can throw me off track. When one of my kittens developed a digestive issue, I had to drop my regular routines to devote all my time and energy on nursing duties and repeated house sanitization. I've learned that it's okay to stray from my routines when there are pressing priorities that threaten health and safety, which are always primary goals. I allowed myself to skip the gym and to order takeout more often than usual. Check in with your priorities regularly and embrace change when it makes sense in the current situation.
  2. Attitude is everything -- About a year ago, I dropped my life-long goal of losing weight as a measure of my health and replaced it with functional fitness goals. It was a major attitude change because trying to lose weight made me feel like a failure. This helped me today when I saw the photos from my daughter's wedding. I was so surprised that I was fat. I don't think of myself that way anymore. It's true that I'm obese, but it's become less important and not a factor of my self-worth. Instead of falling into depression, I enjoyed reliving the memories and felt great because I love my new hair color and how my eyes sparkle and that I was able to do all the walking the large outdoor venue required. Think about how your goals make you feel. Create an attitude that supports self-love rather than one that makes you punish yourself. This will help you adapt to surprises in a positive manner.
  3. Control what you can -- You can't control everything, but you can control how you react to change. My recent depression caused by lockdown loneliness lifted when things seemed to be better enough to plan a weekend visit from an old friend. Then the news changed, and virus numbers started spiking again. This made me uncomfortable and I was torn between wanting company and wanting to be prudent. We had a great discussion and decided to cancel the visit for now. When you are honest with yourself and your loved ones about your needs and desires, your goals and priorities, things are more likely to change in a way that is best for you. Conversely, if you hide your true feelings, you relinquish any control over getting an outcome that pleases you. There's almost always a choice you can make to help you manage change. It's often about being honest, letting go of expectations, and adjusting your attitude because that's what we have the most control over.

Start Embracing Change to Build Self-Esteem

My self-esteem grew when I stopped fearing change and accepted it as a fact of life. You can allow yourself to feel momentary regret, anger, or disappointment, but don't spend too much time on it. Focus on keeping yourself safe and healthy, and then on how to keep yourself on your chosen course as much as possible. This is easiest to do when you have your goals and priorities in order and understand that change is inevitable. You become a surfer on the waves of change that buffet you every which way without ever spilling you off your board. When you embrace change as an inevitability, you will build stronger self-esteem. You can let go of fearing the possibilities of a new situation because you know that too will only be a temporary state.

What changes have you gone through that were difficult to accept? How can you make yourself readier for change right now? Share your stories in the comments and we will all grow strong together.

APA Reference
Kaley, J. (2020, July 29). Embrace Change to Build Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 15 from

Author: Jessica Kaley

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