Change and Growth

September 13, 2023

Originally Posted on the Healthy Heels Blog | August 22, 2023

The Science Behind the Struggle

Change is inevitable, but can still be daunting. The comfort of routine, familiarity, and the known creates a safety net, which can make stepping into the unknown feel overwhelming.

Our brains are wired to seek safety and predictability. Change disrupts this ease, and our bodies can react to that shift as a potential threat. This emotional and physiological reaction can lead to resistance and discomfort.

While change can be challenging, it can also be an opportunity for growth and transformation. Here are some strategies to make adjusting to the changes of fall semester a bit easier:

Understand the “Why”

We all came to campus for a reason – what is yours? When you grasp the purpose and benefits of your program, you’re more likely to embrace it.

Embrace Flexibility

Setbacks are a natural part of change. Be kind to yourself when you encounter a hurdle and keep moving forward.

Visualize the Outcome

Imagine the positive outcomes that being here will bring. Focusing on the end goal can provide motivation when times are challenging.

Celebrate Progress

Notice the tiny achievements you make each day. Celebrating milestones boosts your sense of accomplishment.

Practice Self-Compassion

Be patient with yourself and treat yourself with the same kindness you’d extend to a good friend.

Seek Support

Lean on friends, family, or mentors for guidance and encouragement. Sharing your journey makes it less isolating. If it’s on your mind, it’s worth talking about. Find an array of peer support and professional mental health resources on the resource hub.

Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Embrace the idea that challenges and change are opportunities for learning and development. You might not know something…yet. But with time, practice and curiosity, the possibilities are endless.

With these strategies in mind, you can navigate this change with grace. Embrace this semester as a chance to grow, evolve, and create a brighter future for yourself. See you out there, Tar Heels!

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