20 Quotes to Help You Embrace Change & Uncertainty

As you walk through life, you come to realize that change is inevitable. Our emotions change. Our thoughts about ourselves and others change. Our bodies change. Our desires change. We change jobs. We move. We fall in love. We fall out of love. We want something really bad one day and couldn’t care less about it the next. Our minds, physical bodies and external worlds are constantly in flux and yet we all try so desperately to cling to certainty. We want to hold onto good feelings and eliminate bad ones. We love to go up, but hate to come down. And on and on it goes.

Living with change and uncertainty is difficult. Human beings crave information about the future. We want to know what tomorrow looks like, what the outcome of taking a certain path is and exactly what our life will look like in five years. It is no surprise, then, that there are hundreds of industries who try to fill in the blanks for us and prevent change. Instead of embracing the change inherent in our lives, we spend hundreds of dollars on anti-aging products and obsessively read our horoscope for a glimpse of manufactured certainty. We anxiously google the answer to our questions to find someone on reddit who “confirms” what we believe might be true.

But most of the time, and arguably always, if we worked as hard at accepting change as we do to prevent it, our efforts would likely bear a sweeter fruit. Although our brains might be rigged to resist change and uncertainty, we can never really know what tomorrow holds. Or next week. Or even the next moment. If we can truly learn to see the beauty in change, we would not spend so much energy fighting that which is inevitable. That same energy could be channeled towards learning how to go with the flow and embracing the new scenery that appears in front of us in every moment. “When we resist change, it’s called suffering,” wrote Pema Chödrön, a beloved Buddhist teacher and author. “But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into it’s dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment.”

Here are 20 more quotes to help you navigate and embrace uncertainty and change:

Our only security is our ability to change.

– John Lilly

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.”

-Deepak Chopra

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

-John F. Kennedy

“Nothing is permanent but change.”

– Elbert Hubbard

“The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”

– Kakuzo Okakaura

“A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.”

– Chinese Proverb

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.”

– Jack Dixon

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy. For what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves. We must die to one life before we can enter another.”

– Anatole France

“Life is change.”


“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.”

– Chinese Proverb

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.”

– Pema Chödrön

“We wait for things to be different in order to feel okay with life. As long as we keep attaching our happiness to the external events of our lives, which are ever changing, we’ll always be left waiting for it.” 

-Tara Brach

“Only when you can be extremely pliable and soft can you be extremely hard and strong.”

 Zen Proverb

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

– Alan Watts

“Nothing is wrong—whatever is happening is just “real life.” 

– Tara Brach

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”

-Henri Bergson

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them — that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

-Lao Tzu

“It’s not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.”

-Miles Davis

“We are uncomfortable because everything in our life keeps changing — our inner moods, our bodies, our work, the people we love, the world we live in. We can’t hold on to anything — a beautiful sunset, a sweet taste, an intimate moment with a lover, our very existence as the body/mind we call self — because all things come and go. Lacking any permanent satisfaction, we continuously need another injection of fuel, stimulation, reassurance from loved ones, medicine, exercise, and meditation. We are continually driven to become something more, to experience something else.” 

– Tara Brach

“Time may change me, but I can’t trace time.”

-David Bowie

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