I had initially planned to write this week’s blog about something entirely different – but then life never turns out exactly as we expect! Following feedback from readers of last week’s post, I have decided to write more about the subject of change – and specifically, the kind of mindset we need to adopt in order to effect positive and lasting difference in our lives.

One of my favourite quotes is from the author Will Garcia, who writes: “The first step toward change is acceptance. Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do. Change is not something you do, it is something you allow.” I find that such an empowering concept, and it also comes as something of a relief for those of us who expect change to be effortful and exhausting.

Some people are instinctively suspicious of the idea of acceptance – they think it means resigning yourself to a bad situation, or sheer laziness in the face of a new behaviour or situation. But think of it this way for a moment: if your partner or best friend told you they were unhappy with a particular behaviour or habit of yours, had been fed up with it for ages, and wanted you to be different immediately or they’d be very unhappy, how would you feel? Would that kind of approach inspire you to change, or would you feel hurt, angry and defensive, and more likely to continue with the same behaviour?

I love this time of year - you can really feel a freshness in the air of a morning and see the leaves on the trees starting to turn. I also look forward to the nights drawing in, getting out my autumn clothes and hunkering down to a cosier existence. London is beautiful in every season, but there’s something about walking through a city park in September that fills me with excitement and optimism.

Change means different things to different people – some love the novelty and excitement, while it fills others with fear and anxiety. It’s a cliché, but the one thing that never changes in life is change. Whether we like it or not, it’s impossible to keep things as they are. The cells in our body are completely renewed every seven years, our hormones are in a constant state of flux, not to mention our moods and emotions. From one moment to the next, we are literally different people!

Whether you embrace change or find it something of a struggle is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’; but understanding your reactions can help you roll with inevitable ups and downs. If you are a ‘change junkie’ it can be worthwhile just stopping and trying to stay in the moment for a few minutes. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Now open them again. What’s going on with you right now? How do you feel?

If you have a tendency to fight change, it’s worth getting to know some of the psychology behind your resistance. There’s a great book called Changing for Good that I found really helpful in getting me through experiences that I wouldn’t have actively sought out given the choice.

The authors describe a five-part process, but in the interests of brevity, here are the three that I consider to be most significant: