Why “embracing change” is toxic

Kudos to whoever makes these catch all terms that the general public absorbs without any hesitation or thought. They are poignant, powerful, catchy, and seem like great advice.

But are they?

Take the term, “embracing change.” There isn’t anything more pushy, overbearing, or high with expectations than to tell someone to simply embrace the change. It’s so cliche and unrealistic. For example: You lost your job, embrace the change. Your mom died, embrace the change. Your health has declined, embrace the change. Your work project that you spent countless hours on flopped and you lost the promotion, embrace the change. Your marriage has failed, embrace the change.

The world always tries to come up with a four to five word, catchy phrase that solves problems, despite how complex they are. We as an audience eat them up, because they are often relatable, appear easy to apply to life, and are a fast solution to a nagging problem.

These phrases are dangerous because aside from creating false expectations, they also create negative narratives when you cannot do as they suggest. Well, why can’t I embrace the change that everyone else appears to have no issue embracing? Why am I different? Do I need to fix something about myself?

It’s no secret that if given the option for a short cut with some success, many of us will grasp at it. So much about life involves work. In a society that suffers from every ailment physically and mentally, delivering phraseology that has promises of simplicity is dangerous.

Desperation and humankind can be a disastrous mix – add immaturity, naivety, pain, fear, or any emotion on top of that, and the result can be volatile.

Enter the phrase, “embrace the change,” and you have people in a tail spin because they are not able to do it. They cannot mold their dynamics and person into someone who takes a phrase and moves mountains with it.

There are people out there who are capable of embracing change, but to assume that it was as easy as reading and applying that statement, is misguided thinking. When someone tells you to embrace the change, don’t have a knee jerk reaction that agrees and immediately tries to apply change.

Take time to embrace any change in your life. If it’s a sad change, process it at your own speed and with your own methods. Mourn change that needs to be mourned. Celebrate change that shows personal growth – which is not something that happens over night.

If embracing change worked for you, remember to pass along more than just the phrase – attach your journey to it so people can see and understand that no four to five word sentence has the power to change your life and mindset, just by reading them.

And if embracing change isn’t something you want to do, then that is your decision. You don’t have to accept all change as a new way of life. Some change is bad, toxic, cancerous, and destructive. Be wary about life changes that derive from phrases meant to rush along decision making. But watch out, because the phrase “all in good time” is creepily waiting behind the next corner, hoping to catch you with your guard down from the last failed phrase advice.

After all, YOLO.