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3 Ways to Accept Change Like the Navy SEALs

Change is a core part of life, but lots of people feel anxiety or even anger when things in their lives change without their approval.

Let’s break down 3 ways you can learn to accept change, just like the Navy SEALs do:


3. Recognize that Your Power is Limited

The Navy SEALs put their members under a lot of pressure. To help minimize the chances of someone buckling under that pressure, they teach new recruits that it’s foolish to worry about everything.

Instead, they teach their recruits to recognize that they have limited power and that they literally can’t change everything. To that end, it’s smarter to stop worrying or feeling anxious about things that they have no power over.

For instance, SEALs might have the ability to impact the outcome of an individual mission. But they can’t impact the decisions of the President thousands of miles away.

You can take this lesson and apply it to your own life. If things in your life are changing, it does you no good to fixate on those aspects if you can’t control them. There’s nothing you could have done, for example, to stop someone from rear-ending you at a stoplight if you were following traffic rules.

So don't worry about it and accept that the change has occurred, then take steps to react positively to it.

2. Focus Your Energy on What You Can Change

The other side of this coin is to focus all of your energy on things you actually can change.

Navy SEALs use this technique frequently. They apply all of their energy (and SEALs have a ton of physical and mental energy, as a rule) to the problems they can have a real effect on. The results are often phenomenal.

You can apply this lesson to your own life as well. For example, if you lose your job because of uncontrollable circumstances, you shouldn’t waste your time and energy lamenting your lost position.

You should instead pull yourself up by your bootstraps and put all of your energy into finding a new job, such as buffing up your resume and applying for interviews. This is a more positive way to react to change and it’ll probably help you overcome any road bumps in your life more quickly.

1. “Embrace the Suck”

Lastly, Navy SEALs are also taught to embrace pain whenever they feel it. This is necessary to some extent as SEALs will be exposed to a wide range of physical and emotional stressors that the average person doesn’t have to deal with. In fact, they have their own catchphrase referencing this attitude, “Embrace the Suck”, which refers to the way they should consciously accept or appreciate something that is extremely unpleasant but unavoidable.

However, you can also embrace pain and use it to fuel your adjustments to change in your life. Rather than allowing discomfort or pain to debilitate you, you can instead harness that pain, grit your teeth, and charge forward to a solution.

The SEALs use this to pull one of their buddies out of a tough spot in a firefight or complete exhausting training drills. You too can use the “embrace the pain” technique to do anything, from starting a new business to getting a new job, to hitting the gym and recovering from a broken relationship.

All in all, the SEALs know that change is inevitable and they can only control some of it. Take a page out of the SEALs’ book and follow the tips above to accept change and make the most of it when it eventually affects your life.

Thanks for reading,  

Justin | Author

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