45+ Quotes to Help You Make Peace with—and Take Charge of—Change
Reeling from change? Or ready to make some changes in your life? These wise words from authors just might give you the comfort or boost you need.
October 29, 2021
"The only constant in life is change," the Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously observed in the late 6th century BCE. Dealing with change is nothing new; it comes with the territory of being human. Yet, in the midst of 21st-century upheavals and uncertainties, change can sometimes feel overwhelming.
Fortunately, Heraclitus isn't the only deep thinker who had something memorable to say on the subject. Below are 45 quotes about change from a diversity of authors. Their words reflect the nature of change and the swirl of feelings surrounding it—from fear to exhilaration. In this collection, you'll find gentle reminders that change will keep happening and reassurance that you can handle it. As these quotes also convey, when you face it and embrace it with a positive mindset, change can enrich your life in unexpected ways.
Quotes on the Nature of Change
No, you can't escape change. But these quotes may help you better understand its character and its force.
Quotes on the Fear of Change
Think change is scary? As these quotes drive home, you're not alone. And feeling less alone might help you feel less afraid and better able to handle whatever change throws your way.
13. "When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back." -Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym
16. "You can’t save others from themselves because those who make a perpetual muddle of their lives don’t appreciate your interfering with the drama they’ve created. They want your poor-sweet-baby sympathy, but they don’t want to change." -Sue Grafton, T Is for Trespass
Quotes on Making Change Happen
Just because you can't avoid change doesn't mean you have to be at its mercy. As these quotes reinforce, you can take charge of change—if you're willing to do the work.
20. "Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way." -Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere
21. "They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world... I think that’s crap. I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing." -Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes
27. "Today I am in control because I want to be. I have my fingers on the switch, but have lived a lifetime ignoring the control I have over my own world. Today is different." -A. S. King, Please Ignore Vera Dietz
Quotes on Changing Your Outlook
Sometimes, you can't change where you are or what happened. But as these quotes make clear, you can always change your perspective. And seeing things differently might be exactly the change you need.
28. "Believe something and the Universe is on its way to being changed. Because you've changed, by believing. Once you've changed, other things start to follow. Isn't that the way it works?" -Diane Duane, So You Want to Be a Wizard
31. "There are times in our lives when we have to realize our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it, and by doing that, we can change the future." -Eleanor Brown, The Weird Sisters
34. "Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It’s the quickest, easiest, most powerful way to effect change in your life—this I know for sure." -Oprah Winfrey, What I Know for Sure
35. "It is not possible to control the outside of yourself until you have mastered your breathing space. It is not possible to change anything until you understand the substance you wish to change." -Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Quotes on Embracing Change
Change can be a wonderful thing! These quotes capture a bit of change's magical qualities. May they inspire you to seize opportunities to change yourself for the better—and to constantly see the best in change.
38. "The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket." -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
39. "Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving." -Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky