40 Inspirational (and Five Funny!) Quotes to Help Manage Change

Kristen McCabe
Kristen McCabe  |  May 17, 2018

Change is never easy. Yes, it sounds cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Sometimes, it feels like the only comfort we can take when facing change is knowing that we’re not alone – it’s not easy for anyone!

Whether it’s work or home, the familiar gives us peace. We know what we’re doing, and how to do it. We know what to expect – there are no nasty surprises waiting around the bend. 

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I’ve worked at offices where I had to change desks twice, and to say I was “less than thrilled” is an understatement. I had put so much thought and effort into personalizing my space, and making it “me,” I didn’t want to lose that special flair which felt all my own.

However, the thing we have to remember is that the change is actually what makes us who we are. This page is full of quotes to get you through the periods of change, whether it is at work or at home, but here’s one of my favorites, by Karen Salmansohn, to get you started:

“What if I told you 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same? Doubt you'd be happy. So, why are you afraid of change?”

You know the potential you hold, and what you are capable of doing in life. (Despite many, many setbacks, I have no doubt!) I know it for myself too. And, while I want to be uplifting, we know the truth: Growing into that person can really suck.

Maybe you have a decision to make that involves change: Do you want to take that new job offer? Do you want to pursue that promotion? Are you ready to start your own business?

Maybe it’s something out of your hands: Does your company want to relocate you? Do you have a new boss? Has your company been sold?

Maybe you’ve been laid off, or you want to move. Maybe you’re not even sure what the change is, but you know you things can’t stay the same, and you’re struggling to face up to what that change might be.

Whatever it is, take heart. Chances are, every person you look up to, including those at your own company, has been through that sucky time of uncertainty too. (Ok, yes. I do listen to Broadway musicals. But I swear it’s true.)

Persistent optimism in times of change is not easy. But, if it was easy, everyone would do it. And if everyone is doing something, it probably doesn’t require too much leadership or integrity. (Um, hello, just look at the internet for a measly 10 minutes.)

So here are the quotes and inspiration to keep you strong during times of uncertainty in your life.

And, if nothing else, remember one of the simplest quotes around, and remember:

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 1. “Change is the end result of all true learning.” ― Leo Buscaglia

2. “Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.” ― Thomas L. Friedman

3. “I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better.” ― Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

4. “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good.” ― Elizabeth Edwards

5. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” ― Winston S. Churchill

6. “When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can't make them change if they don't want to, just like when they do want to, you can't stop them.” ― Andy Warhol

7. “Bending beats breaking.” ― Betty Greene

9. "A bend in the road is not the end of the road...unless you fail to make the turn." – Helen Keller

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10. "You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. By refusing to think, refusing to change.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin

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

12. “The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” ― C. JoyBell C.

13. “Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and best at the end.” ― Robin S. Sharma

14. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller

15. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ― Mother Teresa

16. “In every change, in every falling leaf there is some pain, some beauty. And that's the way new leaves grow.” ― Amit Ray

17. “It's not that some people have willpower and some don't... It's that some people are ready to change and others are not.” ― James Gordon

18. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi

19. “Change, like healing, takes time.” ― Veronica Roth

20. “Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

21. “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw

22. “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

23. “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” ― Sophocles

24. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” ― Brené Brown

25. “Don't be too quick to draw conclusions from what happens to you; simply let it happen. Otherwise it will be too easy for you to look with blame... at your past, which naturally has a share with everything that now meets you.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke

26. “When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.” ― Dean Jackson

27. “Change almost never fails because it's too early. It almost always fails because it's too late.” ― Seth Godin

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

29. “I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.” – Albert Einstein

30. “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” ― John E. Lewis

31. “Don't waste your energy trying to change opinions ... Do your thing, and don't care if they like it.” ― Tina Fey

32. "He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery." – Harold Wilson

 

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33. “Learn to adapt. Things change, circumstances change. Adjust yourself and your efforts to what it is presented to you so you can respond accordingly. Never see change as a threat, because it can be an opportunity to learn, to grow, evolve and become a better person.” ― Rodolfo Costa

34. “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” ― Tony Robbins

35. “Things do not grow better; they remain as they are. It is we who grow better, by the changes we make in ourselves.” ― Swami Vivekananda

36. “The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar... Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen.” ― Aldous Huxley

37. “You can’t change the past. You can’t even change the future, in the sense that you can only change the present one moment at a time, stubbornly, until the future unwinds itself into the stories of our lives.” ― Larry Wall

38. “As you change your point of view, your views bring about a change in you.” ― George Alexiou

39. “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis

40. “We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. Without them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence. ” ― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

And just for fun...

And, because no one should take themselves too seriously, here are a few fun quotes to bring you a smile or two in spite of all that change!

1. “Change is not a four letter word...but often your reaction to it is!” ― Jeffrey Gitomer

2. “Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.” ― Robert C. Gallagher

3. “We are no longer the knights who say Ni! We are now the knights who say ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!” ― Graham Chapman, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

4. “Then he asked if I didn’t like things changing. And I said I wouldn’t mind things changing if I became an astronaut, for example, which is one of the biggest changes you can imagine, apart from becoming a girl or dying.” ― Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

5. “Life is like underwear. Change is good.”

Is your company facing change?

Whether you are the one driving change or dealing with it, change affects your company culture. Learn how to deal with it in our article Maintaining Company Culture Despite Growth.

Or, if you're looking for some more inspiration to assist in work and life, check out my 100 favorite happiness quotes (with 10 bonus funny quotes, of course!) or the 12 tips on how to be happy at work. 

Kristen McCabe
Author

Kristen McCabe

Kristen is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist who loves writing and sharing stories about top-notch marketing. When she isn’t writing, Kristen is all about performing or anything related to her dog, Bella, who may or may not have a whole bunch of virtual doggy friendships on Instagram.