Embracing Change – it’s worth the risk!

Embracing Change

Change can feel scary. It demands we step out of our comfort zone and into the unknown. Yet research suggests the general population craves novelty – be it new tastes, sights, sounds, and experiences, people can’t get enough of change. That’s why brands are forever designing new labels for old products or tweaking the ingredients in foods their customers already know and enjoy.

Among those who long for novelty, one demographic is far less represented, and it’s the older age bracket. Research suggests, the less time we have left to live, the more conservative we become in our tastes, and the more likely we are to choose the familiar rather than the new. That’s why we very often choose to read books by the same author instead of branching out to try the works of another. It’s why we stick with the same make of tools rather than giving a different brand a go. Because, when it all boils down, who wants to spend one moment of their precious ‘remaining time’ on something that may not be as good as what they’ve had in the past?

But hold it right there! If we take that mindset, surely we’re setting ourselves up to miss out on new experiences and products with the potential to be even more pleasurable, or more helpful, than those we’ve previously relied on. And if that’s the case, wouldn’t it be worth taking the (relatively small) risk of trying something new? After all, in most cases, we can always retreat to what we were previously familiar with should the new turn to custard.

Still not convinced? Then let us give you a couple of examples of older people who, later in life, embraced relatively small changes, and found them, not only better, but life-unchangingly so.

Alice was 79 when her son suggested she accompany him on a trip to Mexico as his 80th birthday gift to her. There was just one problem: Alice’s mobility wasn’t up to scratch, and she ‘wouldn’t be seen dead’ using a walking frame (they were  ‘old people.’) But, urged on by her son to ‘test drive one,’ she gave it a go. When she did, she found it so freeing, in terms of moving around her own streets, she became significantly fitter before leaving on the overseas adventure. And once in Mexico, the walking frame was her key to sightseeing with confidence. She still uses the walking frame around her own town, and her social life has expanded because of it.

Then there’s Richard, who at 68, was about to give up the running he’d enjoyed all his life because he suddenly found he needed to wear glasses. Their lenses were forever steaming up, to the point where tripping was a real concern, and he was losing confidence. When his optician suggested contact lenses, Richard didn’t want to because he’d once been told by his brother (who’d tried them years before) they were painful to wear. But with options running out, and with assurances from his optician that technology had changed, he bravely decided to give them a go – and the rest is history! Richard now feels so confident with contacts, he’s even signed up for his first half marathon!

Whether you’re fearful of embracing a new genre of movie, hopping onto a safe dating site, changing the colour of your wardrobe, or taking an overseas holiday as a single, stepping out into uncharted territory can bring rewards you could never have imagined. It only takes a little courage, so don’t let age be a barrier when it comes to seeking out new adventures!