Personal Growth

15 Things That You Cannot Change However Hard You Try

woman writing let go on glass

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you. I only ever recommend products and services that I love and that I think you will love too.

Sharing is caring!

Yup, I’m afraid you heard me correctly.  There are some things in life that you simply cannot change however hard you might try.

There is definite wisdom to be found in the famous Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Although I’m not religious, I can definitely see the sense in what the prayer is saying.

Now, here at The Little Blog Of Positivity, you know that I’m all for encouraging you to set those goals and go for them.

Aim high, there is so much that you CAN do.

The trick is to realise what is within your control and what isn’t.  Personally, I’ve spent a lot of wasted time and effort in my life trying to change things that really I don’t have any influence over.

15 things that you cannot change no matter how hard you try

To save you the same waste of time and effort, I’ve pulled together this helpful list of 15 things you cannot change however hard you try.  I hope you will find it useful.  Let me know if you have anything else that I’ve missed!

[tweetshare tweet=”If you can’t change it…change the way you think about it – Mary Engelbreit” username=”alisonw30″]

1.  Not Everyone Will Be Pleased With You

Trying hard to make everyone happy can be exhausting.  Pleasing person X in one part of your life, for example, could have an impact on the time you spend with person Y, which makes them less pleased.

Ultimately, what does it matter?  Everyone is different and I doubt you can read minds so how do you know what will please others anyway?

So, let it go!

Related Post:  11 Big Things I Stopped Caring About

2.  Someone Else’s Behaviour

People can be unpredictable.  Stuff happens in everyone’s lives that might make us behave in a seemingly irrational or selfish way.

If someone else is behaving in a way you don’t like, yes you can try and influence them but ultimately you cannot control whether they change anything.  What you CAN control are your reactions and behaviour.

Take a few deep breaths before reacting.  Walk away if necessary.  Once you are calmer, consider your best reaction.

lamp post with sign saying 'dude breathe'

Photo by Kyndall Ramirez on Unsplash

3.  Someone’s Thoughts

Equally, you can’t control what someone else is thinking.

Again you can try and persuade them to your way of thinking or influence them.  This might even have some level of success but ultimately the person’s thoughts are their own.

If talking to them doesn’t change their mind, you have to accept that and move on.

4.  The Past

Worrying about things that happened in the past is futile.  Yesterday has gone and you can’t bring it back.  Yes, you can learn from things that happened.  Learning is part of life, it helps us to grow.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.  You made decisions a certain way at the time for a reason too.  Move past regret and look to the future instead of looking backwards.

[tweetshare tweet=”There is absolutely nothing in the past that you can change. That’s basic physics. – Matt Haig” username=”alisonw30″]

5.  The World

hands holding glass world

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Of course, you can make your contribution.  And you may well influence others around you.

Individuals in history have led to changes through seemingly small actions.   For example, black seamstress Rosa Parks who helped initiate a change in civil rights by refusing to give her seat on a bus to a white man.

Doing whatever you can is different from worrying about and dwelling on the state of the world.  Try to keep your expectations of what you can change realistic to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

6.  Holding A Grudge Won’t Change A Thing

Seriously, it will do you far more harm than the other person.  Think about it, they are totally oblivious to your grudge (unless you tell them I suppose!)

Generally, people with grudges fume in silence though.   All this achieves is to make you feel chewed up and bitter.  It definitely doesn’t solve a thing.

7.  You Are Mortal

Unlike a superhero (or a vampire) you are not going to live forever.  You only have one life, so be sure to look after yourself during it.

Remember that working and money isn’t everything.  Be sure to give yourself a break and enjoy some downtime.

You will also get older.  There is no way you can change that.  Ageing is another thing to remind us to make the most of every single one of our days on this planet.

old woman's hand holding baby's hand

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

8.  There Will Always Be Someone With ‘More’ Than You

More money, more followers on Instagram, a bigger car or a fancier holiday.

The antidote to this is to stop the comparison game.  Stop comparing yourself with others and keep a track of your own progress instead.

Look back at your own achievements (I promise you there are some, even if you think they are small).  Look at how far you have come.

9.  Not Everyone Will Understand Or Like You

This really doesn’t matter.

Some people will and that’s what matters most.

Forget the ones who don’t.

10.  The Weather

Speaking of superheroes, how I would love to be Storm and be able to control the weather!  It would mainly be sunny but not too hot if I could 😉

We spend a lot of time complaining about the weather (especially in my native United Kingdom).  Ok, so it gives us a ready-made conversation starter but complaining definitely won’t make it hotter, colder or drier!

wedding couple kissing under umbrella

Photo by Joel Overbeck on Unsplash

If it rains on your wedding day, enjoy the day anyway!  (That’s what umbrellas are for!)

11.  Your Background And Family

They say you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives.

You also can’t change where you came from.

What you do have control over is how you live your life moving forward.

12.  Travel Delays

Traffic jams, late trains and flight delays.  They are all a fact of life.

You can spend your time getting angry and worked up about them but it won’t make the jam clear any quicker.

Instead, use the delay to catch up on an audiobook or podcast, make a few phone calls or maybe have a chat with your fellow passengers!

13.  Change Itself

Change is an inevitable fact of life.  There is no way that we can avoid it.  You will change over time as will the people around you.

Technology will change.  Governments will come and go.

Trying to hold on to things as they are will only cause us pain and suffering.  An acceptance that things will change can help us in living a happier life.

14.  The Economy

dollar bill on table

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Many people spend time complaining or worrying about the state of the economy.  It really is too complicated and multi-faceted for us to change it very much.

Yes, we all play a part, but unless you are the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the head of a global bank, then your influence is probably minimal!

15.  How You Look

Of course, you can make cosmetic changes such as changing your hair, wearing different clothes or losing weight.  However, you can’t change your basic body shape, your height or your skin type and colour.

It’s easy to put too much pressure on ourselves to have a ‘perfect’ image, particularly in these days of selfies and Instagram.

Letting go of these pressures can be truly liberating and can make us happier and more confident.  Two things which ironically will make us more attractive to others!

I hope you have enjoyed this list of things that you cannot change.  I hope it will help you to feel calmer and able to focus on the things that you do have some control over!

I’d love to hear what you think.  Do you have any other things you cannot change that I’ve missed?  What tips do you have to to stop worrying about the things you cannot change?

Sharing is caring!

  1. Jo

    This is a really good article. Some very down to earth and sensible advice and so much truth in it. I love the prayer/mantra. I may start saying this to myself on a daily basis. Well done!

  2. Lori @ CircleSquareOval

    Very enjoyable read, Alison! My grandmother had the Serenity prayer framed and posted in her kitchen, so it’s something I’ve seen and taken to heart for years and years. Your list is excellent, especially about grudges doing more damage to you than the person you hold the grudge against. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but what a weight off your shoulders when you learn to let it go!

  3. Alex Grace

    This is so spot on Alison! Realising this really helps to free us to concentrate on more positive opportunities! x

  4. Geraldine

    Such good points Alison, you’re right! What hits home for me is not being able to please everyone and change the world cause as much as I wanna do both, I can’t. Not everyone will be happy with how you do things or say things and it’s impossible to make everyone happy. You just have to be yourself and you do you!

  5. Chloe Chats

    Love this post Alison. I often just worry about things that have already happened, and sometimes I have to remind myself that it is in the past and I cannot change it now I can only learn from it and move on. Not being able to please everyone is also something that I need to tell myself!! Thanks for sharing <3

    Chloe xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.