The fear of disruption is a wasted emotion.

The rumor mill was right.

The Big Meeting everyone dreaded was finally happening. The general manager, in his stiff gray suit soberly announced “We’re closing the office” to me and fifty other shell-shocked souls.

Rumors had swirled for weeks beforehand, and I had watched the fear grow on my co-workers’ faces. Anxious eyes followed managers as they talked in hushed tones and then closed their office doors behind them.

We were doing what it took to keep our jobs. We upped our game, worked harder. Stayed later. Took fewer coffee breaks.

Most of my co-workers had invested years of their lives into their jobs and lived in fear of layoffs. Fear of change.

I suppose I was one of them.

Now none of that mattered. All of us were out of a job with those few words. Lives and families disrupted with what seemed like a capricious whim.

Looking back on those events years ago I realize I was living in a fantasy. If I somehow controlled my circumstances, if I could resist change and maintain order, I would be happy.

Now I believe the opposite: Change is inevitable and desirable.

We’re all operating under an illusion of control. No matter how hard we fight against it, everything will change. Jobs and careers change. People and relationships change. We change.

What matters, then, is our attitude about the change. Will we resist it and suffer? Or will we accept and even embrace the change, giving us a chance to grow and fully experience life? For me, this latter attitude has fostered more satisfaction and happiness in my life.

But I don’t pretend that shifting our attitude is easy. Humans seek comfort. Our brain seeks the easiest path. And often the easiest path is to resist change.

We must actively work against our comfort-seeking selves. If we don’t, we set ourselves up for disruption and pain based on external events — or someone else’s whims.

For me, my first corporate job after college represented security, a sense of control, and a feeling that I had made it.

Then as the layoffs happened, it all began to seem so pointless to me. As I watched my co-workers’ worst fears realized, I vowed to not become them. I wasn’t going to become someone whose life was upended by someone else’s decision.

So, I adopted a new perspective: the fear of disruption, of being out of a job, is a wasted emotion. Embrace it. I decided to be a person who accepts that change is always coming — so don’t hold on too tightly to the way things are.

After the office closed, I moved to Seattle and found a job through a connection. It turned out to be a dream job because I could create the role myself.

That experience formed the basis for how everything has transpired since then in my career. Opportunities cross my path and I think “that looks interesting, I’ll give it a try.” I know there will always be change coming at me from outside forces, so I might as well embrace it and create the change myself. And enjoy it.

I’ve found that the tighter I hold on to a specific outcome, the more likely it is that I will suffer when things don’t happen according to my expectations. The more I can let go of expectations in my career, the less I will be in pain when things change. I won’t be as frustrated. Or angry.

Embracing change creates a positive feedback loop. Change creates new pathways in our brain. And that makes future change easier to manage. Now I expect and even want change. And I’m happier for it.