Idioms of change

You’re undoubtedly well aware of how much people’s lives have changed due to the Corona virus crisis in 2020. I also had to make some tough choices as the situation became worse. I decided to write about it with idioms that English speakers use during times of change.

I teach people business skills like presentations or being assertive and so the situation meant my work was mostly cancelled as we couldn’t meet in groups. All of a sudden, I was home and not sure when I would be able to go back to my job. It gave me a lot of time to think and I started to realise something.  While I enjoyed my job, I had been looking at it through rose coloured glasses. With this extra free time, I took a step back and tried to look at the big picture. What was it that I wanted to do in terms of my career future? Was this where I wanted to be?

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that, even though I really enjoyed my work, I had become stuck in a rut1. I decided that it was time to shake things up a bit and try something new. I applied for some positions and was offered a very interesting job in a big company, which looks like it will give me a fresh perspective. Fortunately, it’s in a similar area to my current work so it’s not like I’ll have to go back to square one when I arrive there.

As I’m writing this article, I haven’t quite started my new job so I don’t know how it will be. Perhaps it will be like a breath of fresh air for me or it might not turn out so well and I will have a change of heart about what I’m doing.

  • Rose coloured glasses – ‘looking’ through these glasses means only seeing the positive sides of something/someone.
  • (to) take a step back – Stop being involved in something so you can look at it more objectively.
  • (to) look at the big picture – Focus on the overall situation, rather than just whatever is immediately in front of you.
  • (be) stuck in a rut – doing the same thing for too long without change.
  • (to) shake things up a bit – Make some changes.
  • A fresh perspective – A new way of looking at things
  • (to) go back to square one – Restarting something or becoming a beginner.
  • Like a breath of fresh air – A refreshing change that makes you feel more positive.
  • (to) have a change of heart – Have a new opinion on or attitude towards something.


  • Think about a time of change in your life and consider which idioms fit.
  • Create sentences and questions for each of the idioms (e.g. What/who do you look at with rose coloured glasses?)
  • Discuss that time of change with a partner. How many idioms can you use?
  • What other idioms can you find that would also connect to change? Do some research.

Peter Wallin

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