Fear of Change
Change. Some of us love it. Some of us dread it. No matter what we do, there is no way that we could ever escape change in our life. Actually, change is the only constant in life. Who doesn’t like the efficiency and the comfort of a well-practiced routine? It’s normal to crave certainty and stability. As much as we would like things to remain the same, they rarely do. As a result, we end up feeling anxious, frustrated, and, or unhappy.
Fear is a primary emotion, very useful for keeping us safe and our life on track; it protects us. Whenever we exit these well-known territories or routines, the fear emotion alerts the body that danger is near. We start feeling anxious, frustrated or even unhappy. The purpose is to warn us in a progressively intense way to keep us safe and protected. Fear emotion intends to stop you completely from exiting your safe zone or routine trying to protect you from the danger that might be ahead.
This protective instinct becomes a real issue when making a change, when the change takes you beyond those confined territories your brain loves so much. As soon as you understand our body protection system, you can train yourself to control your fears and use it in your favor. You will need to find your own personal way of communicating with your body and mind to go past your fear reaction.
First you must accept your fears. Even the best of us can feel apprehensive in the face of the unknown. And what is change? It’s the unfamiliar. The uncertain. Change is the unknown. So, if you’re feeling anxious or frightened by change, don’t feel bad. And don’t try to push these feelings away. Instead, accept them as part of the process.
You know what they say: information is power. When it comes to change, information really is powerful. This helps reduce uncertainty and promotes a greater feeling of control. A sense of control is critical to our happiness and wellbeing. The more you understand the change, the more power you will have, and the better you will feel about it.
Do not vent over your fear of change. Venting seems like a good idea at first. Talking it out with someone helps you discuss and recognize how you are feeling about the change. But sometimes this can make you feel more fear about the change. Remember venting is about expressing negative emotions, not solving the problems. The feeling of fear over the change is persistant even after you vent. Venting also can change tiny, insignificant problems into big problems for us causing even more fear of the simple change. Venting feels so good at times, I know. When we are having a major change, it’s not unusual to feel out of our element. This can lead to anger and frustration. And it’s tempting to voice these feelings to anyone who would listen. But remember, venting won’t make the change go away, and it won’t make you feel good in the longterm either.
Stop and think in detail about the worst that can happen with the change. Live this scenario in your mind with depth and intensity or write it down. Keep doing this or writing it down until it does not seem that scary to you anymore. Create at least three other alternative solutions for your worstcase scenario in the event that it happens. I like to call it my backup plan. This helps make you feel like you still have some control over your change even if it is the worse case scenario.
One important key to embracing change is to set realistic expectations about what you can do and how you’ll feel. The best way to set realistic expectations for how you feel is by reaching out to people who have already gone through a similar experience. Listening to their experience and how they handle all the change.
Change can be overwhelming, there’s no doubt about it. You don’t need to add more stress to your life by setting a giant goal for yourself. It’s okay to slow down, take small steps and focus on progress rather than a goal far off in the distance. If all you can do today is get up and take a deep breath, so be it. Tomorrow is a new day perhaps you might take one more step closer to your goal.
Remember any time you’re dealing with change; you’re going to encounter setbacks and failures. You might make a mistake, take a step backward instead of forward, or come across an obstacle so big you don’t even know where to begin to tackle it. Accept the fact that you are going to encounter setbacks and proactively plan on how you can handle them, then you will be ready to face them when the time comes. This, in turn, will help you feel more in control, and happier as a result.
Remember its okay to fear change. You just can not let the fear define who you are.
If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share or questions on just simplifying your life, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org