How To Overcome The Fear Of Change

Author: Maria Peppa –

How do you feel about change? You may have noticed how upset people feel when things change. You may have realized that you are looking for your comfort and that you surround yourself with what you already know, trying to keep at all cost the existing structure and the ways you are living your life because you feel safe and protected.

As human beings, we like to act in predetermined and predictable ways, even though life often has its own ways to prove us wrong. In today’s fast moving world, the only stable thing for which you can be absolutely sure ,is change. And, change happens whether you want it or not. Often, for most people, the push of change can make them feel scared, anxious and surely stressed. The change may include the breaking of some relationships or the existing family structure, the job and career, it may even involve retirement.

The fear of the unknown and the lack of self-confidence are the greatest inhibitors that prevent us from being able to accept and build the change in order to have positive results. Ironically, these factors can often result in the perpetuation of a particular lifestyle and patterns of recurring situations, which may for example involve staying in unhappy and devastating relationships, and which in fact, make the people who remain in them to experience constant resentment, sadness and even depression. The opportunities to progress and improve our current lives are bypassed in favor of the trivial, secure and well-known situation we live in.

We are upset by change because we are creatures of  habit. Also, another reason is that as human beings we are driven by our feelings. We are bonding with other people, things and situations. It is ok to feel this way from time to time, but we should not ignore our tendency to overlook the emotions that emerge and are related to change. These feelings create us an internal disruption that completely disorient us before and during the change and they need our attention.

In addition, there are other important factors that come into the way to cope with change, such as:

  •  Our personal filters
  •  Awareness levels
  •  Whether we have consciously chosen the change we experience

For example, some people are easily bored and looking for any kind of change to feel fully alive. If they live at the level of the ”victim” and the constant struggle for survival, they are likely to create unconscious levels of changes that do not serve the superior good of their existence. On the other hand, if they are at a higher level of awareness, where they perceive learning from experience as a process that promotes their ontological evolution, it is likely that the choices they make are more conscious and help them maintain their joy and enthusiasm for life.

How do you generally react to change? With regard to the range of active search for change and its active avoidance, where do you place yourself? How do you handle your feelings especially if change is not a conscious choice?

We all know that if there is something in life that does not change, that is the change itself. The changes we are going through throughout our lives are many. We can do a lot to stop them and manage them and there are also much we can do to choose the ways we react to changes or to let ourselves to adapt to them.

The change is a subjective matter. We may experience a traumatic change or other changes that improve us as people and also improve our lives in general.

Areas of life affected by change …

  •  Changing career or work environment
  •  The economic situation that changes from time to time
  •  The loss of a loved one
  •  The intimate relationships. From mating to loneliness and from loneliness in mating.
  •  The physical body. Dramatic changes like increase or weight loss or some illness
  •  The environment. Selling a house, moving to another city or country

What are our resistance to change …

Homeostasis (state of physiological balance) . Any change threatens the known to us situations. The body consists of a system that regulates its temperature and preserves it in certain scales, from the emotional system to feel familiar with our multiple identities. Changing can cause inconvenience and make our subconscious mind rebellious. In order to achieve a smooth transition from one situation to another, we need to make the unknown familiar and the familiar unknown.

Fear for the unknown. We afraid of the unknown because we believe it signals the loss of control. Although the unknown can hide many and beautiful surprises, we do not want and we do not dare to swim in it.

Fear to go away from the known. In order to move forward, we must leave something behind. But,  when we feel deeply connected with what we are going to let it go  fo us to move forward, we deny to pay the price and suffer the pain this leaving  may contain.

We feel incompetent. We may be afraid that we do not have the right resources to manage change, and we do not trust ourselves as being capable of dealing with it.

Fear of identity change. People know me with this identity, so I’m not willing to let it go.

How to overcome the fear of change …

Accept the uncertainty. Uncertainty is part of life and the sooner you accept it, the easier it will be to face change. Do your best to avoid what you can not control and focus on the fact that you can control how you face the situation. You know that uncertainty is inevitable, as well as,  that what is unknown could be proved surprisingly good.

Examine the best / worst case scenarios. Usually, the worst as well as the best scenario are actually proved much better than what we imagine. It is very important to focus on your capabilities rather than on problems. Strengthen your best possible scenario using your imagination and avoid the worst case scenario until you begin the change, as this usually fills you with sadness that you definitely do not want to live with.

Embrace the idea of danger. If you spend your life playing safe, sticking to the comfort of the couch and to what you already know despite the misfortune that is causing you, you miss the opportunity to experience life with fullness. Risks that enhance life suc as a new job or quiting from a negative habit or addiction are worthwhile taking. Sometimes the biggest risk we take is that we don’t take any risks!

Start with small steps. Starting with small steps can lead you to the bigger ones. When you win the  first bet with small fears, the biggest fears become easier to overcome. Even working with small fears not related to the great change you want to get started, can help you because it makes you feel more brave, strong and sure about yourself.

Avoid destabilization. Do not focus on what can go wrong. Yes, things may not go exactly as you planned, but that does not mean that you failed. When you focus on the likelihood of failure, you ignore the unlimited possibilities of things that can  go well or can be transformed into something you never expected. Failure is a small chance in the ocean of inexhaustible potential results.

Act by strategy. If you have already a plan b in your mind, you are most likely to feel comfortable if you need to modify it or change it. You can not predict what will happen, but you accept the uncertainty and that’s great. There are a few things you can do to feel more comfortable about the change you are about to do.For example,  save money before leaving a full-time job to follow your passion. Preparation can help you get rid of your worries and anxiety.

Allow enthusiasm to overshadow your fear. The reason you choose to change is because you know that change is what you need and it is something better than what you already have. That’s why you feel so much excitement. Do not allow fear to become the dominant feeling. Stay excited about having a better and happier life. The future is exciting and your enthusiasm can help you overcome your fear if you allow it.

Look for tips. You are not the first to make a major change in their lives and you will certainly not be the last ones. Ask for advice from those who have done it before you, especially those who have done what you are trying to do. Ask what prompted them to change, how they did it, and how they made them feel. Also ask what they might have done differently.

Do not look at the past. Sometimes, looking backwards is the enemy of evolution and progress. You will have difficulty feeling comfortable with the new if you keep looking back. Once you decide to make a change, go forward with confidence and trust and never look back again. What you’ve done is over. Stop responding to past situations or give them meaning.

Make sure your environment is supportive. Change can also be scary. One of the best ways to overcome your fear is to surround yourself with positive, inspired people that encourage you, support you, empower you and rejoice with your progress.

Focus on certainty. When the change turns out to be intimidating, focus on your qualities such as your strong will, your creative talent, and those people who know you will remain unshakable under all circumstances despite your side. Life may become a whirlwind sometimes, but you will have your sheltered harbors and constant reports.

Face change with the help of audio cognitive exercises in video format from my channel on youtube.

If we think about the life that is hidden in the process of change, we will feel grateful for the gifts and the infinite possibilities that it offers us …

Maria Peppa

Stress Coaching – Hypnotherapy                                                                                                                                                

Translation: Sotia Bella

Για την μετάφραση των άρθρων σας συμπληρώστε τη φόρμα επικοινωνίας αναφέροντας τον τίτλο και την κατηγορία που σας ενδιαφέρει να δημοσιεύσετε το υλικό σας!