You can add one more thing to the list of certainties in life, Death, Taxes AND CHANGE. Things never stay the same, even for those who try so hard to make it the case. Whether it’s a positive change like a new relationship or a difficult one such as job loss, transitions can be frightening. Pushing through fear is something you can do, something you will do. I’ll share what I know. Change doesn’t have to be scary, it can be empowering.
Reasons for the Fear
First of all, the biggest universal fear is the fear of the unknown. We feel safer in what we already understand and are familiar with, even if there is a far better option. The unknown causes anxiety for lots of reasons. Our brains go into protective mode, telling us that we can remain safe if we avoid what we can’t see, understand, know or process. Another cause of this specific kind of fear is the false belief that there is only one correct way, when in fact many options lie ahead of you. It won’t be disastrous if you make the “wrong choice” because there are actually a number of ways you could go that could be completely right for you. Don’t get hung up on perfectionism or absolutes. Self-doubt is another common reason to avoid change. You may think you’re not enough to navigate whatever life is currently throwing at you. YOU ARE ENOUGH! In fact, you’ve probably made lots of adjustments in your life before now.
Benefits of Change
There are actually more benefits to change than detriments. Truly. For one, the personal growth potential times of transition offer can be limitless. You’ll learn so much about yourself and your capabilities during this time, along with gaining new skills. Change also gives you the chance to examine your life and your core values. It can be enlightening to make self-discoveries that lead to becoming a more authentic person.
Nothing exceptional ever happened from your comfort zone
Change also leads to progress. You can move forward and do better without things getting shaken up a little. You’ll gain opportunities through transformation that you never would have had if you’d stayed the same. Finally, you’ll develop new personality traits like strength, resiliency and flexibility when you embrace variation.
Overcoming the Anxiety
Now let’s look at ways to overcome the anxiety that comes with change. First, you want to try to re-frame the negative stories you’re telling yourself. Focus on the positive things that could happen, instead of the bad. Also, take time to process your feelings about the change you’re facing and try to determine the causes. This type of honest assessment provides insights that make it easier to get a handle on your anxiety because you can name its source. Another great strategy that works is to look back on accomplishments you’ve made during times of transition or instances in which you’ve gotten through tough adjustments. Knowing you’ve done it before can give you the confidence and motivation to do it again.
These suggestions are definitely not a comprehensive list, but they can get you started on the road to overcoming the fear of change. Once you begin to do that, you’ll find your world will open up immensely.
Sharing your story can be an empowering way to inspire yourself and others. We would love to hear from you. Contact us today to share.