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Scared Of Change? How Fear Of Change Has Been Keeping You Stuck And What To Do Instead - From A...

November 09, 20236 min read

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Ask anyone if they like change, and chances are they're gonna say "I hate change." This thought, my sweet croiissant, keeps them (and you) stuck. One of the biggest secrets of success is not only embracing change, but actively choosing to change anything that's no longer serving them. When people say "I'm terrified of change" what they're really saying is that they're afraid what they'll change will be worse than what they have now. Most people are taught to be afraid of change, and they're brought up in a culture that tells people they're a victim, they're stuck and if it's not perfect then it's horrible. This is so damaging, and it doesn't have to be this way. You can control the changes you make. And I argue in this episode that the more changes you consciously, intentionally make, the happier you are.

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How Fear Of Change Has Been Holding You Back

Change is an inevitable part of life, yet many of us have found ourselves paralyzed by fear when faced with the unknown. Perhaps you've heard the old adage - "the only constant is change," which is kind of ironic, and not like the Alanis Morissette song. I would argue that while a lot of people say they experience fear around change, change is something we all want, because what we want requires change. I like to say the more you intentionally change things, the more you get what you want.

Does that mean the fear around change is magically gone? Of course not. Can we experience fear around something and still know that it's useful? Absolutely. This is why learning mind management and emotional embodiment skills is so useful, because when you learn to experience fear, calm the mind and move forward anyway, the world is yours. I'll drop another quote I very much enjoy here too - on the other side of fear is freedom.

Overcoming Fear Of Change

Language is one of the ways to make change feel easier. One of the skills I teach often is teaching clients to be incredibly picky about the language they use and the thoughts they give energy to. While we can't choose our thoughts, we can choose which ones we feed and we can absolutely choose our words. Choosing our words carefully is often the difference between confidence and hopelessness. Because the mind dislikes incongruence, what we say and the thoughts we feed become true in our minds. If we consistently say that we are scared of change, our minds will find evidence to support that belief and in fact mind will cause fear to be present simply because you decided fear is present. This is one of this instances where you see it because you believe it. If you keep talking about how scary something else, mind will continue perceiving that thing as scary. Likewise, if you keep talking about how the thing is worth doing because all the work will be worth it, mind will believe that. It doesn't mean the fear completely goes away, but it becomes smaller and therefore much more manageable. It's way easier to carry a toy tractor than an actual tractor right?

The beautiful thing about understanding how mind works is that once you understand how it operates, you can make mind work for you. Using language that conjures energy, gives you confidence, and makes it seem possible is one way to make change seem more like an adventure instead of scary. Negative self-talk only serves to reinforce fears and make change seem even more daunting, which you already know doesn't help. Using more helpful language puts change in a better perspective, as change is the thing that allows you to get what you want. After all, if nothing changes, nothing changes.

Is It Really Change That's The Problem?

Fear of change often stems from a fear of the unknown, and many of my clients initially say they're worried they'll make a wrong decision or that they'll be stuck in that decision. While that fear may be present, let me suggest this: you are never stuck, you can always make another/more aligned decision, you can always change your mind. You have a choice. You have agency. You have control. You have power. It's to remember that even if our options may not be ideal at the moment, the only way to improve them is by making intentional changes. It's like this right - we always make the best choice we can given our knowledge, experience, options, etc at the time. Once we make a decision, new choices materialize, so if you don't love your options now, keep choosing the best option and better ones will continue to open up to you. It's like when you take one step forward, three options open up that are better than where you are now and once you take another step, three options open up that were better than before and once you take another step, three options open up that are better than where you were. As you continue taking steps forward, your options keep getting better.

The better it gets, the better it gets.

One of the tradeoffs involved in making positive changes is the discomfort that comes with stepping outside of our comfort zones. I like to call the comfort zone the misery zone, because when people first start making changes, their comfort zone is making them miserable. In that stage, the comfort zone feels like eating hot mayonnaise that's been left out in the sun - if something constantly feels unpleasant, the logical thing to do is to stop doing what's not working and make a different decision. Similarly, to overcome our fear of change, we must be willing to embrace discomfort and make changes. Action dissolves fear. Here's the really dope part though - the more changes you make, the better your life gets.

Things To Consider When Making Changes

Sometimes my clients are afraid of making the wrong decision. They worry that if the change something, it'll lead to something worse. Again, let me suggest that the more intentionally we change things, the more likely we are to get what we want and be happier. Because I know you're going to make changes you want, which means you get more of what you want. And we love it when you get what you want. When you're making decisions that align with your long-term goals and values, even if they may be difficult in the short term, in the long run you get what you want.

It's valuable to consider the impact on people in your life when making changes, as relationship are co-created and a shift in you will create a shift in the dynamic. Change may affect those around you, which is perfectly normal. When you take control of your life and make intentional changes, you create a positive ripple effect that benefits not only yourself but also those you care about. I see this all the time with clients, when they start making changes for the better, people in their life are like "ummm I'll have what they're having thanks" and that's because they start showing up more confidently, more grounded, more rooted in their power.

Let me end with this, you have the power to change things, and it's absolutely worth it. By reframing your narrative from one of fear to one of possibility, you empower yourself to embrace change and navigate the challenges that come with it. Ultimately, your life belongs to you, it's yours to shape as you see fit.

Choose and change accordingly.

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Amanda Chils

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