Early in our challenge, I talked to you about fear of change. I shared some of the most common reasons so many of us are afraid of the unknown and what to do about it. I’d like to re-visit that topic and encourage you to get down to the deep-seated motivations behind your feelings. Knowing why you’re anxious or afraid is key to finding a way to overcome the paralysis such emotions can bring. Let spend some time today getting to the core of your anxiety about change so that you can get past it.
Why We Fear Change
First, let’s review some of the reasons change can be so scary. The fear of the unknown is the biggest reason change shakes us up. This is particularly true for those who value order and control. Another big factor is worry that you somehow won’t measure up. Usually, it involves the feeling of somehow not being enough. Perhaps it may be that you fear not being smart enough to figure out how to manage the change. Maybe you think you do not deserve enough to do well. A common concern is the suspicion one isn’t likeable enough to others to be able to succeed. Much of this is interconnected to the fear of failure. You may even fear success. This is actually a common problem.
Discover the Reason for Your Fear
Now it’s time for some real introspection. In order to overcome your anxiety, you need to understand the underlying reasons for it. Take some time to sit with your feelings. Write down anything that comes to mind with regard to what may be your most pressing worry. If you’re unsure, keep asking yourself “why” and delving deeper into what’s bothering you. With each answer you find, probe further into why it is you feel that way. This exercise is quite useful in uncovering hidden or buried feelings. Once you have at least an idea of what’s driving your uncertainty, you can move on to find ways to handle the feelings surrounding it.
What to Do About It
It’s important to determine whether your fears are warranted or if they are simply an automatic response from your subconscious mind. Be honest with yourself. Fears with a real cause for worry should be addressed in order to head off further problems. Try not to procrastinate dealing head one with issues that are solvable. If you believe your worry is causing you to seriously shut down or inhibiting your life in some way, it would be wise to seek professional help in the form of a therapist or counselor. These folks can use their expertise to help you get to the root of your problem in a safe, effective and efficient manner. Long-term stress can also be damaging to your health. Finally, use self-care techniques discussed in earlier posts to help soothe your fears once you determine what they are. Re-frame negative or irrational thoughts. Eat well, exercise, get your sleep and enjoy leisure time to help you relax or to maintain your energy levels and clear thinking.
Discovering the cause of your fears surrounding change will take some time, effort and honest self-reflection. Once you face them, you’ll feel more empowered to move past them.