How To Overcome Fear Of Change

How To Overcome Fear Of Change

Someone once said that death and taxes are the only two unavoidable things in life. They got it wrong – they forgot to add change. The third one is unavoidable. Nothing in life stays the same because change is an inevitable part of any natural cycle.

We’re often taken unawares by change and shocked when it happens. We’re afraid of it and resist it vehemently because we fear the unknown.

How It Holds You Back

A good example to illustrate this type of fear is technology. It’s become an integral part of our lives and most people are comfortable using it. In fact, some people are unable to function without it.

However, there are others who resist it. They insist on using traditional tools like notebooks and ledgers, paper invoices and manual accounting. They know the bare basics of computers and cell phones but just aren’t interested in upping their tech skills.

People who don’t like technology are in fact resisting change, in this case, our increasing dependence on technology. They regard this change as a total upheaval of the familiar lifestyle that they’re comfortable with.

A person who fears change isn’t likely to advance in their career with poor technical skills. In a world where digital tools make so many processes faster and easier, their productivity will suffer drastically.

Change can often be good and even life-changing if you’re able to look beyond your fear of it. High achievers and great people embrace change and see it as a challenge. For them, change is an opportunity to grow and achieve bigger successes. That’s what makes great people great!

The fear of change is linked to fear of the unknown and the unknown signifies risk. Risk, as we discussed earlier, links to survival. Therefore, the fear of change is sometimes very strong, especially in times of political or economic turmoil.

Action Steps

Here are a couple of quick action steps you can take to stop fear of change from holding you back.

Try New Things

Engaging in experiences that are new to you helps you become more accepting of change. It trains your mind to process that the unknown isn’t always bad. In fact, it can be amazingly fun and stimulating. You also have full control over what you choose to try.

This conditions your mind to be more comfortable with change. The key is to engage in new and different experiences like traveling abroad, which allows you to experience different cultures and engage with different people.

Trying new cuisine, learning a new language, or taking a class also helps ease your fear of change. The point is that what you choose to try should be something completely new to you, so, get creative! Make the rounds of your local ethnic restaurants, take a martial arts class, or sign up for singing lessons. As long as it’s something totally new, it’ll work.

Get Uncomfortable Once In A While

Next, up the level of trying new things by doing what makes you uncomfortable. Public speaking is a great example of this. For most people, giving a presentation or speaking in front of an audience is as uncomfortable as it can get! That’s the whole point of this exercise.

Another example is having a conversation with a particularly obnoxious person such as a chronic complainer or cynical hatemonger – and staying calm and collected. Attending a church service if you’re non-religious can be very uncomfortable as well.

Trying things that scare you also falls into this category. A wild roller-coaster ride or bungee jumping, deep-sea diving… we all have certain things we’ve never considered doing because they frighten us. Even trying them once will go a long way towards breaking your fear of change.

Overcoming your fears can be very liberating but is often difficult, and one of the most difficult of these is the dreaded fear of rejection, because nobody wants to be rejected and laughed at do they?

Fear Of Rejection/Ridicule

This fear is related to emotional pain and trauma. For some of us, it has its roots in childhood, where we experienced some form of abuse or bullying. These types of experiences and the negative emotions associated with them are often repressed. They continue to fester inside, causing fear of rejection or ridicule.

How it holds you back

One of the most dangerous consequences of this fear is that we can become obsessed with seeking approval. As a result, we may stifle our individuality and personal opinions to ‘conform’ or ‘fit in’. This could be very detrimental to personal growth and creativity.

Even worse, the desire to avoid ridicule or rejection can drive us to compromise our values and beliefs. In other words, we sell ourselves out. What’s more, we know it and feel terrible about it. This can lead to self-hate, one of the most toxic emotions of all.

Action Steps

Here are a couple of quick action steps you can take to stop fear of rejection from holding you back. Overcoming this fear will be a major step forward in your life.

Surround Yourself With The Right People

These are family members, friends and colleagues who totally love and accept you as you are. They see all your brilliant qualities and are generous with encouragement and support.

Surround yourself with as many of these people as you can. They’ll give you the confidence and self-worth to deal with criticism and rejection and accept that you just can’t please everyone.

Stand Up For Something You Believe In

Find a cause that you’re passionate about such as the environmental crisis, world hunger or animal rights. Educate yourself on the topic and join an advocacy group.

Speak about your cause to others and try to enlist their efforts. This applies to your political, religious, and moral convictions as well.

You don’t necessarily need to advertise them to all and sundry but don’t be afraid to speak up and defend them with courage and conviction.

Overcoming this fear can have a big impact on how you live your life, and what you can achieve, so it is well worth trying to conquer this.

And remember, nobody can make you feel rejected without your permission; you can reframe these occasions and nip the feeling of rejection in the bud.

Let’s look at one more fear that may be holding you back from living the life you want.

Fear Of Responsibility

The fear of responsibility is directly related to the fear of failure and the fear of risk. Some people also fear responsibility because they don’t like to be held accountable for their actions.  They prefer to blame others rather than honestly confront themselves.

How it holds you back

This fear can hold you back professionally because you gain a reputation as someone who shuns responsibility and therefore, has no commitment or dedication to their career.

Taking full responsibility is the mark of leaders and high achievers. They hold themselves fully accountable for their actions and the outcomes of their decisions.  They quickly jump in to fix mistakes and address emergency situations rather than waste time blaming themselves or others. 

In your personal life, the fear of responsibility can be extremely detrimental to relationships. You may delay important decisions like marriage or starting a family. You may experience a painful breakup or lose potential partners because you’re seen as someone who shuns commitment.

Action steps

Here are a couple of quick action steps you can take to stop fear of rejection from holding you back.

Fix Your Flaws

Train yourself to become more responsible by honestly identifying your flaws and reflecting on them. You may tend to interrupt others in conversation or not listen actively. You may tend to gossip. You could be holding yourself back by seeing yourself as the perpetual victim.

We all have personal flaws that we can work on to improve. Whatever your own may be, make the intention to fix them and become a better person. In the process, you’ll realize that taking responsibility feels great!

Learn To Apologize

People who fear responsibility often find it hard to apologize for their mistakes. Commit to apologizing when you make a mistake or feel that you’ve offended someone.

Any simple apology will do. For example, “I’m sorry if that sounded rude, I didn’t mean it to be” or “I’m sorry for not responding to your email promptly but I was having a hectic day.”

There’ll be opportunities every day to make an apology so take advantage of them as often as you can.

Don’t worry, it gets easier over time. And again, you’ll feel great about having the integrity and honesty to admit you were wrong.

Make Promises And Keep Them

Never commit to something unless you can keep your commitment. This is an integral part of learning to take responsibility.

Failing to follow through with promises is the quickest way to lose respect or even important people in your life.

Stop Blaming Others

Don’t take the easy way out by blaming others, even if they are wrong. Stay alert to this negative reaction because quite simply, it’s not going to fix anything.

When something goes wrong, ditch the blame game and look for ways to set things right. If you feel that someone needs to be made aware of a mistake, you can explain to them later what they did wrong and how they can avoid it the next time around.

Likewise, stay alert to your feelings of perpetual victimhood. Be brutally honest with yourself because you know that the world isn’t out to get you.

If you are being treated unfairly or victimized in some way, only you can change that. Own up to the fact that you can take control of your life and change any negative situation.

As you can appreciate, changing the way you think can have a huge impact on your life, and if you want to know more about developing an inspirational mindset for success, please click on the featured resource below for a free Strong Mindset report; download, read it and take action 😊

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