No matter what you might try to do, there is no way that we could ever escape change in this lifetime. Actually, change is the only constant in life.
If you ever felt fear of a certain major change, or of change in general, rest assured this is a healthy and normal state to be in. If you don’t feel a bit of fear it means that what you are trying to do is not actually a big change, and you still remain in the well-known territories.
Since fear of change is perfectly normal and a good sign, a person that lives well is not the one annihilating fear of change, but the one that knows how to manage it in order to successfully go forward with such change.
Why We Fear Change
Fear is a primary emotion, very useful for keeping our life and safety intact. It is a mechanism with a protective purpose. It maintains us within the comfortable safe space that our brain is the most favorable for life to thrive in.
Whenever we exit these well-known territories, the fear mechanism alerts the entire body that danger is near. It is just like the car parking system. The purpose is to warn you in a progressively intense way.
Ultimately the fear mechanism intends to stop you completely from exiting this safe space. This is why we’re talking about “being paralyzed with fear”. It’s not a defective system, it is essential for survival and doesn’t go purposefully against our plans.
However, it becomes a real issue when making a change, when a better life expects you beyond those confined territories that the brain loves so much. As soon as you understand this body protection system you can train to master it and use it in your favor.
15 Ways to Conquer Fear of Change
Ultimately, in order to control your fear and become fast at making the best changes in life, you need to find your own personal way of communicating with your body and mind to go beyond the fear reaction.
For inspiration, here are 15 ways to conquer the fear of change. Try them, play with them, and become friends with your fear of change.
1. Feel the fear.
Everything starts with awareness. Just like in any other friendship that requires time to become stronger, you need to get acquainted with your fear.
Instead of running away or distract from it, let yourself feel it. Just let this fear manifest in the whole body and mind and reactions. Watch it without judging, and feel its expressions.
2. Keep a journal to track your fears
Register your feelings and your reactions to the body parts, as we discussed at the previous point. You will notice the evolution from big fear to almost nothing. This also helps you get acquainted with fear of change until it becomes the most natural thing in the world.
Anyway, in time, all manifestations tend to disappear. Only the first time is harder.
3. Give yourself time.
Discovery and mastery over fear may require some time. If change and personal growth are really important for you, you should practice fear control at least a few minutes every day.
4. Show self-compassion.
Every time you feel stumbling over fear, give yourself a lot of love, and sweet understanding. Speak nice words and encouragements.
Be your most passionate supporter.
5. Expose yourself to other smaller fears.
Sometimes change can induce an almost paralyzing fear. This might stop good ideas from coming to you. If you feel this might be the case, subject yourself to other fears you have.
Fears that are less intense and that you are able to let take over your body. Thus you can get used to fear feeling, in general.
6. Visualize the worst-case scenario.
Think in detail about the worst that can happen. Live this scenario in your mind with depth and intensity. Once, twice, several times, until it doesn’t seem that scary anymore.
7. Create at least 3 other alternative variants in case of failure.
Prepare in advance your rescue variants. At least 3 alternative ways of acting if the change goes wrong. See in detail what could save you. You will discover an infinite number of solutions.
8. Visualize at least 3 different good scenarios.
Another imagination exercise for you. This time live intensely at least 3 outcomes after a respective change, which are exceptional.
After all, your fear is only one, whereas happy endings are many.
9. Reward each little success.
This is an absolute must. Each time you have success in controlling fear of change, or in understanding some aspects of it, celebrate like it is a big victory.
10. Give up on perfection.
Don’t expect to ever control completely fear, nor change. And don’t expect to ever make changes from a carefree, chill state. No expectation, no heartache.
11. Create a support group.
Discussing your fear with others, constantly talking about what you notice, might help you conquer the fear of change.
12. Seek advice from others.
You don’t need to bear the burden all by yourself. Sometimes this is possible, but it’s easier to ask for help and advice from others.
13. Document what other people did in the exact situation.
Research the solutions that others have found before. You will feel encouraged to continue and will get new useful ideas.
14. Practice physical exercise.
When change overwhelms you, go take a round of exercises. No matter how just sweat. Physical training will take focus away from what you fear most and will diminish its scary appearance.
15. Just breathe.
Last but not least, never forget to breathe consciously several times. Within such an ordinary gesture you will find enormous strength to conquer the fear of change.
Facing the Fear of Change
Sooner or later you must do it. There is the variant to confront your fear from an awareness point after you have trained, at least a little. And then there is the variant where things aggravate and life throws change right in your face.
Don’t ever think that you can escape it, so it’s better to be prepared.
We can all learn to live with fear. We might even tango with it during the unavoidable changes that expect us along the way. Courage is a skill to be acquired. How will you face your fears in the future? Share your thoughts below: