7 Tips for Overcoming the Fear of Change
Change is inevitable.
Nothing stays the same… and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Unfortunately, most people are afraid of change.
But if we are going to do anything new—if we’re going to change habit patterns—we’re going to have to wander into an area where we’ve never been. And the fear of entering that new space stops most people dead in their tracks.
So, you’ll find people in destructive relationships who stay in them because they’re afraid to be alone.
There are countless people in jobs they don’t like, but they don’t leave because they’re afraid they won’t find anything better.
And think of all the people who want to change careers or start a business, but they’re deathly afraid of following their dream.
That’s a terrible way to live.
So, today, I will share tips and strategies that will help you overcome the fear of change. But first, I want to make sure you’re clear on what causes fear.
Where’s it coming from?
Whether a fear originates from previous bad experiences or the unknown, it’s not the circumstance or what’s going on around you that’s making you anxious.
Fear is a product of your mind. It’s a mental process that is causing worry and doubt to arise within you. And since it’s a mental process, you can use your mind to stop it and live a more satisfying life.
Here are techniques that can help you overcome the fear of change:
1. Face the Thing or Person You Fear
When you back away from a fear-inducing situation or person, your fear grows larger and larger until you deal with it. It can get to the point that it dominates your thinking and feeling during the day, and often keeps you awake at night.
However, if you face the fear, it will leave you. Your ability to confront and act despite your fears is the key to your mental freedom. It makes you happier and allows you to become more successful.
Here’s a good exercise to help you face your fears.
Identify a situation or person in your life that you are afraid of and resolve to deal with that fear immediately. Don’t allow it to control you or make you unhappy for another day.
When you decide to face any fear-inducing situation, you automatically grow—your self-esteem increases, your confidence goes up, and you become more courageous.
2. Educate Yourself
Fear is caused by ignorance, not knowing. If your fear is based on a lack of information, then get the information or knowledge you need to examine the situation based on facts rather than speculation.
Knowledge is power.
3. Practice Acting “As If”
Acting as if is a powerful process where you walk, talk, carry yourself, and, most importantly, feel exactly as you would if you were utterly unafraid in a particular situation.
Build an image of who you want to be in the situation, then, act like the person you want to become. You’ll find that you stand up straight, smile, move quickly and confidently, and, in every respect, act as if you already had the courage that you desire.
4. Commit to Feeling Good
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions you can have. So powerful that there’s no room for fear, worry, or doubt inside a grateful mind.
So, the next time you feel fearful, think about several things you are grateful for and really feel the gratitude. I know that’s a tall order, but if you do it, everything will start to shift in an instant.
You can also repeat the following sentence each time you feel anxious or worried, “I feel good.” It will help if you bring a good memory to mind as you say it.
5. Break the Goal into Manageable Pieces
If you’re going after a big goal or going through a major change, it can be overwhelming to think about all the details.
So, break down the goal into smaller, more manageable pieces. Instead of trying to figure out how you’re going to accomplish the goal or handle the change, reframe it by chunking it down. This will help to convince yourself that it’s doable.
For instance, if you want to make one million dollars in a year, break the annual goal down into daily goals. If you’re planning to work five days a week for 50 weeks of the year that equates to working 250 days. So, you’d have to make $4,000 a day or $500 per hour (for an eight-hour day).
Earning a million dollars in a year may seem impossible. You might feel so stressed out by the scale of it that you refuse even to start. However, making $4,000 a day seems more manageable, especially if you create multiple sources of income.
The same is true for many life changes. Instead of trying to solve every single challenge from the beginning, choose one smaller task that you believe you can handle. Once you’ve finished that task, the sense of accomplishment should help propel you into solving the next challenge.
6. Let Go of the Outcome
Sometimes it may be difficult for you to overcome fear because you’re attached to a certain outcome. You find yourself really wanting it to turn out a certain way.
Instead of feeling that all will be lost if it doesn’t turn out the way you want, decide you’re going to do it no matter what.
Then, adopt an attitude of, “If things work out, fantastic!” And if they don’t, that’s great! Understand that you’ll learn from it and be directed elsewhere.
By approaching change like this, you overcome fear by detaching from the outcome.
7. Imagine the Best Outcome Possible
Whenever you’re afraid of something, step back and imagine yourself completing the task successfully or overcoming the obstacle you’re facing.
Picture yourself having already succeeded. Put a smile on your face. Imagine the accolades you’ll receive, the balance in your bank account growing, or the joy you’ll feel when you’ve accomplished it. Really let yourself experience the emotions you’ll feel when you succeed.
Visualize your success over and over and hold the image of it in your mind. This will direct your focus to what you want, rather than what you don’t want—to freedom and achievement, rather than fear and bondage.
Change is going to happen whether we’re ready or not
Sometimes we are the instigators of change in our life. That’s a good thing because it means we’re not just accepting life as it comes. We are pushing ourselves, doing things that make us grow.
But frequently, the changes we face are going to happen whether we like it or not.
The question is: How do we respond to these changes? Do we lean into them, or do we resist or avoid them?
I hope the tips I shared will help you lean into the changes and fears you face rather than retreat to what you perceive as safety. Because the truth is, the most dangerous place you can live is in your comfort zone because there is no growth there.
And where there is no growth, there is disintegration. Nothing ever stays the same. We’re either moving forward towards something bigger and better, or we’re going backward.
To grow, we must do the thing we think we cannot do. We must look our fear in the face and walk right through it. Otherwise, we allow fear to sabotage our success.
Make up your mind that fear is not going to overcome you when you face change. You are far more powerful and resilient than you think. Take action and step out of your comfort zone today.
To your success,