Fear of change is one of the things that paralyze us and keep us from creating the lives we want. I'm pretty sure right now you can think of several fears that paralyze you – even the fear of amitting you're afraid. If we're honest with ourselves we can identify a lot of fears that keep us from moving forward.
It's easy to be afraid of moving forward – it is change. We can easily see how a change can bring about some negative outcomes because we can compare it to the baseline of our lives NOW. It's easy to have sympathy for the devil when it's the devil we know.
Fear of change thus paralyzes us very easily, likely easier than we may realize. Sure we can admit this, talk about it, but it is very hard to do anything about it. Change is necessary to live and grow, but I bet everyone reading this can name cases where they and other people didn't change when it was vitally necessary to do so.
There are many ways to deal with this fear, but here's a little one that takes a few twists you may like.
Pick a goal you have to change your life – I reccomend career/job focus because . . . well it's the focus of this blog.
Sit down and list all the things that can go wrong if you make that change. Use a piece of paper, a spreadsheet, etc. Go ahead and do a braindump of everything that you're afraid of happening if you make or try and make this change. Go crazy – it's not like you have to show it to anyone.
Now with that fear fresh in your head, move on to . .
Now, take another sheet of paper, another spreadsheet, etc. and write down all the things you're afraid of or fear will happen if you DO NOT MAKE THIS CHANGE. Again, go crazy. List all the things you're afraid will happen if you don't make this change.
Take a look at these lists and ask yourself:
- Which list contains things that truly scare you. Which are you actually more afraid of – change or not changing? My guess is you'll find it's often scarier not to change, it's just familiar.
- Ask yourself for your fears how you can mitigate them. Which area do you have more control over? You'll find some fears may be easier to mitigate – or just plain ridiculous.
I find this exercise is extremely informative – and often surprising (you may indeed fine changing IS a bad idea, but my guess is that's a rarer occurence). If you're going to deal with fears, deal with all of them, you'll learn a lot.
You'll also find what you're really afraid of – and look into dealing with it.
– Steven Savage