Many of us fear change. We get comfortable in our routines, and the thought of change can be scary. But change is a natural part of life and can benefit us. It can help us grow and learn new things. Therefore, we must accept change and face our fears to live the life we want at the present moment.
In this article, we’ll learn more about the fear of change and how to overcome it.
Understanding Fear of Change
Fear of change is characterized as extreme anxiety, self-doubt, worry, or dread over an impending change in one’s life or surroundings. Emotions like tension, fear, and anxiety could accompany it. It can be brought on by one’s own experience (such as a traumatic event), observing others, or anxiety over potential future events. This fear can make it difficult for someone to adjust to change.
Psychologists call it metathesis phobia, which occurs when a person is confronted with unknown conditions or events and experiences protracted, unreasonable, and intense anxiety.
When one struggles with the fear of change, it can be difficult to form positive coping mechanisms. Some strategies that may work include focusing on positive thoughts and memories, seeking out support from others, or working on calming self-compassion. In some cases, medication may also help manage anxiety and its related symptoms.
What Causes Fear of Change?
Many psychological factors contribute to the fear of change. One theory suggests that it is rooted in our need for certainty and predictability. We like to feel in control of our lives, and it can be very anxiety-provoking when something disrupts that sense of control.
Other theories suggest that the fear of change is a form of avoidance. When faced with an upcoming change, we may avoid thinking about it or preparing for it because it feels too overwhelming. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and even panic when the change finally happens.
Still, other theories suggest that the fear of change is a form of self-protection. Our brain is wired to keep us safe, and when we perceive a threat, it triggers the fight-or-flight response. This can lead to anxiety and dread when faced with a threatening change.
How Does Fear of Change Affect Us?
The fear of change can have a profound impact on our lives. It can cause us to miss out on opportunities and experiences that could be beneficial. It can also lead to stagnation and prevent us from reaching our full potential.
In some cases, the fear of change can be so paralyzing that it prevents us from taking action. This can hurt our mental and physical health. This will also reduce our quality of life.
There are many ways that the fear of change can manifest itself. Some people fear and might avoid new experiences altogether. Others might try to resist change by clinging to old habits and routines.
Still, others might succumb to anxiety or depression when faced with change. And some people might even become agoraphobic, with an intense fear of leaving the safety of their homes.
The good news is that there are ways to overcome the fear of change. We can confront our fears, embrace change with effort and commitment, and have a more positive outlook on opportunities.
Before we go into how to overcome them, let’s go over the signs so we can create a strategy to overcome the fear of change.
Signs You are Suffering Fear of Change
The signs of change fear are anxiety, worry, or dread over an impending change. It may also be accompanied by tension, stress, and anxiety. This dread can make adapting to change challenging, leading to tension, worry, and despair.
Other signs and symptoms of change anxiety include:
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Racing Heart
- Shortness of Breath
- Nausea or Upset Stomach
- Trembling or Shaking
It is important to identify the early signs of fear of change to address it before it worsens. This helps the person take action to manage their anxiety and improve their mental health.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Change
The first step to overcoming change fears is understanding that it is normal and common. Many people struggle with this fear, which is nothing to be ashamed of.
Once you have accepted that the fear of change is a part of who you are, you can work on overcoming it. Here are some tips:
1. Take Small Steps
One of the best ways to overcome the fear of change is to take small steps. Rather than trying to make a major change all at once, start with something small. For example, if you’re extremely afraid of moving to a new city, start by visiting for a weekend. If you’re afraid of changing jobs, start by updating your resume.
Never underestimate the power of small steps. It will help you ease into the change and make it less daunting and more effective to any negative worldview one might have.
2. Create A Plan
Another way to overcome the fear of change is to create a plan. Knowing what you need to do and having a step-by-step guide will be less scary.
Sit down and determine what needs to be done to make the change. Write it all down and refer to it often. This will help you stay on track and feel more in control.
3. Find Support
Making a big change can be scary, but it’s easier when you have support from others. Talk to your friends and family about your plans and ask for their help and encouragement.
Another effective way to journey with you in this struggle is to talk to a life coach. They give professional guidance and could help you understand and better manage your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. A mental health professional can help you overcome the following through physical or online therapy:
- Find Your Core Values
- Build Confidence and Self-Esteem
- Feel Happier
- Create Healthier Relationships
- Improve Work Satisfaction and Productivity
- Lessen Stress and Anxiety
4. Build Confidence
Often, our fear of change is due to a lack of confidence. We may not feel like we can make a successful, positive change. To overcome this, focus on building your self-confidence. Begin by taking on small challenges and celebrating your successes.
5. Be Patient
Changing your mindset and habits takes time. Don’t expect to overcome your fear of change overnight. Be patient with yourself and trust that you will make progress over time.
Rather than jumping into something new immediately, allow yourself a period to get used to the idea. This may mean taking a few days to think about a decision or slowly transitioning into a new role.
Fear of change is a normal and normal emotion. It can become a problem if it prevents you from making essential life choices. If you have difficulty overcoming the fear of change, you can try the above-mentioned techniques and strategies. Remember that change is a natural part of life, and everyone goes through it. Accept and use change to help you grow and improve your life.
Dr. Mary from Restless Coaching can help you overcome fear if you struggle with life changes. She has helped countless people make positive changes in their personal and professional life and can help you too. If you’re ready to make a change, contact us and see how we can help you overcome your fear of change. Be part of a community of people who successfully navigated change.