Life is full of change. Different ages and stages bring about whirlwinds of change. But why is change hard for so many people?
People don’t only resist negative changes in life, but often positive ones too. New jobs, new places to live, and new members of the family all seem like positive changes, but they can often bring feelings of anxiety. I help many of my clients work through this. I teach my clients that anxiety is an emotion rooted in fear and often our fears are the imagined worst-case scenarios.
If change is hard, you might be struggling with one of these fears:
Fear of the unknown
It is hard to walk blindly into the future without full assurance of what’s to come. Of course, none of us actually know what will happen next in life, but we like to think our plans will play out how we want them to. When we get stuck in the fear of the unknown, we will often become paralyzed in a worst-case scenario. Next time this is your struggle, try remembering a hard time that you’ve tackled and how you made it through without knowing how it would turn out. Use those same coping skills to take the next step of faith out of this fear. Take the first step out of your comfort zone and be prepared for a growth opportunity.
Fear of being out of control
This one can be hard. We will often rely on the security that we have things all together, but there are many times in life we just can’t. So much is out of our control in life. When people get stuck in the controlling phase they often have difficulty adapting and being flexible. It’s important to find a balance here and control what you can, and let go of what you can’t.
Fear of regret
We all make mistakes. When we’ve made big mistakes in life, we often fear making even bigger ones. People fear change because they worry they will make the wrong choice and will look back and regret what happened. Sure it’s important to be intentional with our choices, but there will be times we will regret. When that happens, it’s time to practice self-forgiveness and learn the lesson we need to from it and move on.
Fear of disappointment
Getting our hopes up about an upcoming change can end with a big disappointment. If this has happened in your past, you are more prone to resisting change because of the fear that you will be left disappointed again. If this keeps you from leaning into upcoming change, try setting realistic expectations based on the facts you know for sure. Often our disappointments are because of the dream we created in our head that didn’t come true. When you set realistic expectations, you are less likely to suffer the heartache of disappointment.
So tell me, do you ever find yourself stuck in one of these fears causing you to resist change?