Posts made in October, 2016

Why Are We So Afraid of Change?

Recently I have been going through what feels like a ton of changes and I’m not afraid to say that I’m stressed. While I do understand that people typically loathe change, I didn’t understand why I was having such a reaction when I hadn’t had one like this before in life.  It caused me to do some research…


What I found was many people, not just me, are afraid of change for a number of reasons. The first is that the brain perceives patterns and becomes comfortable with them. If those patterns then change, it can be extremely disruptive to a person’s entire way of thinking, leading to stress and anxiety.


Trapped by Our Patterns


We often refer to it as “going out of our comfort zone” because we set boundaries for ourselves (usually unconsciously) and rarely stray beyond them. The trouble is that we then become fixed, stationary and unwilling to budge. Getting so set in our ways makes it harder and harder to change.


Fear of the Unknown


Fear of the unknown causes people not to take chances and to stay in situations even when they are not happy. As soon as people think about change, all sorts of questions and concerns start to creep in. The biggest one is, “What if I make a mistake?”


The fear of things getting worse, rather than better, freezes most of us in a situation that really isn’t great but seems better than taking a chance and risking things getting worse.




As soon as you start thinking about a big change in your life, self-doubt can start to creep in. You will wonder if you are up to the challenge, and your fear of failure might stop you from ever trying in the first place. After all, why go to all that effort if you’re going to fail anyway? Better to leave things as they are.


Fear of Success


But what if you were to succeed? Believe it or not, some people are afraid of success because it can mean a couple of different things they might find overwhelming. The first is that with success comes responsibility. You will have to keep maintaining a high level of performance.


The second is more deep-rooted. If you succeed, it could show that you’re NOT all the things your critics said you were, in which case, you’ve been holding yourself back from the best things in life for no reason other than the attitudes of unpleasant people. It is easier in some ways to be the black sheep of the family than the all-star. On the other hand, just think how great it would feel to prove them all wrong.


Discouragement from Those around Us


In a similar way, daring to dream big can elicit negative responses from people whose opinion we value and respect. If you hear, “You’ll NEVER do that!” from a parent or partner, chances are they’re right; you never will, because you won’t make the changes needed to move forward and succeed.


As Henry Ford, the great car manufacturer once said, “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” In other words, success starts in the mind. So does change.


Change Is a Process That Can’t Be Rushed


One theory about the way people change their lives for the better, or try to, states that there are six different stages to making a change and having that change stick. It can be weeks, months or years between the stages. However, all six stages are essential to success, and skimping on them can lead to failure.


Change can’t be forced; you need to do research, prepare, take action, and evaluate the success of your actions. All this takes time, and as most people want instant gratification these days, they don’t take the steps needed to successfully create profound changes in their lives.


Change takes effort, but the rewards can be well worth it if you are willing to spot your mental blocks and underlying fears, and go for your goals anyway!


Let me know what you think below…



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