Fear of Change: How do You Break Free?

Fear of Change: How do You Break Free?

Last update: 14 August, 2018

If you have a fear of change, it can be tough. However, you are not suffering alone. It’s more common than you think and it happens for a reason. Fear of change can be useful in some situations but can paralyze you in others. Let’s delve deeper into this.

Fear of change can help us adapt to certain situations but it can also be an obstacle. It’s something that you learn growing up. You get it from your parents, your experiences, teachers, friends, and society.

There are popular sayings that warn you to be cautious of change. For example, “Better safe than sorry”. On the positive side, this saying warns you about the possible risks of change. However, if it’s taken at face value, it can limit you. You may avoid changing even when it’s necessary.

You fear change because you see it as a risk. Because of that, you choose to stay in a bad situation that is familiar rather than assuming the risk of facing the unknown. You choose to stay in your comfort zone.

Open the door to change.

The comfort zone

The comfort zone is a mental state in which you feel comfortable and safe. This is because it’s a known state, so you know what to expect from it. The comfort zone can also refer to a physical location. That location is linked to your sense of security and mental comfort, which doesn’t necessarily imply well-being.

Now, the comfort zone itself is not a negative place. It only becomes negative when you stay in it knowing that it isn’t useful. It can impede your personal growth and happiness. Therefore, if it can become a burden that limits your growth, you should question it.

How do you do that? Well, start by thinking about the reason for your behavior. What do you want to get from it? Are you there out of habit or necessity? Is it because of fear, comfort, or safety?

By not making any changes, it may appear that the risks decrease. That is not always the case. If you stay where you are, you run the risk of never being happy or getting where you want to be in life. Taking the first step can be scary or even terrifying just because you’re facing the unknown.

Fear of change

Why is change so terrifying? How many times have you turned down opportunities to avoid taking a risk? Most of us have done it in many areas of our lives.

Sometimes we decide to stay in uncomfortable situations. We stay there to avoid the possible negative consequences of change, ignoring the positive ones. This comes at the expense of our happiness.

Being cautious is usually a positive and beneficial attitude. It keeps us safe in certain situations. If you don’t take a risk, you neither win nor lose. You remain in the normality that you’ve created. However, life is constantly changing and sometimes you have to take risks to grow personally, professionally, or economically.

Change makes you uncomfortable because it’s full of uncertaintywhere it’s impossible to predict results and consequences. The results may be positive or negative. The question is if there are situations where it’s necessary to take certain risks. It’s not always so bad.

Woman covering her face due to fear.

How to face the risks of change

This question can be difficult to answer. There is no secret formula. All change has many possible outcomes, some of which don’t depend on you. This is something you should bear in mind, but you shouldn’t let it scare you.

We may be afraid to change. That’s totally valid. Fear is an emotion that warns us that something can be dangerous. You must listen to it to understand what it wants to tell us and, at the same time, listen to yourself.

A good exercise is to name that fear. Give it a face. Once you do that, it will be easier to know in what terrain you’re treading. This, along with the why and for what, will give us the necessary strength to face the challenge.

Taking risks to grow

It’s not that you should go through life taking every risk that comes your way. However, if you feel like something is not going right in some part of your life, you take a risk to create change.

Being cautious when making decisions that cause change, as illustrated by that saying, is valid. But don’t get stuck in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable or in a situation that keeps you from growing personally.

Woman walking down a road.

Sometimes it’s not a matter of making a huge change. Sometimes it can be a small thing that will make a difference little by little. The important thing is to know this, find the necessary strength to move forward, and be brave. You are responsible for your own happiness. It depends on you to choose to have it or not.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.