Change implies a loss of routine. Whether the loss is short-term or long-term is immaterial. With a Substitute Sense of Self, even a temporary loss of routine means a loss of control. In the best of circumstances, disruptions to our daily routine cause frustrations that unnerve us. Now, consider the added stressors of:
- Negotiating new social norms and health protocols
- Grappling with anxiety and fear for the future
- Suffering with personal and collective grief
When we are inpatient with ourselves, we reject parts of who we are, judge ourselves harshly, and speak to ourselves unkindly. Do thoughts like “I should be used to this by now,” “I can’t get anything done,” or “I’m so exhausted all the time; there must be something wrong with me” sound familiar?
If you struggle with fear of change, don’t allow it to trap you into a life that you don’t want. While change may seem terrifying, the real tragedy is living a life that doesn’t bring you any joy.
A common example of fear of change is when a person stays in an unfulfilling romantic relationship because they are terrified of being single, or of the effort and risk involved in trying to find a different partner. People often coast along in unfulfilling relationships, even marrying a person about whom they feel ambivalent, just because they are so scared at the prospect of breaking up. Often, these marriages end in divorce when one or both partners have finally had enough, but the divorce is very difficult for everyone involved, not least of which being the children.
Change isn’t easy. Quick fixes reside mostly in theory, and lasting change takes time. We will experience challenges, and we may even go backwards at times. Long-term success includes small steps in the direction of your goal. With calm, controlled perseverance and loving kindness, you will achieve whatever you’ve set out to do. Putting an end to your fear—choosing to stay right where you are, doing exactly what you’ve been doing—can provide a temporary relief. You no longer have to worry about all of the “what-if…” scenarios. You no longer have to fear that big, scary, unknown future. But if you never initiate the change—especially those changes you know, deep down in your heart, you need to make—you never know what might have been. If you never take a leap, lifting your feet off solid ground, you might never have the chance to soar.
To conquer your fear of change and transform your life you need a comprehensive plan. Spend the proper amount of time understanding your motivation, researching your concerns, and putting the proper systems in place.