Why Fear Change: 7 Reasons People Fear Change
So, what is change? Change is basically just something different than before. Whether it is an action, an object, or something else. It’s just something different. So, why is it that so many fear it? Have you ever really thought about it? Is there really something to be afraid of? Are we just making problems up were they don’t actually exist? Below is a list of 7 reasons why some people fear change and how to address them.
- Fear of Failure. Probably ranks at the top of most people’s list. No one likes to fail. However, while we are changing things, let’s change the way we think of failure. We think of it as having a negative connotation because it means we have not succeeded in what we were trying to do. However, is that always a bad thing? A failure is only a failure if you stop at that point. Take a chef when he/she is trying to come up with a new signature dish. Do you think they get it perfect on the first shot? My bet is no. They start with an idea and then tweak it as they go to make it better until they have that perfect combination. The important thing is to learn from the failure and keep moving forward. Just start thinking of failure as practice!
- Fear of Success. Believe it or not, there are those out there that fear being successful. It’s actually more common than you might think. Why is that, you might ask? There are a number of reasons… success comes with responsibility, puts you into the spot light, it changes who you are, people will expect more from you, etc. It can be absolutely debilitating for many. So how do you deal with it? Ask yourself why you set out to do it in the first place. Is it worth it? Will it change the world in some way? Is there something inside you that is standing in the way of making it happen? If it’s worth doing, then work your issue and make it happen.
- Fear of the Unknown. We are often afraid of the unknown or trying something new. It is unchartered territory and therefore mistakes will be made. If it is something that someone had done before, study what they did. Find a mentor or coach. Now, what if it is something completely new? Think of it this way, if you are the first, then there is no right or wrong way to do it. You are the trailblazer. Can’t do it wrong if no one has ever done it before. Take the lead and make the difference.
- Fear of Criticism. The fact of the matter is, when you put yourself out there, you open yourself up to criticism. You can’t make everyone happy. One side will love you, the other will hate you. If your idea or message is important enough to you and you feel it needs to be out there, just go in with your eyes open. If you don’t want to deal with it, then I would suggest not taking that step. There are plenty out there willing to take that leap. You just have to make the right decision for yourself. Something brought you to this change. Don’t just abandon it without giving it your best shot.
- Fear of Effort. When you are starting something new, it requires an effort. Depending on what it is, will depend on just how much effort you will need to put out there. Chances are if you have the thought to make the change, you can make the effort. It doesn’t mean it will go smooth. Chances are you may have issues along the way that make you doubt if the effort is worth it. Think about dieting/losing weight. You have to put the effort in to eat right and exercise. If you do, it will pay off. There will be times it feels overwhelming, so you don’t put the effort in. You just need to realize that it is going to happen and then get back on track when it does.
- Isolating Yourself. Often times when we are looking to make a change, we may isolate ourselves or not tell anyone else in fear that we may fail. If we don’t tell anyone, then no one other than you will actually know. However, that just means you are alone on this new journey. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that support around you when things do get rough? Like in some of the other examples, it is not likely to go smooth the entire time. Don’t go it alone if you don’t have to.
- Thinking You Don’t Have Options. Often times when we are making changes, we focus in on one change. Why? Is there only one way to do it? Probably not since you are already looking at making a change. Don’t limit your options. Keeping an open mind will help with the failure rate as well. If you first change idea is not working, make another change. Just keep moving forward.
Change is always going to be scary because you are moving into the unknown. Things around you are going to change, you are going to change. Just understand that going in and there is nothing to fear. When something new or unexpected presents itself, deal with it right then and there. Dragging it out will only create stress and anxiety that no one needs. It’s about changing your mindset to think about change as something exciting and positive. Be careful of the words you use in your internal dialogue. They can be powerful.
What changes are you looking to make in 2018? Are you running into any of these issues? If so, tell us in the comments and let those around give you some advice, suggestions or just some good old-fashioned encouragement! Just know, you can do it!