We all have what we think are reasons to fear change. It’s annoying, overwhelming, frustrating, unnecessary, time-consuming, and so on.
But I’m going to challenge you to DIG deeper than the circumstance, deeper than your reactions to the circumstance.
I’m going to challenge you to DIG into the real reasons any of us are afraid of change, whether it’s frustration over Facebook changes or overwhelm over a change in career or fear of a change within ourselves or our lives.
Change via Zoe Pittman
(Heck, how many of you are afraid right now of changing your perspective on this topic? Maybe you’re feeling flustered or confused, tight in your stomach or shoulders, aggravated, offended or worried. That’s all about fear, baby.)
All human actions are motivated at their deepest level by two emotions–fear or love. In truth there are only two emotions–only two words in the language of the soul…. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.
– Neale Donald Walsch
Change is the only constant in life right? So anytime we’re fighting with reality we get to ask ourselves some deeper questions. Like what am I really afraid of here?
What Your Fear of Change Really Means
Beneath the situation, the things you can see or describe, beneath your reactions….are the fears that are being triggered. Remember, no “thing” in life can rub a sore spot that doesn’t already exist inside us.
Which one of these is you?
- “Change makes me anxious.”
A big, BIG reason we fear change is because we feel more comfortable where we are, rather than moving forward. But all of life moves forward and changes.And so if we’re afraid of doing what comes naturally and organic to our nature, it’s often because of fear that change is not safe. We know what things are now. We don’t know what lies ahead.
And so it doesn’t matter if it’s a little change, like your favorite restaurant closing or a big change, like marriage, walking into the unknown rubs against a fear that we are inherently not safe.
Ask yourself: Why do I feel unsafe?
- “Change frustrates or overwhelms me.”
We’re human. We make mistakes. And we have weaknesses. But we’ve been taught from a very young age that this is a bad thing. So we begin to learn that we are not “good enough”…or some variation, such as smart enough, capable enough, strong enough.
When changes rubs against this idea we’ve learned we say things like “I can’t possibly figure out all these new changes!” or “I can’t handle this in my life.” Change freaks us out because it threatens to expose our weaknesses and our vulnerabilities.
Ask yourself: What makes me think I’m not enough?
- “It’s just too much.”
Too much of one thing really means not enough of another. This other “not enough” is all about scarcity on a deep core level.
I usually hear it in regards to time: “I don’t have time to manage all this.” Sometimes it’s about money: “I can’t afford to redo everything!” Maybe even: “I don’t have the energy for this.”
The thing about scarcity is it’s really about us and our (in)ability to create more, which goes back to that “good enough” thing I mentioned up there. It’s also about the feeling that you’re needs won’t be met, that if someone else gets something there won’t be anything left for you, that you’ll be left hurting or alone. (And that takes us to #4.)
Ask yourself: Why do I think I can’t have or create more?
- “What about me and what I want?”
This one is sneaky and sometimes hard to see. Maybe it surfaces as the “Why me? Everyone is out to get me!” reaction we have when things change without our approval.But it’s also that anxiety we feel as we try to figure something out and feel like we’ll be the last one to get it (or that we’ll never get it). Or the panic we feel if life or love gets tough, because we’re afraid it won’t work out.
You see, under this idea that people are intentionally hurting you or will hurt you is really the idea that you are or will be alone, unloved, unseen, unheard, not cared for or taken seriously, ignored, unimportant or unappreciated.
Ask yourself: How long have I felt alone?
- Or maybe it’s something else entirely…
Have you caught yourself wrapped up in reacting badly about something, complaining about change that you know really doesn’t matter?
Well, then it’s likely it’s not about what’s changing at all. It’s likely the change you’re resisting is really just a scapegoat for something else.
Ask yourself: What am I really avoiding or distracting myself from by spending my energy fighting with this?
How do I know this? Oh, only because I’ve experienced each one of these at some time in my life. And I’ve talked to or coached countless others who have discovered the same about their own fear of change.
It’s just Truth that underneath our own negative reactions are our own negative beliefs or fears. It’s fact that things cannot cause our reactions, only offer us opportunities to react. How we react, however, is totally up to us.