How to Combat the Fear of Change


By Tyissha Joseph-Dottin

Have you ever been dissatisfied with the current events in your life? Do you feel like your life is miserable and boring? If you are having these recurrent feelings of dissatisfaction, it's time for a change, because your life has become stagnant. It's time to chase after your goals and those things you’ve been desiring for numerous years. Change isn't easy. Change is disruptive and painful; it also causes turmoil and distress. Change also involves loss. The recurrent emotion we have when it comes to change is fear. Fear is a natural instinct that protects us from danger and makes us think about the future, but we have a tendency to imagine danger that does not exist. Sometimes we get taken away by our vivid thoughts and often have ideas that something bad is going to happen. We create destructive dialogues that focus on the problem rather than the opportunities. Fear holds us back from chasing after our goals.

These are the two common type of fears people face when it comes to change:

Fear of failure

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Many people are afraid of chasing after their dreams or changing their lives because they are afraid of failing. The best way to avoid failure or embarrassment is to not try at all, but how will you grow if you're afraid of obstacles and challenges? Life is all about making mistakes and learning from them. Some of us fail to realize that failure is the only way to succeed. There is no straight road to success. If you fail, all you have to do is try again until your dreams become a reality.

Fear of the unknown

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Change is frightening and it leads us to the unknown. The unknown leads to fear. Fear of stepping into unfamiliarity because we don't want to be in situations or conditions that can possibly affect our comfort. It also puts us in an uncomfortable position where we can't dictate the outcome of our future. We have created a routine that makes it hard for us to change. We are so stuck in our comfort zone that we’d rather stick with something we know, rather than confront an unfamiliar future. However, what is the point of staying in our comfort zones when everything that surrounds us changes? Life changes. The people that surround us change. You have to remember that life truly begins once you leave your comfort zone. Sometimes you have to modify certain areas in your life and face new challenges in order to achieve a goal or a dream.

When it comes to making changes, the best thing you can do is to transform your negative emotions into positive feelings. Turn your sadness into happiness. Be happy that you'll finally achieve something you’ve always wanted to do. Change your doubt into anticipation or excitement. Be excited to venture out on a new journey. Change your fear into courage. Have the courage to try something new. 

Forrest Gump said, "Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Life is unpredictable, and we can't determine the future. All we can do is enjoy life and take chances and risks. No matter how drastic the changes are, just remember that you can achieve greater heights. Sometimes all you need to do is trust your instincts and take a leap of faith.

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