“The World Hates Change, Yet It Is The Only Thing That Has Brought Progress.“
As with all things in life, you can’t overcome your fear of change, until you first become aware that it is a problem.
One thing I discovered about change in my own life is that change occurs slowly, there is no fast track to lasting positive change, and there are stages to go through to get there.
In this article I hope to take you through some of these stages.
Dr. Stan Goldberg carried out twenty five years of research on ‘How People Change’. His findings concluded that change occurs in stages. He says it’s a gradual process that is tough, but not impossible, and it doesn’t have to be traumatic.
The reason change is traumatic for so many people is that for too long they live an unreflective life, going in the wrong direction, not listening to their own deepest needs and desires.
They keep going forward without acknowledging their problems, until one day they hit a crisis. Their world falls apart, and they wonder, what just happened? This is painful, and yes, even traumatic!
What Stan Goldberg means is that if you decide to look at your life as a whole; personally and professionally, and work on making positive change, aligning your deepest desires, and values with your actions, the transition will not be traumatic.
You’ve heard the expression ‘a stitch in time, saves nine’– everyone needs to make changes at some point in their life, but if we fail to make the changes in time, we could face a crisis later.
It’s about taking personal responsibility for your future, and making a decision to change!
Fear of Change
Before we discuss the steps to change, let us first look at our fear of change. It is almost programmed into us as human beings to dislike change, even though change is good as it often brings newness of life. Yet, we cling on terrified of upsetting the status quo.
People fight hard to hold on; the resistance to change is strong and even if their situations are damaging to their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, they still want to hold on for fear of the unknown.
Goldberg says, change is frightening and this is why we resit it.
‘ We resist change, but fear of the unknown can result in clinging to status quo behaviours, no matter how bad they are.’
Why do we resist change?
To feel safe, not to look foolish, not to have to walk alone.
Let’s face it, if you want to do something bold and daring in your life, you will have opposition. It will be difficult. Know this before setting off on your journey of change.
The reason I started New Creation Coaching was that I wanted to see change in the world. Why?, because I am tired of how our society is going.
I want the future generation to think in a new way that helps them realize their infinite potential.
I want to see more and more people doing what they were called to do, rather than just plod along working and paying the bills.
Life is for living, and everyone should have an opportunity to live an abundant, blessed life.
For me, becoming a new creation means creating positive lasting change. It will be a completely new life with old things passing away and new things continually on the horizon.
When you cling to old ways, you don’t leave any room for pleasant surprises in your life. Playing it safe, never brings much joy.
I found this concept of change difficult at first because I thought I had seen and done it all. I had been very adventurous in my life. What could be new for me? I was clearly STUCK!
It was a challenge for me to change, as I was clinging to what I knew, terrified of taking the next step of faith.
For some people, change comes about through sickness or maybe even divorce or redundancy.
You hadn’t planned it, but it brought change all the same. This often proves to be a blessing in disguise. Do not be afraid of change, but rather embrace it!
Can you work with me for a minute? I just want you to relax! Now, imagine…
- You felt total peace and joy everyday of you life
- Lived wherever you wanted to live
- Surrounded by the people you want to be with
- Speaking freely without any fear of criticism
- Not needing to people please
- Being in charge of your own life
- Carving out your own path
- Not being controlled
- Not needing to control
- Accepting yourself as you really are
- Daring to be the real you – living authentically
- Enjoying life to the full!
- Soaring to great heights!
- Having life-giving relationships
- Living with purpose and meaning
What would that feel like for you? Do you live like that now? Or, is it far from your reality?
We can find ourselves in a rut very easily. Our world system almost sets it up for us, and without true awareness and the courage to challenge the status quo, we could be in this rut till the day we die.
And believe me, I have seen it, as I worked as a nurse for over 20 years, walking with people in those last days. It is true, a lot of people reach the end of their life feeling unfulfilled.
The fulfilled ones enjoyed being old and looking at the rest of us trying to work it all out, offering kind support wrapped in little nuggets of wisdom.
They were at peace, had no regrets, and were nice to be around. They had used up their gifts and talents and had love in their hearts, not bitterness.
I just want to get you thinking today. If this doesn’t apply to you, that’s okay, but for those of you who are wondering:
Am I in the right place in my life? Are my relationships healthy? Do I like my job? Should I go for that promotion, or should I plan to leave?
What about your health? hobbies? financial life? spiritual life? emotional well-being?
Change can be daunting, and you may not know where to start. This can lead to inertia, but don’t worry, just take baby steps. The first step is the awareness that something needs to change.
There is more out there for you, but you will have to do your part to bring it in. I encourage you to follow your dreams, as life without dreams is very dull indeed.
The only way to overcome your fear of change is to make a decision to do it regardless and move through it gently.
7 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Change
1. Recognize Your Need To Change
Awareness is always the first step to change. You first have to see your need for change. Perhaps something isn’t working as well as it could?
Self-awareness brings new insights into your patterns of behaviour, reactions, defenses, etc. When you become aware, it allows you to choose something different that brings better results.
2. Make A Decision To Take The First Step Towards Change
When you reflect on your situation and decide to commit to starting to change, you are already halfway there. There is power in making a decision. You see the need for change, and you have hope of a better future.
3. Examine Your Life To See What Areas Need Change
You can do this yourself by writing down all the different areas of your life such as work, family, relationships, finances, health, self-development, and so on.
Examine each area and ask yourself how satisfied am I with each area using a scale of 0 -10? (0 – being very dissatisfied and 10 – being very satisfied). You can also come to a coaching session and we can go through this together.
4. Invest Time and Effort Into Making This Change Happen
Again, commitment to the process. First, you need to commit to the decision and then follow through on this commitment to the point of completion.
This is about believing in yourself and believing that this will work for you! We build self-belief when we make decisions, take successful actions, and accept personal responsibility for both our successes and failures.
5. Be Confident
Confidence requires practice. It requires mistakes and the courage to fail. You will have set backs, but all successful people fail many times on their way to success.
You activate your self-confidence by believing in yourself. It’s about having boldness and courage and not caring what others think of you. Dare to be different.
6. Be Persistent – Change is on the way
At this point, it gets tough, there will be some pain as the process begins, but remember, it’s normal to feel this way as you are moving out of your comfort zone; it may feel like you are pushing a rock up a hill, but believe me, it gets easier.
Don’t give up! .. soon you will reap the rewards for your persistence and determination.
7. Be Willing To Let Go Of The Old
Be willing to let go of old habits, behaviours, things, people, and anything else that no longer serves you in a healthy way. It takes time to let go of bad habits and to form new ones.
Be aware of this, so if you slip back occasionally, don’t worry too much, this is all part of the process. Dust yourself off and get back up.
A Few Final Pointers For Your Journey To Positive Change –
- Let go and trust
- Desire something better
- Believe you can change
- Don’t give up
- Wait with expectation – it is coming!
Make a decision today to confront your fear of change. If you follow these steps in whatever order you like, you will overcome your fear of change.
Always remind yourself that change is good, especially if you are feeling unhappy in certain areas of your life.
It may not be easy to change, but if you can keep your mind and heart on the future results, you will have the strength to keep going each day until you reach your desired goal.