Fear of change: how to take risks?

fear of change

Do not think you are alone if you are afraid of change, which has hindered you throughout your life. It is a very common attitude, and it is for a specific reason. The fear of change can be helpful in some circumstances, but it’s crippling in others. Let’s explore together.

Fear of change is a useful feeling when it comes to adapting to a situation, but it can become a serious obstacle. We’ve learned it throughout our lives, inherited from our parents, teachers, friends, or even the culture we belong to.

Conventional wisdom often advises us to be cautious about making a decision that leads to changeThe Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa is a clear example; the protagonists embody the old saying “an already known evil is better than an unexperienced good”. Popular common sense warns us of the possible risks associated with change. However, if taken literally, this advice becomes a limit that prevents us from changing when it is vital.

We prefer to avoid the risk and keep the uncomfortable but familiar “evil” rather than face the unknown. In other words, we choose to stay in our comfort zone.

The comfort zone

The comfort zone is that place or state of mind where we feel comfortable and safe. This feeling is because we stop in a dimension that we know and from which we know what to expect. The comfort zone can also be a physical place, but always linked to that sense of security and mental ease, which is not necessarily synonymous with well-being.

It’s not negative per se, but it becomes negative when we settle down knowing it’s unhealthy, hindering our personal growth and happiness. When it becomes a blocking strain, we must ask ourselves some questions.

But how to do it? First, by reflecting on the reasons for our behaviour and, above all, by understanding what we want to achieve. Do we stop there out of habit or out of necessity? Does this feeling of security come from fear or, rather, from comfort?

We will feel the risks are less if we keep everything the same. But is it always like this? In reality, staying where we are carries a huge risk of never being happy. Taking a step is scary sometimes, but it’s just fear of the unknown.

The fear of change

Why is change so scary? How many proposals have we rejected to avoid a risk? Many and in all areas of our lives.

Sometimes we decide to accept an unpleasant situation. We prefer to endure rather than face the possible negative consequences of change, forgetting the possible positive consequences. And our happiness?

Being cautious is a positive and beneficial attitude; it protects us in many situations. Who does not risk, however, neither wins nor loses. In other words, we remain in that state of normality that we have created. However, life is constant change, and sometimes we have to take a risk to grow as human beings, as a couple, as professionals, and economically.

Change scares us because it is full of uncertainty, the impossibility of foreseeing results and consequences. It could lead to an improvement or not. The point is that sometimes taking risks is essential, and things don’t always go wrong.

How to deal with the fear of change?

It’s a hard question. There is no secret formula. All changes are subject to multiple variables, some of which do not depend on us. We must not forget this aspect, but that must not discourage us.

Change can be scary; it’s a normal reaction. Fear is an emotion that warns us of dangers; we must listen to her and understand what she is telling us, and we must listen to ourselves.

A good exercise is to give a name to fear and give it a face: this way, it will be easier to understand what terrain we are venturing into. This and answers about our motivations will give us the strength we need to face the change.

Risk to grow

This doesn’t mean we have to live risk continuously, but when we feel that one aspect of our life is not going the right way, it is necessary to take the risk and change.

Being cautious in making an important decision is always a valid attitude, but we must avoid getting stuck in a situation that we perceive as narrow or precludes our growth.

Sometimes it’s unnecessary to make a big change, but rather tweak small details that make a difference. It is important to be aware of it, cultivate the strength to carry on and start being courageous. We are solely responsible for our happiness; deciding to take one path or another is up to us.

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