Change. It’s a double-sided sword, isn’t it? On the one hand, change brings growth, excitement, and insight. On the other, it brings stress and fear. Change that unexpectedly happens can be scary—but it’s often out of your control completely so there’s little or no build up to it. When it comes to change that you initiate—such as seeking out a new job, leaving your partner, or choosing to move to a new country—it can be especially scary!
The good news is: fear is universal. As humans, we’re bound to get scared every once in awhile. It’s part of what ensured our survival over the years. Rather than allow fear to be the driver, though, you can gently nudge it into the passenger’s seat so that you’re the one running the show.
Now, speaking of change, there are two ways to confront the fear. On the one hand, you can choose to stay right where you are, doing exactly what you’ve been doing—this can provide a temporary relief. You no longer have to worry about all of the “what-if…” scenarios. You no longer have to fear that big, scary, unknown future. But if you never initiate the change—especially those changes you know, deep down in your heart, you need to make—you never know what might have been. If you never take a leap, lifting your feet off solid ground, you might never have the chance to soar. On the other hand, you step past the fear and take a risk. Here are a few steps to implementing change in your life:
- Starting with small steps. Starting small can help you take big action. When you conquer little fears first, it makes the bigger fear easier to master. Even working on small fears that have no bearing on the big change you want to initiate can help you because they make you feel braver and stronger and more confident. Look for little ways to be brave.
- Avoiding a “failure fixation.” Don’t focus on everything that could go wrong. Yes, things might not go exactly as planned, but that doesn’t equate to failure. Consider looking at “failure” as an opportunity to learn! When you focus on the possibility of failure, you’re ignoring all of the endless possibilities of things going wonderfully well or turning into something you never expected. We create more of what we focus on, so focus on success!
- Allowing excitement to trump fear. The reason you’re choosing change is because you know it is what you need. There’s something better out there for you than what you have now. Get excited about that! Don’t let fear be the reigning emotion. Focus on the excitement of possibilities, of a better life, of being happier. The future is exciting and that excitement can override your fear if you allow it to.
Even with these few pieces of advice, it can be difficult to initiate change when combating the fear of all that change entails. But don’t let that fear be the thing that holds you back from what could be. Life doesn’t always put on us on the perfect path; sometimes we have to create our own way. You don’t have to face fear alone. Change is rarely easy (and often quite scary!), but when you push past the fear and initiate a change you know needs to be made, you open up a world of possibilities for living a better, more positive life.