Change is inevitable, but not everyone accepts or deals with it easily. Well, would you be prepared to give up everything and move to another country? Or perhaps take up a new career when you are well into your fifties? Such changes would be very stressful for many because change means uncertainty and many more questions than answers.
But why are people often afraid of even positive change and how can we overcome this fear? That’s what we talk about in today’s article.
Table of Contents
The self-preservation instinct
During evolution, people who were more cautious and risk-averse had a better chance of survival. For our ancestors, change meant uncertainty, which was often associated with a potential threat our brains now try to avoid. So even today, when many threats are emotional, this instinct is still at work and drives our decisions.
Fear of loss of control
Everyone wants to be the master of his or her destiny and control what happens in life. However, change often means that some control may be lost.
For example, moving to a new job can mean discomfort, loss of contact with old colleagues, etc., and that feeling of uncertainty is frightening and stressful.
Often, even positive changes, such as a trip to an exotic country that we have been looking forward to for a very long time, can be stressful because we know that in an unfamiliar place we cannot control all situations.
Socio-cultural factors also influence our attitude to change. Our society has established norms and rules, and any change can threaten these social structures.
For example, the desire to quit one’s job and travel the world may be overwhelmed by the desire to be “like everyone else” and have a well-paid job, an apartment and an expensive car. People often feel pressured to conform to norms and maintain the status quo, even if they do not like it.
For similar reasons, many are reluctant to give up habits such as cigarette smoking, even though there are new and often better alternatives such as the incandescent tobacco offered by Ploom and other tobacco device manufacturers.
Often, even though deep down we want something new, career changes are not always met with enthusiasm. New job offers may seem like a great opportunity at first, but the reality is that we face a variety of challenges.
For example, moving to another city or country can be costly; there can be a culture shock, and family dynamics can change. A new job often forces you to prove your worth to a new team and managers, which is also stressful.
But for many, the most worrying aspect is financial. If the new job is more interesting but less well paid, it can lead to fears of not being able to live as we used to, of losing our social status.
Socio-cultural factors also influence our attitude to change. The society we live in has established norms and rules, and any change can lead toÂ
Finally, there is also the risk of not liking or enjoying the new role, which can hinder career goals.
Lack of self-confidence
Change often requires new skills and knowledge. Usually, this means learning something new, automatically creating a fear of failure.
For example, moving to a new department or taking on a new project may mean learning about new technologies, working methods, or even a foreign language. Anxiety about whether we will be able to acquire the skills we need causes a lot of stress.
Fear of not understanding or not knowing something often leads to avoidance of change and creates a psychological barrier that reduces our willingness to take risks and grow.
When specific changes are not in line with a person’s values or life goals, the mere thought of them can create strong resistance, as such changes can be perceived as a threat to one’s very identity.
How can we confront fears?
One of the most effective ways to overcome fear is to be prepared. Find out what’s coming up and prepare as well as you can. This could be preparing for an interview for a new job, planning a new project step by step, or simply having an open conversation with family members. In this case, the more you know, the less anxious you will feel.
Having a clear plan to help the change go smoothly is also essential. Setting clear goals will help you navigate and track your progress, even with difficulties.
The support of loved ones and professionals is also invaluable. Change is difficult, but no one needs to do everything themselves. Trust your friends, family or colleagues. Their support and advice will motivate you and help you better understand the change process. Often it only takes one person who believes in you to make change less scary.
One of the hardest aspects of change is the potential for failure. But the important thing is to learn from them, not ignore them. Be open to constructive criticism and use it as a tool for improvement. Understand that everyone makes mistakes and that mistakes are simply part of the learning process
Everything is possible
Yes, change can be scary, but it is also inevitable and often necessary
Fear of change is a complex phenomenon influenced by biological, psychological, and social factors. However, anyone can overcome these fears: all it takes is the will, determination and the right preparation.
Remember that change is not necessarily evil – it is often just a part of life, and overcoming fear opens a new door and a new chapter in life.
So attitude is everything. Learning to see change as an opportunity rather than a threat will make things much easier. Finally, if you can’t change the change, try to change your attitude. And you don’t have to do it all at once. Change can be implemented in small steps, giving yourself time to adapt and get used to the new conditions.