What is the fear of change? Most people are a little scared and anxious when faced with a new situation in life. However, sometimes this fear becomes so intense that it makes the person unable to accept and keep up with the changes! This kind of fear of change, which has a psychological origin, can trap a person and hinder his growth in life. In this article, we examine this type of fear. Join us to see why we are afraid of change.
What is the fear of change?
Unrealistic and baseless anxiety, when a person is confronted with a new situation or experience, is called fear of change (Metathesiophobia). This type of anxiety is different from the natural stress that everyone experiences when doing work or new experiences. In this type of anxiety, the person loses the ability to cope with the new situation.
To better understand this type of fear, consider the following examples:
- A person who refuses to leave a toxic relationship because he is afraid of being alone or trying to find an emotional partner again;
- A person who is dissatisfied with his job and despite the possibility of changing his profession , is afraid of change and does not take action in this regard.
What are the signs of fear of change?
A person who is afraid of change may experience these symptoms:
- Heartbeat ;
- Fast breathing;
- Dry mouth ;
- Inability to express sentences;
- Feeling short of breath and suffocating.
Why are we afraid? What is the reason for fear of change?
To examine the roots of this fear, we must look at childhood. A child with a pessimistic parent is more likely to have such fears. Parents’ pessimism and their negative attitude towards life (which is exacerbated by environmental factors such as poverty and internal factors such as psychological trauma) make them fear change. Gradually, the child becomes cowardly after receiving this feeling from the parents. Such a person is not willing to take risks to improve his life in adulthood.
The most important reasons for fear of change are:
1. fear of failure
Fear of failure is the most common factor that keeps us from changing. To fail means to lose part of material and immaterial resources. Many people may not have the courage to change.
2. Fear of trying and suffering
No one is a fugitive from comfort and convenience. It is natural for many to refrain from trying to change their circumstances for fear of getting into trouble.
3. Fear of success
It may seem contradictory, but many people are afraid of success. When you succeed, you naturally attract more attention. This attention may put stress on your life.
4. Fear of being criticized
This fear usually keeps us from doing something new because of the credit we give to others. A person who intends to start a new business or even take the first step, because he may be criticized or blamed by others, gives the gift of change to his rival.
5. Fear of the unknown
There is a famous quote in this regard that you may have read or heard in stories: “People are afraid of what they do not know.” This sentence is part of the mentality of people who are afraid of new things. This mentality has evolutionary roots; Because our early ancestors saved their lives and the lives of their loved ones from possible dangers out of fear of the unknown.
Strategies for dealing with the fear of change
Despite all the factors and roots that instill this fear in us, it can be overcome. The first step to breaking free from the bondage of fear may be to realize that many things that are now familiar and normal to us were once frightening; For example, remember the first day of learning to drive.
Here are 11 ways to deal with the fear of change:
1. Use different treatments
Psychologists use a variety of methods to treat the fear of change and the resulting intense anxiety. One of them is hypnosis therapy. This method works by identifying fear in a part of the mind and trying to eliminate or modify it.
2. Be prepared for vulnerability to change
When one accepts new situations (with all the positives or the dark ones) and realizes that one may be vulnerable, but at the same time vulnerable one can deal with difficulties, one can better cope with the fear and anxiety of change.
3. Break the problem down into smaller units
You do not have to face all the fears of your life at the same time. Everyone may face important issues at some point in their lives, especially in their youth, such as continuing their education and choosing a partner. Naturally, if a person wants to face all these issues at the same time, he will experience a lot of fear and anxiety.
The best way is to prioritize these issues and resolve each one over a period of time; For example, if you are going to decide to continue your education. Write the problem on a piece of paper and ask yourself the reasons for the idea and your academic interests. Then move on to considering your future education and its impact on your job. Likewise, by breaking each big issue into a few smaller issues and questions, you can reduce your fears and make a wiser decision.
4. Find your goal
When someone does not know what he wants, any new situation will cause him fear and anxiety. Get rid of the fear of change and decision-making by setting your own purpose in life. Goal setting also removes incompatible options from the table and makes decision-making easier.
5. Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst
To maintain your motivation and positive attitude, think about the best things that can happen. It keeps hope alive in your heart and can use your energy in a positive direction. Although the results of change are not always in your control, you can be prepared for different scenarios.
6. Associate with positive people
Try to sit down and meet people who think positively and encourage you. Stay away from thoughtful people and those who constantly blackmail and try to make the earth and time look bad.
7. Think of positive results
Often when we are faced with a situation we do not know the consequences of, our minds immediately visualize the worst results. To deal with these images, ask yourself, “What if he answers?” “What if it is successful?” Think of possible positive outcomes and clear scenarios. This will reduce your fear.
8. Get your brain used to positive thinking
Like the muscles of the body, the brain is trained by practice and repetition. Get your brain used to thinking in a way that benefits from overcoming fears; For example, every time you encounter a new fear, think of similar things that you have been able to overcome and succeed.
9. Reward yourself
Reward yourself for breaking the wall of fear every time you step on the path to change. This reward does not have to be material. As soon as you realize in your mind, for example, that you are giving up a bad habit or eliminating something undesirable in your life, this is your reward.
10. Ask the right questions
Understanding fears correctly is one way to deal with them. Ask yourself, “What exactly am I afraid of?” Write them down. You can research them to reduce the intensity of your fears by knowing the angles of your fears.
11. Make the present a criterion
Although the past contains many lessons, you need to focus on the present and what you want to do for the future. Use current information and knowledge to make decisions about the situation ahead. Immersing yourself in the past makes you weak, and living in the future makes you fearful and anxious.
At the end of this post, it is good to mention the stages of change. Knowing these steps will both help us plan better and reduce our fears.
At this stage, the person predicts and guesses what is going to happen during the changes. To get through this mental phase safely, focus on hope and positive thinking .
2. Fell back
At this point, things look worse before they even start. This is where the person experiences the peak of stress and anxiety. Designing coherent programs and receiving support from others plays an important role in passing this stage.
3. The beginning of progress
At this point, light appears on the horizon and the positive results gradually come. This stage is where you can reward yourself for enduring hardships and overcoming fears.
At this point, you have gone through the changes and they have become part of the existing habits and conditions. In fact, the change is over and you are in a new situation.
Fear of change is part of human nature. Our brain is orbited in such a way that it always likes to work in a fixed state. This is how the evolutionary necessities of our brain are coded. However, this state of mind is changeable. By practicing the above solutions and realizing that every situation we face today was once an unstable, unknown, and changing situation, we can cross the barrier of fears and step on the path of change.
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