Simple Steps for Overcoming Fear of Life Changes

Many people find tackling their fear of life changes harder than actually putting those changes in place.

When it comes to initiating change, so often it can seem more attractive to put it off than take action – even if putting things off fixes us deeper into a rut.  Sometimes we even compound our emotional distress by beating ourselves up about staying in our comfort zone instead of taking that desired step forward, which can keep us from even wanting to think about the changes we originally wanted to make.

But, with the right help, life changes can become manageable and any related emotional turmoil minimised.

If you are facing a period of personal growth and evolution and the transition this brings, you may find the following series of tips useful to ease you through the process.

If, however, you feel you would like some professional support, please feel free to claim your FREE 30 minute Change Your Lifestyle Consultation by going to my website www.vernonaharris.com or call Vernon on 07866 730941.

Tip 1   Recognise that change is inevitable, but fear of change is universal
Change is an inevitable part of our human growth, yet ironically, being afraid of change is a normal human reaction.  Recognise that your fear does not equate to weakness and accept it as part of your process of transition – albeit a part that you will face up to.  Resist the temptation to believe that you are somehow “not doing things right” because you have experienced the fear – you have been brave enough to contemplate changing your life and you will draw upon that same courage to overcome the challenges as they arise.

NB:  Courage is not to do with the absence of fear – it’s persevering in spite of the fear.

Tip 2   Discuss your feelings
Talk to someone you really trust to recognise your anxieties and understand them.  Explain that you will find your own solutions as you go through your process of change, but that you may need to simply talk out your fears from time to time along the way.  Tell the person(s) you talk to that you really value their time and help with this and that simply getting things off your chest makes a huge difference to being able to go on with your journey of change. It’s amazing how the chance to stand back and look at fears can put them into perspective and allow you to see things that may not have been apparent when feeling the initial emotional charge.  Keep a notebook with you and jot down any useful insights that come to you as a result of having talked things out.

Tip 3   Let go of the past
Be thankful for everything you valued about your old life, but know that what was good and appropriate for you then will need to change as you allow yourself to grow.  Recognise that there may be some things that you will miss for a time but that the benefits of your new life are worth the effort of going through those feelings, acknowledging them – and allowing them to diminish naturally as you move forward.

Tip 4   Keep a journal
Experiencing mixed feelings at a time of transition is normal – after all, you are letting go of the past and anticipating a future full of promise, all at the same time – so allow yourself to be human.  Journaling throughout the process (in addition to talking to someone you trust, Tip 2) may be an extremely valuable tool for both expressing yourself and gaining clarity.

Tip 5   Do your preparation
Collect as much information as possible about the changes you are going to make, researching your options and taking note of wisdom from others who have taken a similar path.  In short – keep planning.  Pro-active preparation is valuable groundwork and furnishes you with an idea of what’s possible; even though you cannot know precisely all that is going to happen in the future (sometimes help comes from unexpected sources, for example!)  Taking charge of this important initial stage puts control back into your own hands – which effectively neutralises any underlying anxiety about life suddenly feeling “out of control” if you instigate the change.

Tip 6   Feel the joy
Allow yourself the excitement that comes as you contemplate pastures new!  Acknowledge the joy, the anticipation, perhaps the sense of freedom that emerges as you’re making your plans.  When you’re looking forward to the new, the initial anxiety you may have felt has definitely lost its hold (and if it does return, it will no longer seem debilitating, but something you can control and put into perspective…)

Tip 7   Become solution-focused
Just as you overcame challenges in your life before you reached this point, you will overcome challenges as you go through your present and future process of transition.  You have the inbuilt ability to assess a situation, gather information, seek advice, synthesise everything and create and apply your own solution.  Why? – Because you have already done this in many other contexts throughout your path in life, whatever that has been up until now.

Tip 8   Stay optimistic, but realistic
It isn’t often that we can describe any particular phase of life as perfect, but there are certainly perfect opportunities in any situation to learn and then apply what we’ve learned.  So often, just as we’ve expended a huge effort scaling our personal mountain, another one becomes visible just as we reach the top – and the next one is far taller than the first, bringing fresh challenges…this is how human beings became so supremely adaptable and inventive!

Value and be grateful for every step you take, no matter how small, acknowledging that you are growing with every aspect of your experience.

Tip 9   Just start it!
Disable your inner procrastinator!  Let’s face it most of us have been guilty of a small – or larger! – degree of procrastination at some time or another – whether it’s being distracted by a personal email, letting filing stack up, or something more serious like putting off scheduling a meeting that could be beneficial – if only you had the time.

Make a list of your worst habits and then re-write each as a positive action statement, e.g. “I put off dealing with my business branding” might become “I will have redesigned my business card and also have found a reasonably priced printing option within 7 days from now”.  If you wish, once you’ve finished re-writing the items into positives, you could shred or burn the original list, saying “I release you to make room for something better!”  Then commit wholeheartedly to what you have promised yourself you will do, keeping your list somewhere highly visible so that you will see it and read it every day.

Tip 10   Check your time management skills
Are they as good as you think?  Get into the habit of setting yourself deadlines and monitor your accomplishments daily, even hourly, to check that you’re staying on track with planned activities.  Practice prioritising and create your daily “to do” list in order of task importance, carrying forward anything incomplete to the next day.  If you know you tend to get side-tracked with details that are not crucial to your daily objectives, set yourself an hourly timer for the day and write down honestly what you were doing when the timer went off on each occasion.  If it wasn’t something productive, you know you will need to be more mindful to make headway.

Tip 11   Remember that your life journey is unique
…and so are your goals and aspirations.

If you’re doing what’s right for you, you’re living your life with passion and energy…which can only have a positive effect on your relationships, both personal and professional, and your own sense of wellbeing.  You may not notice it immediately, but don’t be surprised if your courage, commitment and enthusiasm have an inspiring effect on others, including those who work with you to bring your vision into reality.

Tip 12   Let criticism just bounce off
Remember that if you are faced with criticism, it is only as real as you choose to make it.  An authentic, fulfilling life is far more worthy of your attention than the fear and projections of others…so just leave behind baggage you don’t need.

Tip 13   Hone your own “rules of success”
Many people who have persevered to attain their goals in life have analysed what worked for them and distilled this into their own personal “blueprint for success”.  It’s worth perusing these guidelines, created out of solid experience, noting down anything that particularly resonates with you that you may consider applying yourself.

YouTube links to the rules of success of 4 well known public figures

Will Smith – Top 10 Rules of Success: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBsT9omTeh0

Shakira’s – Top 10 Rules of Success: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdpe8cowW6Q

Arnold Schwarzenegger – 6 Rules of Success: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyhOmBPtGNM

Oprah Winfrey’s – Top 10 Rules of Success: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a8ncSBU-Eg

As you progress through your own process, your experiences and evaluation of them will provide you with your own distilled “eternal truths” – so you can view even the most testing of experiences as valuable in creating your own personal methodology that will stand you in good stead time and time again.

Keep examining what has worked well for you and why, how that success could be made even better…the results you will achieve will be worth every single moment of the effort.

Tip 14   Cherish your emotional anchors
This may sound obvious, but cherish those who love the authentic you and who offer you the wellspring of emotional support that enables you to dare to live your dreams.  These are the people who will love you and support you no matter what – and who will understand and enjoy your personal growth through both the triumphs and the tribulations.

Tip 15   Nurture yourself
We all have certain favourite things that give us a sense of continuity and connection and these are precious indeed at times of transition.  Whether it’s a favourite book, film, piece of music, photo, and drawing, a favourite walk, scent, colour, food, pastime, place…allow yourself to “touch base” and experience the treasured constants that have sustained you and kept you balanced along your path in life to date.

If you have read this far – Congratulations!  Your mindset is embracing the positive change you have been envisaging in your life and you are well on the way to manifesting it!  Enjoy the journey!

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