Change is frightening, even when it's positive. Most of us experience a fear of change when we know something new is coming or even when we actively seek that new thing. The truth is when we think that something is going to be good for us, we still find it unexpected and different from what we are used to. Even if nothing bad happens, we'll still need some time to adjust and this period of adjustment can be quite stressful. Even the anticipation of this adjustment can lead to higher levels of anxiety and worry, increased by the idea that we don't really know what's going to happen to us now.
There are other matters that play a role in the fear of change. Change implies loss – if we are moving, we are losing our old home, for instance, and we, by nature, don't like losing. Taking a new path requires more effort from us and from our brain and sometimes that switch can be overwhelming. Fear of change can paralyze us and keep us from moving forward.
So, what can we do about it? First of all, it's important to keep in mind that some measure of fear will always be present. We can't get rid of fear of change, as it is hard-wired into our brains. Accepting this and allowing ourselves to experience that fear and to feel the emotions that come with it will help us cope with the fear better.
Beyond accepting the fear, it helps to focus on the positive aspects of change. This doesn't mean to look at it in a completely optimistic manner, but rather to acknowledge the negative as well. If we emphasize the positive, we are able to see the benefits before the downsides, helping us make peace with the change.
In conclusion, fear of change is something we all experience. It's a normal feeling; however, we shouldn't let it paralyze us. Rather, we need to accept it and allow ourselves to feel it, as well as to try and focus more on the positive aspects of change.