The fear of change

The fear of change. Why do we fear it? It’s not the change itself that we fear, it’s the adjustment that causes the stress that we fear the most. Even positive change can make us feel this way.

Some changes we accept. Those are the changes that are so subtle they don’t even register with us. They happen and we accept that. For example, growing up. We deal with each stage of growing up and tend to take those changes in our stride. When something is part of the norm, we don’t stop to question it. We accept it as part of the process and get on with it.

The other changes that aren’t so subtle we spend a lifetime running away from, as the outcome to the Scottish referendum has shown. We want change but aren’t sure how we will adapt to change, but change is as big or as little as we choose it to be. We can either see change as a mountain to climb, or as a hill to climb. The choice is ours.

Our perceptions, depending on how we see them, will play the biggest part of how we adapt to change and can be the reason we hold ourselves back. The more mature, confident and self-assured we are the better we will adapt and cope to change. Because it took me so long to find out I had Cerebral Palsy, the change from not knowing to knowing was subtle.

It brought a close to years of struggle, where I didn’t know what was wrong. My site was also a subtle change, because it was a spur of the moment decision I took when I found out I had Cerebral Palsy and the decision felt right. To others reading this, it may seem like walking into the unknown on running and writing for a website in this way.

On the outset, it could have seemed a massive change and my biggest challenge, but I decided not to look at it that way. When we face things head on without reading too much into what the implications could be, our reasoning changes and things become easier. The key is not to think too deep.

When things feel right, we will always find it easy to go with change regardless of the circumstances, but sometimes we just have to believe we’re up to change and take a leap in faith, or we’ll never get to do or change anything.

20 Sep, 2014

6 thoughts on “The fear of change

  1. I tend to get all out of sorts with change, especially the little things like a schedule change. I plan my days around things and if the schedule changes everything has to. It’s more of an inconvenience to me than anything.

    My son doesn’t do well with change because the past change was a negative experience for him. I try to keep things on a regular schedule. If we have doctors appointment, I prepare him the day before.

    When we adopted him, he started acting out really bad and at the same time therapists were coming in our home to help him. In the past if new people came in, it usually meant he was going to move somewhere else, so I had to sit him down and tell him that he wasn’t going anywhere; that Frank and I were his mommy and daddy and he was not going to leave us. His behavior got better after that.

    I think we all struggle to some extent with change. But change doesn’t have to be a bad thing, sometimes it is good. We should change things up occasionally so we don’t get burned out.

    1. Yes, change isn’t easy, particularly when we’re small. I also agree with you say in your last paragraph Lisa.

      When we don’t change and mix things up a little it’s easy to burn out. Routine without change can make us feel a bit like that. It’s often the fear of having to work through change that stops us from wanting to even try.

      I know someone whose parents’ were always moving around when she was little and that had a marked emotional negative affect on her. We must find a balance with change or at least know what works for us. Thanks Lisa.

  2. Change is the one thing that I do have a very hard time dealing with, considering all the chaos it usually brings! I just thought of it this morning, where we went from a pretty stable life in 1976 to living in a pop up camper in Arizona picking oranges for a living!

    Just the absolute insanity of it all that we had to deal with as children still boggles my mind. My father remembers it even with his advanced dementia! People often wonder why I feel the way I do about my parents but they have no clue as to what it was really like.

    Fear of change has kept me paralyzed in a lot of ways, considering the things I could have done which I didn’t because I was afraid! I think so many people also waste their lives away because of this, which is truly sad.

    It does seem like I have changed since it’s fall and I haven’t felt like hibernating as much as I used to! I know I have SAD but I just don’t seem to be noticing it as much this year. Fall was also the times when things would go crazy for us as kids so it wasn’t a good time of year in the back of my mind.

    I could go on but that’s another chapter in the book I should get around to writing. I always wanted to be a great writer like Stephen King, but got sidetracked by other issues. I should just use a pseudonym because people would only remember the old me and one of my biggest fears is being judged because of it.

    I know certain things have to change now, but they will only make things better, not worse, as the case used to be. I want to be able to live, not just survive, like I’ve felt I’ve been doing most of my life!

    1. Thanks Randy. I think you’re right about change. The fear of change and thinking about change can paralyse us more than the process of change itself.

      I don’t think anyone will understand unless they have been through similar or the same circumstances, but I do believe a little compassion goes a long way and can be quite helpful.

      We don’t have to understand everything someone goes through, as long as we have compassion. Compassion allows us to unite with people regardless of our experiences. I hope things feel better for you soon Randy. I’m here for you.

  3. I welcome change, but I almost always look at change with skepticism. Change for change sake is bothersome to me; if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

    If I had my way I would still have my rotary phone.

    1. Thanks Tim. I don’t see change for change sake as bothersome, but because change takes so much time effort and energy, entering into some form of change would have to be worth it. To change means coming out of our comfort zone, so I can understand why change for change sake would be bothersome.

      Skepticism that allows us to challenge and improve our understanding is healthy. It’s not that we don’t agree with something, it’s just that we need more information for us to be able to make an informed choice about that something.

      We can’t know everything there is to know, but I feel that as long as we’re not permanently skeptical about everything in our life, it’s a good way for us to learn and for us to challenge our thoughts. That way we take away the fear associated with change.

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