Discover! What You Need to Do If You Really Want Change in Your Life
It could be that the reason why you feel like nothing in your life ever changes is that you have Metathesiophobia. That’s a big word but Fear of Change is also a pretty common problem. Maybe you’re stuck in a rut not because the economy is struggling or because you are always too busy or because you love an emotionally unhealthy person too much to leave them and move on. We hear these things from people all the time. And yet, these are infrequently the true reasons why they don’t start the process of change. The truth is often they are simply afraid.
You may scoff at that suggestion. “Why would I be afraid of good changes?” But give that some thought. If you’ve tried numerous diets and never achieve the end result, if you start budgets and financial plans but never gain ground, if you’ve ranted repeatedly about how much you hate your job but have never actually taken steps to do something else…you’ve hit the wall called Fear of Change. It looks a little different for everyone but its all variations of the same theme.
· Feelings of anxiety over worry about what kind of things could go wrong if you make a change. This can escalate from sweaty palms to a full panic attack, depending on how close to the “point of no return” you venture.
· Weakness when you’re around a familiar trigger, such an emotional event that makes you crave your favorite comfort foods or drinking too much when out with friends. It may seem that stating your reason for a limit out of your known habit seems too hard so instead, you chose the path of least resistance.
· A rise in items on your “to-do” list as you maintain an even busier schedule than ever…because what you are really doing is ensuring you are too busy to get around to taking those steps towards change. By the way, if you ever thought procrastination looks like boredom, you’re wrong.
Fear of change leads to a sort of life paralysis. It’s terrifying, saps your energy, kills your creativity, and locks you into a box of sameness. It’s not a happy place and that unhappiness makes you want to do something about what’s causing it. Unfortunately, many times this becomes part of a discouraging circle. Discontent leads to complaining, which might evolve into a plan and a few small action steps. But then the anxiety level rises and a return is made to the status quo, along with a feeling of failure for having tried but not succeeded. If you want to break free from that cycle and really change something in your life, here’s what you should do:
· Identify the real enemy: change is not the bad guy, but rather the fear of change. That’s where you need to start. Once you identify that you are afraid of something, you have already taken the first step towards changing it.
· Find out what is holding you back: You need to read more about something called limiting beliefs. We all have them and we all can find a way to move past them. The problem is that unless you know what they are, they will always hold you back.
· Replace your limiting beliefs with new truths: You do deserve to be happy. You can break old habits. You do have what it takes to be successful in every area of your life. You have enough time; you can learn to be good with money. Things can be done another way. Refuse to listen to negativity and myths. Remember, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.
· Expect resistance: a little push-back is to be expected, especially if you are setting out to change something that’s been a certain way for a length of time. Have a plan in place for what you’ll do when you hit it. It’s “when”…not “if”.
· Redefine what failure means: You probably have quit every time you failed in the past. This actually reinforces the limiting belief that failure is an end and a bad one at that. Failure can actually be very helpful though- it provides insight and information you can use to make a better choice next time. It’s a useful tool to have in your experiential tool box!
· Find something that motivates you: Everyone requires a motivation of some kind and one size does not fit all. You will need to have your final goal articulated and kept before you; post it on your mirror or computer screen. Along the way, read inspirational stories and keep yourself surrounded by supportive friends.
· Smile more! Studies have shown that even if you don’t feel like smiling, actually doing so can improve your mood. It also improves the environment around you and causes the people around you to treat you differently. What have you got to lose?
· Be in a State of Gratitude! Gratitude is another powerful tool to have. Try always saying Thank You! Expressing thanks for what is good in your life already spreads like a contagion. It subtly changes your focus from negative self-pity to positive gratefulness. This is magic! Over time you’ll notice you are focused on blaming others less, making excuses less, and are actually looking for more good things to be grateful for!
Do one thing differently today. Small steps are a part of every journey. You don’t have to expect to be able to “take a leap of faith” or “run a marathon” or “climb the highest mountain” all at once to overcome your fear of change. It’s okay to start small. Perhaps listen to a motivational speaker on the drive home tonight instead of your usual music. Find a picture of a bucket list goal on Pinterest or in a magazine or park at the back of the lot and walk instead of looking for the perfect spot close to the front of the store. Taking that first step is the beginning of making the change you seek. The important thing is just to start, take that first step, then another and before long you will begin to see changes that you never thought could be possible. It’s important to remember the words of Leon Brown when he said “you cannot expect miracles to happen overnight. Be patient; be loving and little by little the change you seek will come.” You can do this.