Change can be a lot to handle. The change and anticipation of change we experience can bring up a lot of emotions and feelings for us, too. It can cause us to feel fear, uncertainty, excitement, nervousness, and I’m sure many other feelings that are so very normal. Not only are we stepping outside our comfort zones, but we have no idea of the outcome and what’s in store for us. The risk of that can feel enormous and can weigh heavy on us; so much so, that we may even run in the other direction. Back to where the comfort is. Although comfort zones are oh so comfy, we do not experience growth there. Even though we may dream and wish for change, we inevitably don’t challenge ourselves or pursue the things we want to in our comfort zones. The difference between changing and not, is actually taking the risk and creating an action step to get there, to do something different. We can have all of the most amazing ideas ever, but when we don’t do anything about it, we stay stagnant. Which for some is totally fine, and that’s great for them, but I’m sure we know many people (ahem, including ourselves), that complain about their current situation and wish for something different, without actually doing anything about it.
Although our brain loves to know what’s going to happen and wants to know the outcome, we can also lean into the discomfort and uncertainty to switch things up and do the thing anyways. It isn’t easy, but there are some tips to overcome the fear of change that I am happy to share with you today. It’s funny because I seem to always write blogs based on things I’m currently going through, and my hope is that it will help at least one person and give them comfort in knowing they are not alone. So yes, transparency: I’m going through a lot of change and uncertainty at the moment … and here’s what I’m doing (and going to do) about it!
Practice Self-Awareness & Acceptance
Be kind to yourself. Show yourself some compassion for being a human and for having feelings. There’s no need, nor any benefit, to being hard on yourself and being a jerk to yourself. You’d never do this to your best friend, right? So remind yourself of that and be your own best friend.
I wrote a post months ago on my Instagram (@kd.lifecoaching)a formula to help with transformation during times of uncertainty and change. It’s: Awareness + Acceptance + Action = Transformation. By using Awareness, Acceptance and Action, you can guide yourself through a transforming process and feeling empowered through your thoughts and actions.
With awareness, you reflect and understand what is coming up for you, searching with curiosity. Try not to judge yourself or what comes up when you reflect. Some new insights may pop up as well that you weren’t aware of at first, and that’s all positive because you’re learning about yourself. Knowing what the change is, why it's happening (did you seek this change, was it placed on you somehow) can help you be more understanding of the situation and have the facts.
With acceptance, you essentially accept where you’re currently at. It may not be the best right now, and it may be so uncertain and confusing, and that is okay. You recognize where you are and the situation you are in. When you accept where you’re at, it means you’re not in denial about it, and that’s a huge step. Having the awareness to get to this point is helpful. You can now do something about this change and move forward using action steps.
With action, you have a choice. You get to do something about it. You get to gather all the information from above and start to devise a plan using the clarity you’ve gained over your situation. What’s a step you can take toward getting there? What feelings are coming up for you, and how would you love to feel instead?
Get curious and get in touch with yourself, your surroundings and the information around you. You have all the answers inside you when you really get down to things. With a little poking and prodding, acceptance and knowing what’s going on for you, you can start to slowly inch toward that door to change and start to turn the handle to step into new surroundings.
Change up the Story
What limiting beliefs are currently shaping your thoughts and stories that you’re telling yourself right now? A few of my limiting beliefs are things like: I’m not good enough, I don’t have enough, I'm a fraud, people will think I’m terrible at this. Super annoying sh*t like that. I have annoyed myself several times with these limiting beliefs and stories I’ve made up on false information, that I’ve gone ahead and created new stories for myself. I encourage you to do the same! Write out the beliefs and stories that you are telling yourself in one column, and in the next column, write out what you want to start believing instead. Tell yourself the new and awesome list every day. Ingrain it into your mind, just like you did with all the false and negative stories. YOU can be the author of your own life. Don’t let anyone else tell you or make you feel otherwise! Be the hero in your own journey and start to rewire your brain so that when something comes up, it’s easier to shift to go down the new path of better thoughts than the older, worn out and negative one.
Be Real with Yourself
What’s the worst thing that can happen? Seriously .. ask yourself this. If the change happens and you pursue something that’s fearful for you, what is the WORST thing that can happen? What else? And then what else? List out your worst fears and start to challenge them. Create a list so you have all those uncertain ideas on a piece of paper and start to debunk them. Write out what you DO want to happen. You can also write out a strategy for if that fear does happen, what can you do about it? What’s plan B? Who can you call up to chat it out with? How will you stand back up and try again?
On the flipside, then ask yourself “what’s in store for me?” If everything goes WELL, what will happen? What will your new day look like, how will you feel, what benefits will you gain for taking this risk and accepting the challenge of change?
And now, the best part. Ask yourself: “What will I regret most: taking the risk and accepting the change, or not doing anything at all?” Oooh.. this one gets me. It hits me pretty hard and I love asking this question for myself and also for my clients. It’s a thinker! Get questioning to debunk your fears, to create action steps and plans, to envision what you DO want, and what you’ll regret most if you don’t take this step outside your comfort one.
Failure is a Lesson
Know that failure is an option when it comes to change. Failure is normal and we all go through it. All the biggest CEOs, creators and innovators have all gone through failure. The difference is that they get back up, try again, experiment, and find new ways to achieve what they want. Or they try something new all together. Your failures don’t define you. You can get back up and try again! Use your failures and turn them into lessons. Use them as stepping stones and as valuable information to show you what did and didn’t work, and what options to take next time.
If you’re going through change, know that you will get through it and come out on the other side with fresh surroundings, information, and a whole lot of newness. Change can be scary, but you don’t have to let those fears take over and control you .. or inhibit you from changing all together. Change is growth and growing was never easy! Remember all those pains we felt in our joints as we grew, the pain of losing teeth, etc. We have changed before and we can do it again. Use your past experiences of going through change to support your current state - that you’ll be OKAY. You will be.
Best of luck in your new journey, whoever may be going through one right now. You got this!