Help Me: 3 Ways to Deal With Your Fear of Change Immediately

Change is scary. Most of us experience a fear of change, or more broadly a fear of the unknown, at some point in our adult lives.

But the only thing scarier than taking a leap of faith, is staying in a less-than-ideal situation, complacent, and uninspired by your everyday reality.

The fear of change actually has a name. It's called "metathesiophobia", and it’s rooted in our evolutionary development. Our minds and bodies (mostly our minds) are programed to remain in control, and change challenges our ability to do this. Fear is an essential instinct that keeps us safe. If you have a fear of heights, it's your body's way of stopping you from getting too close to the edge of a cliff.

But sometimes, it can hold you back.

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Jump in

One of the scariest aspects of change is the possibility our unknown future will be worse than our known present.

Fear naturally brings out the pessimist in all of us, and instead of thinking about the joys we could be missing out on, we naturally think: "What if I make less money?", or, "What if I'm less happy in my new job/relationship/city/hair style?"

The tip here is, you'll never have all the information. And it sounds clichéd, but honestly, if you never try, you'll never know how it could have gone.

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Give yourself some credit

Another reason we fear change so much is because of that age-old conundrum—imposter syndrome. The feeling that you're a "soon-to-be-uncovered-fraud" is not real; it's a phycological barrier holding you back from achieving your dreams.

Trust yourself more, give yourself the credit you deserve, and tell yourself everyday that your passion and want for that new stage in your life is stronger than your fear.

Be prepared to fail

Sometimes change doesn't work out. You break up with someone just to realize they were the love of your life. Or you move to the other side of the planet, before realizing Paris isn't for you ,and you desperately miss your shack on the beach.

Sometimes you get it wrong.

But it's part of the process. The friends you make and lessons you learn while getting it "wrong" are usually more valuable than the ones you learn from getting it "right".

To succeed, you need some experience failing at new things. And to fail, you need put yourself into unfamiliar situations.

Keep your pride in check. Ask yourself: "What is the worst thing that could happen in this scenario?"

If the answer is: "I'll be embarrassed if it doesn't work out"—well, you can probably answer that one yourself.