In our daily routine, most of us feel unsettled and not completely happy with the direction our life is going. We want better and dream about better but in reality very few of us dig in and do what it takes to see the improvements we are looking for.
We might want to overcome our fears of starting a business or moving to a new place but instead of taking action we do nothing.
Why do we settle for less? Why do we prefer to sit on the sidelines instead of getting into the game. Want to know the answer?
We fear change……but why?
Change is an issue that a lot of people struggle with. The reason this is so is because change is linked to something that none of us like, uncertainty.
Being uncertain about something can be both mentally and even physically exhausting. Not knowing the outcome of something new in our life can lead to unhappiness, sleepless nights and even depression. But there are reasons why this happens and I will explain in detail what causes it.
– Yes, it is true. Our brains in general do not embrace change naturally and it is something that we have to work at overcoming when it keeps us from progressing towards a better life. According to an article in Psychology Today,
Your brain likes being in control. The hunger for certainty is one of the brain’s five functions. Uncertainty generates a strong alert response in our limbic system; that’s why we worry. That’s why we speculate—we’d rather create a fictional story than not know what will happen.
So to put it simply, our brains are wired to trigger an alarm when uncertainty is near. Now this is not all bad because it is created like this for a reason which is protection. If we are crawling under our house for the first time in awhile to investigate an issue, then the brain’s natural response to this would be beneficial to us.
The uncertainty of this action would set off an alert in our brains causing us to be more aware of our surroundings which if you have ever crawled under a house before for any reason, will definitely be an advantage.
The trick however is to recognize when the brain is trying to protect us from something of actual danger and when it is a false alarm. To determine this, we have to use our rational and logical thinking to put any uncertainties in front of us in proper perspective.
First and foremost when uncertainty is looking you in the face ask yourself “Is this something that is protecting me from physical harm or imminent danger?”
If the answer is yes then by all means embrace what your brain is telling you but if the answer is no then it is time to dig deeper.
Secondly it is important to focus on why this uncertainty or fear of change is really bothering us outside the fact that our brain is giving us a natural response. Could it be due to an event that has happened in your past or something deeper?
Believe it or not, fear of change can often be can linked to something even deeper than a negative event in our life which brings me to my next point.
I used to work in Ukraine which if you don’t know is a country in Eastern Europe that used to be part of the former Soviet Union until the 1991 collapse. After living there for awhile and making some friends, I noticed that most Ukrainians had an extreme fear of change and uncertainty. Anytime I recommended trying a different approach to something at work or just in life in general I was immediately met with massive opposition to the idea. At first I was baffled as to why the locals behaved in such a way but after further research I found out why.
When studying Ukrainian history over the past 100 years, I noticed that any time there had been change in their country that the change has produced horrible outcomes. Death, famine and horrid conditions always accompanied their past after any major changes had occurred. That is when it became clear to me why they as a people feared change so much.
Their upbringing over several generations had associated change with something bad for obvious reasons. They saw their parents and grandparents fear change and it simply spread down to them and will most likely take many more years before this mentality finally subsides.
Look into your past and the past of your family? Is there any reason why change and uncertainty has caused an unfavorable outcome in your family’s history?
If so then it something that needs to be addressed and dealt with. We should never let our past dictate our future no matter how bad things once were.
If, however, you have no reason in your past to fear change that is not putting you in danger of any kind then what is holding you back?
We as people love to make decisions based on pure emotion and then justify those decisions after the fact with some sort of logic. After all, feeling like we made the right decision makes us feel good right? But no matter how good we want to make ourselves feel then the reality that needs to be faced is whether or not that decision was really the right one.
How many of us go the store only to come back with way more than we had originally planned to buy? I would safely say at least 95% of us and that is not just a gut feeling but rather a fact based on a Harvard study about what makes us purchase products around us.
We let our emotion and subconscious feelings often decide what we are going to do and not do without ever really stopping to look at the facts.
So when we look at things from this perspective the idea of running from change in our lives can start to sound almost child like. In order to reframe this behavior in our minds then we should start focusing on when change in our lives created a positive outcome even if it only happened once or twice.
I am sure that if you think really hard, you can can find some instances in your life when making a change actually turned out to be positive. Did you come up with something?
Now reframing your fear of change is not going to happen over night. But every time you feel fear of change building up in side of you then realizing the reason behind that fear while focusing on the positive aspects of change can really change the way you view your world around you.
Once you have a grasp of this then the change you need to make your life better and more fulfilling is completely in your hands.
So what are you waiting on? It may be time to make the change that you have been wanting.