Fears and phobia’s really suck. Let’s be honest, they do! I personally have a phobia of large dogs, it’s gotten less debilitating as I’ve gotten older, but I still get very nervous around large dogs. Another phobia is metathesiophobia, the fear of change. People are creatures of habit; they like routine. This kind of need is instilled virtually from birth because babies are put onto a schedule, that creates a routine and like any routine, as soon as something changes, it can sometimes be a smooth change or a life changing change. How the change is handled depends entirely on the person(s) affected by said change. I am the type of person who is just fine with change, switch furniture around, look at new responsibilities at work, take a different road home, whatever it may be, I’m normally pretty cool with it.
Today I was talking to a friend, and they were telling me about changes that are happening in their life right now and they are more or less completely freaking out. After talking, I thought that maybe it’d be a good idea to put together a little write-up about change and how to best handle it. By no means am I clinically licensed to provide advice, nor should anyone listen to anything I’m saying, but one thing I do well is tell others what to do and do research, so when those two things are combined, then sometimes I may actually sound like I know what I’m talking about.
- Gather Information
When change is imminent, the only thing you can do is try to gather as much information about the change, the reasons, the sources, what the possible outcomes are, and trying to learn how best to understand how it will affect you. Not to sound cheesy, but the below graphic says it all.
- Have Courage
Because you fear something under no circumstance makes you weak, a coward or a chicken; it means you are human and are affected by your surroundings. As stated in a great article on lifehack 1)http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/7-ways-to-get-over-fear-and-make-big-life-changes.html, “We make all sorts of excuses for not making important changes, but the limiting belief that often underlies many of them is that we don’t trust ourselves.”
I couldn’t agree more, having faith in that you will survive this change and move on with flying colors is the best way to try to handle it. Sure, that’s so much more easily said than done and I fully understand that.
- Baby Steps
Without a doubt, finding courage in yourself and having the knowledge to be best prepared for a change is just a start, but taking baby steps into a change will be the best way to proceed. More or less, one thing at a time, that way you can conquer your one big fear by defeating all the little ones. Think of it like cutting down a tree, you can’t just take the big tree down with one fail swoop, instead you have to chip away at it until you have finally cut it down.
- Looking at Best/Worst Case Scenarios
One of my biggest pieces of advice I often tend to share is looking at things from a “pro/con” perspective. What’s the best that could happen? What’s the worst that could happen? Obviously someone with a phobia is going to put a lot more emphasis onto the “Worst Case” resulting in a longer list, even though the shorter “Best Case” will be much more valuable. Either way, create this list of Best and Worst Case results, then you at least can look it over and give it time to sink in.
- Make Lists
The last tip brings me to this one, making lists. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big spreadsheet person. Be it for budgeting, keeping track of this or that, or seeing how good I’m doing at a game, whatever it may be, I make lists. When you know change is imminent, make a list… hell, make more than one! Creating a list will provide you with a series of tasks that you can plan for, look forward to and eventually provide assistance in being successful in overcoming your fear of change.
Not everyone is good at planning and creating a strategy, however, if you’ve created your Best/Worse Case Scenario comparison and you have that list of tasks ready to go, then you have already created your strategy. Now comes the important part, doing it and following through to the end. A little snip of advice from PositivelyPresent.com 2)http://www.positivelypresent.com/2013/09/11-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-change.html says “Being prepared can help your ease of mind.” and that couldn’t be more true.
As with many things, you cannot do it alone. Whether it’s getting up in the morning (support from alarm clock), getting ready for a good workout (support from seeing others), eating a great meal (support from the recipe blog [here’s one I really like by the way http://smittenkitchen.com/]), or really ANYTHING you do, you need support; so where better to find support than by your friends and family. Reach out to people, look for expanded, real world tips on what you can do. Few people will know better what will work for you then those who are close to you.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” ~Ambrose Redmoon
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