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Dealing With the Fear of Change

Having optimistic expectations when trying something new will help

Dealing With the Fear of Change

Did you know that one of the most common fears is the fear of change? As humans, we strive to connect with things that are familiar. We seek familiar people, places, and situations where we know what to expect and have experience dealing with them. To many people, the thought of change is scarier than any snake, spider, or high height.

You can blame it on your ego. Your ego is designed to keep you safely in your comfort zone. If the average person takes one step out of the comfort zone, they will probably experience doubt, uneasiness, anxiety, maybe even fear. Why? Perhaps it would help to re-label this fear as the Fear of the Unknown.

Here's a mild example: Imagine you're eating a food that you've never eaten before. You've never even heard of it. If you're an adventurous eater, you might pop that new food into your mouth without hesitation. If you're like me, however, you might touch it, smell it, observe someone else eating it, and have some sort of chaser ready to erase the New Food taste if it's unpleasant.


Having optimistic expectations when trying something new will help you focus more on the positive aspects of the new experience.


If you notice that new foods, new experiences, or any new thing makes you feel less confident, know that you can make that feeling go away. Our brains want us to know that the new food (or whatever it is) may cause a negative outcome. We might get sick, hurt, embarrassed, etc. That's not a comfortable place for the ego and we often try to avoid that feeling. But we are not our egos.

Remember that everything you've ever learned was, at one time, new and unknown. Think of all the things you love to do, the people you know, the delicious food you eat. Throughout life you've expanded your comfort zone to where it is now. What might have seemed intimidating is now normal. If you know how to ride a bike, then you have probably fallen off a bike a few times. But instead of remembering the scraped knees and bruised elbows, you recall the fun you've had while riding your bike. If you focus on the positives, the negatives are more manageable.

If you change your mind to think about new things as "exciting" instead of scary, your approach to them also changes. Instead of fearing failure, you can see every new challenge as something you can master. Having optimistic expectations when trying something new will help you focus more on the positive aspects of the new experience.

If you haven't already, make a list of things you'd like to do or places you'd like to go. Then develop a strategy to make those things happen.

Need help? Life coaches specialize in helping you make positive changes, big or small. It helps to have support and encouragement from someone who has experience with making change in their own life. So what are you waiting for?

Melissa Gray is the owner of Life Coaching by Melissa, serving East Michigan. For more information or a free consultation, call Melissa at 248-320-2912, or visit her website: LifeCoachingByMelissa.com.

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