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Why Do We Fear Change?

By Edited Jun 1, 2016 1 4

Change LOL

If change is an inevitable course of life, then why do so many of us fear change? Surely something so natural should be a good thing. For many people, the fear manifests from their inability to predict and control change. Many would spend more energy avoiding change, rather than accepting change it despite the potential for a positive outcome. We avoid change like we avoid stress. It is better to prevent stress than finding some way of dealing with it. Like it or not, stress and change often come as a package deal.

 Change, although a broad term comes in many forms. Whether it is the day-to-day stress of working and supporting the family, the death of a loved one, moving to a new city, graduating from school or getting married, change produces stress. But avoiding change because we fear stress will not always save us. Like the wise Master Yoda once said, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” While our fear won’t grant us the power of the force, it will lead us to the dark side. Change will occur whether we accept it or not. Without a proper way to manage change many will become consumed by their fear and fall into depression. Depression is a nasty foe, and once you have faced it in battle, it will become a persistent enemy.

Illogical Nature of Human Emotion

First step
The human brain works to maintain the natural balance of the body, essentially it too hates change. But it, like us, is designed to accept and deal with new changes. For example, the path you take to the store each day is geared toward avoiding traffic, pedestrians and affording us the closest parking spot. While you may run into a traffic accident, busy streets and no parking, your brain accurately predicts the most reasonable course of action despite the presence of the unknown. Often it is the irrational nature of our fear that counters the logical and proactive nature of our thoughts. Thus we end up turning down a wrong street or end up getting stuck. Our fear leads us to illogical and often compromising situations. The answers are there, we just need to a new way of approaching them.

 The Key Is Acceptance

Coping with change is not really that hard. As we saw with the driving example, we have the ability to accept change; we just need to stop ourselves from getting distracted. The first and most important step is accepting that change is going to occur. Preventing change is like trying to stop the sun from rising. When we feel we cannot alter or avoid something we usually come to terms and accept it. Change, like everything will become normal if we experience it enough. Just as the Midwest accepts the arrival of freezing winters, they either accept it or accept that they hate it and leave. Fixating on the problems that have already occurred often focuses our mind on the negative of each situation, setting up a programmed response to future change. Accept that you cannot change what has occurred or what might occur. Process that pain and move along. Cry, yell and let it out. Once the maelstrom of emotion dwindles, you will realize obsessing over something you are powerless to change is not productive. You will return to the logical mechanism that is present within each of us and move on. With every negative outcome, we should be able to locate a nearly equal positive outcome.  In time, you can do this. Remember, accept what you cannot change and embrace the unknown.

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Comments

Aug 3, 2014 6:40pm
kjames528
Life is all about change. We have to embrace it to truly experience life. It is inevitable for things to change.
Aug 3, 2014 6:40pm
kjames528
Life is all about change. We have to embrace it to truly experience life. It is inevitable for things to change.
Aug 3, 2014 6:40pm
kjames528
Life is all about change. We have to embrace it to truly experience life. It is inevitable for things to change.
Aug 14, 2014 6:27pm
JoyceBocek
The biggest change in my life was when my daughter moved in with me. It's been almost two years now and I'm resigned to it.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the inevitable changes that occur almost daily.
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