Letting go of fear – the reason we are afraid of change

Saturday, 26 February 2011

So there I was after having been rudely but necessarily awoken by my alarm at 5:30am... now on the train at 7:00am feeling groggy but highly inspired by the latest blog (my daily inspiration fix for the past week), whilst thinking my blog day is close approaching and what on earth am I going to talk about ...I had no idea..’Oh well’ I though, I’m sure it will come to me when the day arrives ’I hope’! Besides I had lots of other thoughts racing around in my mind as I sat on my last journey from Leeds to Manchester...consumed with what I came to realise was not just a bit of anxiety but an underlying fear of this being my last day in a job which I am very comfortable and happy in... But there is… An issue in its self... I was comfortable... too comfortable maybe? So why move? You’re probably asking yourselves... Well here it is... After living on my own for the best part of 3 years, last week I relocated to Leeds to live with my partner of three years (most convenient place for us) and yes I’m happy in my job but the commute would have been financially and physically stressful and here I am in midst of going through some big life changes all within a short space of time...there it goes, fears set in once again not just about my final day ahead but of starting my new job next week.. Thoughts of ‘what if I don’t like the new job?’ ‘What if I end up being unhappy & what affect that will have on my relationship?’... And there it was my topic for the blog transpired....the fear of change...

Changes which I have feared, been worried, anxious, and doubtful as well as excited about….new job, new city & new house...Changes which became such an overwhelming thought that one day I was very close to calling it all off… Yes, there I was a few weeks ago sat in my room wanting to feel completely in control and to be the master of my own destiny, whilst at the same time I was battling in my head with my mobile in my hand going through what I would say and how I would say it... yes I was one call away from ruining it all simply because I was paralysed with fear and afraid to change that I almost ended up settling for less than I deserved and needed to do in order to progress and succeed in life.

That was the point where I said (or should I say shouted) to myself ‘Zenna snap out of it’ but my fear and anxieties had started to kick in way before that... I had long started to play the ‘What if’ game over and over in my mind, ‘what if I don’t like my new job and my new colleagues’ ‘What if I can’t go to the gym as much as I used to and put on weight’ What if I realise that I and my partner just can live together’ What if I end up feeling trapped’ … And on… and on it went… doubt after doubt spinning around and around in my head…as the saying goes ‘The devil you know is better than the one you don’t’ how many of you have subconsciously lived up to that saying? It is this fear of the unknown which is so deeply ingrained within us that it stops us from ever making positive changes in our lives.

Though I can’t predict the future, rather than letting my imagination run buck wild, dreaming up worst case scenarios, I started to channel my thinking to the positive aspects of my changing situation, such as what my new life will mean in terms of a step in the right direction to where I want to be in, both in my career and personal life. We always seem to forget that we can change these negative thought processes we so easily find ourselves slipping into. We all have choices, options and most of all a way out... so that’s what I told myself... I can always change my job if I don’t like it, and living with my partner will mean we will see each other daily and get the chance to develop our relationship further... As I have come to see...Fear of change doesn't just hold you back it stops you truly living.

Changing my thinking has enabled me to open my mind and channel all my energy to all the new opportunities and surprises I would never have imagined rather than leading myself down a dark, downward path to negativity ... my philosophy is that even if it doesn’t all work out ‘I will not live with regret’, regret that I didn’t know what could have been and should have been.

Ultimately I would have gained not lost... I would have grown as a person, learned and gained invaluable life experiences, all of which I can use as a stepping stone for the next change that lies ahead. Frequently, in business and in life we get too comfortable, but one thing I have come to realize is that it is only through venturing out of your comfort zone that you are truly able to come to the realization that what seems to be a huge unreachable task is not as unobtainable and achievable as it once seemed.

This brings me onto another element of fear...’Self Doubt’... over the years this is something I have constantly found myself battling with… ‘Will I be able to deliver that presentation to the self set expectations?’ ‘Will I be able to juggle living with a partner, going to work as well as starting my own business?’

I have also had to deal with agonising over decisions & mentally painting myself into a corner …You know the ‘is it the right thing to do’ scenario which jolts you to an abrupt holt. Looking for self reassurance from others, driving everyone around you to near insanity as well as yourself… I know I most certainly have... oh more poor mother, who as mothers do has provided me with reassurance time after time in the form of telling me to ‘Stop being silly and have faith that whatever I decide will be a step in the right direction’ and like a light out of nowhere a big burden is all of a sudden lifted and you miraculously feel open-minded and excited about your decision. I ask myself why that had to be so painstakingly difficult!?

You see through all the agonizing and doubting we seem all too easily able to forget that we have options…. Feeling there is no way out. It’s limiting thoughts like these that keep us trapped in situations we don’t want to be in. …. Whilst the truth is with a little brainstorming there is always another option. For me I had to come to the sharp realization that I could stay living on my own and not progress in my relationship or career or I could bite the bullet and move to Leeds to be with my partner and concentrate my energies on finding a new job, using my marketing skills to sell myself in interviews.

My final thought

My final question/thought for you today is ‘Do you get caught up in mental safety nets?’ If so, reconsider your thoughts! Don’t live in fear of what might happen, don’t settle for whatever may happen, have the self confidence to take control find your own greatness and let life’s destiny guide you to life’s full potential as you flourish like a butterfly through life’s changes for change is one of the constants in life.

Whatever is holding you back right now as Mark Twain once said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” People who are successful haven’t just conquered fear, they are the ones who in the face of fear were afraid but did it anyway.

So whatever you do in life and whatever decisions you make, always remember to face life with courage, stay blessed gifted and highly favoured!



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