Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Did you know there is an actual psychological diagnosis for those that fear change? Metathesiophobia is the medical jargon for it.  Why do people fear change?  For some of us we'd rather stay in a miserable familiar situation than venture out into unfamiliar territory and potentially find something better.

Change by definition is simple; the modification of a situation, environment, mental/physical condition that alters the current path.  Yet, so many struggle with change.  Often the fear of change lies in our lack of confidence in our decision making abilities.  Decision making is often based upon our inner sense of knowing what to do.  This "knowing" is formed by our scope of previous experiences and know how.  The thing about change is that it takes us into an unfamiliar territory.  For many this is when fear sets in.  Because we can't predict the outcome our mind begins to play out all sorts of scenarios (often unfounded).  It is these self limiting beliefs of fear that keep us stagnant.  Originally fear was an emotion to keep us safe from real dangers, like charging animals.  We no longer have those dangers but the emotion of fear has remained but we use it in a manner often inapplicable to the situations involved.

Why do we fear change?
  • We seek friends, social situations, and experiences that reinforce our current beliefs.  
  • We don't like the illusion of failure.  
  • We dislike criticism.
  • We don't want to be wrong or make the wrong choice.
  • Fall is a visual representation of change.

  • FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real)
  • We don't understand our core beliefs and how their affect.
  • We tend to operate from a place of imagined outcome vs. true intent.  

"Fall is an incredible time of year.  It is a vibrant depiction of change.  You see powerful trees once full of flora and awe becoming dormant and entering a state of dormancy.  Come spring those dormant plants come alive with vibrancy and strength they haven't shown before."

You have this sense of unrest, displeasure or perhaps you just know something just isn't quite right.  Maybe you're unhappy with your social life, work life, relationships, physical appearance, whatever it may be you realize that change is needed.  So how do you go about getting past the fear and making a change?

Planning/Anticipation is the point in the change process where you realize change is needed.  This is often the point where many get hung up and paralyzed.  Often our emotional barriers suspend our decision making abilities and blocks out our ability to focus.  This is where you waiver and are indecisive.  You know what is needed but you may not be fully committed to changing.   Take time to weigh whether or not staying the same is worse than changing.  Debate the pros and cons of change within your mind or write them down.  CALM DOWN!  Excitability and fear all hinder change.  Once you've accepted that change is necessary begin to enact a plan to achieve the desired change.  

The chameleon is the master of change

Action, at this stage of the change process you've decided to implement change.  You will begin to experience the results of your "change plan".  If you're planning to change your weight you will begin to exercise and change your eating habits.  If you're planning to start a new business venture this is when you begin working on your business plan and networking.  The action phase typically is the longest stage in change often you will cycle between action and planning.  This is where you will gain the most experience and knowledge about achieving your planned change.  

Things to remember:
  • Accept the emotions (fear, anger, happiness, etc.) that come with change.  Failure to do so prolongs forward movement.
  • Pride and the fear of failure are BIG hindrances to change.
  • Change is what helps us grow, without it we're stagnate.
  • To change your life your priorities MUST change.
  • People close to you will be afraid when you begin to change.  They have to learn and adjust their perceptions of the new You.  
I'd love to hear about your goals and plans for change.