We are going through a period of unprecedented change in human history. Many people have on-going anxiety that they think is due to external circumstances. But in many cases, what’s really going on is a deeper, subconscious fear of change as we transition into this new Golden Age.
04:45 – Everything in the world is breaking down and so it’s normal to feel anxious at times
11:30 – 8 ways to better deal with ‘fear of change’
18:15 – How to have hopes for the best and plans for the worst case
The WHAT IF’S WORKSHEET [Free PDF Download]
to free yourself from worrying about the future
Memory Imprint Journal – 5 Day Trial Online Course [Free Online Course]
A way to reward yourself for incremental steps towards your goals
MindStory Inner Coach Book [Book on Amazon]
The 5-Step AVARA Model to Rebuild Trust in Yourself to Achieve Goals
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This is episode 117 – Are You Afraid of Change? Many people have this kind of low level anxiety going on. And they attribute external circumstances to that. Which may be part of it. But in many cases, what’s really going on is a deeper, subconscious fear of change. Here we’ll explore how to tell if what’s really going on is a fear of change, and how to turn that around.
Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and this is the MindStory Speaker podcast.
Most people seem to experience a certain level of fear of change. And while that seems to be the norm, I don’t think it’s normal. And there’s lots of information out there about how to get rid of it. But I think it’s so embedded in the psyche of all of humanity, that I’d like to go a little deeper than that. I’d like to suggest that it’s a kind of subconscious program, or what we like to call a mind story that you can just remove.
Because under that, I believe there’s a natural desire to love change, to welcome it, to birth, the new to say goodbye to the old, and you might be in touch with a part of you that does welcome change. But most of us have some area of life where we really don’t like it, especially if the change comes at us unexpectedly. And at first blush is something we don’t want, like an injury or a sickness or a loss of someone important to you or a loss of freedom in some way. But I’d like to say that you could see it as like an app on your bio computer like a malware that you could just delete. And to delete anything that automatically reinstalls it because you do find those sometimes in people’s subconscious mind.
So you can delete that as well and revisit the vision of where you’re going. And then you’ll reconnect to this natural part of you that just flows with change, even if it is unexpected or unwanted. Many of us are becoming free in our minds in a way that we haven’t felt maybe ever in our lives. And that humanity has not felt maybe for a very long time. And the freedom is maybe strange and uncomfortable at first. But the good news is that this strange sense of freedom is actually the normal natural, true self are emerging.
And once you get used to it, it’ll be a lot easier and more fulfilling to operate in this world. But as we make this transition, sometimes people get filled with this kind of low level dread or terror. And really, it’s an inner war about the old self, that doesn’t like change, and this new emerging self that is fine with change.
Now, there have been some neuroscience studies that show that feeling uncertain, not knowing what’s ahead feels similar to failure in our brains. And that’s why so many people would rather avoid a change because of how uncomfortable it feels to potentially fail. But again, that’s just bad malware. A bad association that you can get rid of like a phobia, if you’ve ever had a fear of spiders, or I used to have this fear of certain kinds of dogs because I got bit by several German Shepherds when I had a paper route when I was a kid. So I associated German Shepherd with injury. Of course, there’s many German Shepherds that are lovely. And don’t bite humans. But once I healed the trauma from that occasion, I could disconnect those train tracks of thinking in my mind. Now some people have a regular level of fear of change, but some people have a really intense fear of change that can be paralyzing and very hard to live with.
And people who maybe were okay with change before are finding this more intense level of fear coming up just because so many things are changing. And I do believe that we are moving into an era of history where everything you’ve been used to is changing all our systems, all our structures, the way we think the way we relate what you do. for a living, a lot of day to day, things are going to change in a really big way. And we’re not sure what those changes are. But even if you’re not consciously aware of it, I think subconsciously, you are aware that you’re really on the brink of a massive change in human history. And I would go so far as to say that that’s an exciting thing. And that you wouldn’t have chosen to be alive at this time in history, if there wasn’t a part of you that’s on board with this change that wants to go through it.
But some people are getting this thing they label metathesiophobia, which is an intense level of fearing change, causing persistent unrealistic and intense anxiety when faced with new situations or experiences. They might experience anxiety, depression, fatigue, pain, stress. So if you have felt that way, the first thing is to just be compassionate with yourself. Because, as I said, this is an unprecedented amount of change that we are going through. And we don’t even know what’s coming, I think it’s going to be really huge in ways we can’t even fathom at this point in time. But if you realize there’s a way to connect into this part of you that doesn’t fear change, it’s kind of like a one stop shop for dealing with it quickly.
Now, there are many different life experiences where people suffer a fear of change, rather than choosing to make the change or go with the change. For example, a person may choose to stay in a toxic relationship, because they’re scared of the alternative being single or having to go on dates to find a new partner. Another example is when people stay in a job that makes them miserable, or feels off purpose or something’s not right about it. Because they don’t know what else they’ll do for money. Even though this true self this deeper self says yes, move on. There’s another solution, but you don’t know what it is yet.
So then you get this inner war between the true self and this false self, the false self that has this fear of Change program loaded in there. partly what this program does is, it makes you feel like you’ve failed, if you don’t have certainty, it makes you feel like you can’t have peace if you don’t know the future. But when you think about it, logically, those don’t really make sense. So when we live by this false self, we don’t know what will happen, we make up scenarios, we catastrophize and start to worry, the false self finds it hard to move on when something known has come to an end. And if you’re catastrophizing on worst possible outcomes, you’ve already failed before you’ve even tried. So it’s best not to change. Something new, always then seems like a risk.
So people theorize on where this fear of change comes from, whether it’s childhood experiences, familial views, personal outlooks, current conditions, but I really think it’s just something that gets programmed into the human consciousness. And that because you’re human, you pick up on it.
But there are some cultures or environments you might have grown up in where there wasn’t that same level of programming of fear of change. For example, if someone grows up in a household, that takes a negative worldview, and is filled with cynicism, I had one of those households, it often does breed fear and anxiety over trying new things in the children who grew up in that environment. And I certainly had that. And this is especially common if your parents haven’t dealt with trauma, abuse or poverty in their lives. Certainly, both my parents dealt with a lot of trauma. Growing up going through wartime experiences, my father grew up in poverty, especially in my father’s case, his experiences created a worldview that promoted thinking that all paths are dangerous and filled with bad outcomes. I secretly used to call my dad, the beacon of doom. Every new thing presented to him was going to be bad. Whether it was in the news or personal thing, it was always going to be bad.
So therefore, it becomes easier to stick to what is known. And it took me years to shift that programming, but I’ve shifted it now and kind of just go with the flow of change and love change. Yeah, so I get afraid of change sometimes, but at least I know how to unhook from it and get back in sync with this true self. And so you can too if that’s been an issue For you, a fear of change is also this intense need to be in control. Because you don’t really trust that there’s a benevolent source of support helping you along the way. So that’s why anyone with some kind of spiritual practice spiritual belief, belief in something beyond just your own ego personality, having to sort through the intensity of life makes a big difference. And whether it’s a specific organized religion or just your own spiritual sense of something grander that has created life, makes a huge difference.
Now, if you’re not there, that’s okay. Sometimes people just call this benevolent source as life. A creative force that creates beauty and harmony and makes the flowers grow. So the more you can cultivate that, the more you can let go of needing to be in control. And the more you can trust that this thing called life has your back. And then you more likely also have your own back, if that makes sense. And one way to help is to think of a time when you went through a massive change. And remember maybe how worried you were about it, or how uncomfortable you felt, being out of control with the change, whether it was having to move or losing your relationship or getting sick or especially something you didn’t like, or when the whole lockdowns happen. And now that you look back on it, once you’re through it, and you don’t feel afraid of it so much anymore. And everything you learned from that, it can bring you a sense of peace of mind knowing that whatever life brings, you’re going to make it to the other side. You don’t know how in the moment, but you’ll always make it through somehow. Yes, it might be uncomfortable at times, but all that discomfort is going to be a learning experience.
Now, there are many other ways to help with fear of change. Some people have tried hypnotherapy, or self hypnosis. And a lot of what I talk about on this podcast is really self hypnosis, how you talk to yourself, we talk to ourselves all the time anyways, most of us are doing bad self hypnosis. We’re catastrophizing and saying, oh, things aren’t gonna work out. And I can’t make this happen. And that’s self hypnosis. So you could say opposite thing.
Like, I can handle this, it’s all gonna be okay. Life has my back, I have my own back. That alone is huge if you learn to pay attention to your inner thoughts, and hypnotize yourself in the right way. But sometimes you can go to a hypnotherapist, and they can help you, especially if you have some kind of phobia about certain things. There’s also group therapy, talk therapy, Neuro Linguistic therapy, behavioral therapy, writing your feelings down, and all your thoughts down, which is what we teach in the mind straight inner coach book with the five step of our model.
So any of those sort of self coaching processes are really useful. If you get all that stuff out of your head and onto paper, what you’re doing is it’s moving out of the survival brain area of the brain, and making you look at it from your neocortex or the wiser part of your brain. So you can sort it out go, Well, that doesn’t make any sense. And we’re easy to drop it. And there’s some strategic things you can do like breaking a big change down into smaller pieces. Like if you need to find another source of income, that’s like a big thing, right? So breaking it down into you know, okay, I’m going to research other jobs, I’m going to research starting a business, I’m going to talk to, you know, three people who are doing something I’d like to do and just, you know, take those off as you go. Of course, knowing your why, why you’re doing life in general, or this specific change that you’re going through what you ideally want is huge.
And people forget to do that, too. If you don’t like your job, what do you want instead? Well, you want good income, doing something that feels on purpose that feels right, that feels healthy, that feels like something that’s sustainable for you. So you make that your constant focus and imagine yourself doing that and having that and not worrying so much as to how you would get there. But what the end goal feels like looks like sounds like even smells and tastes like so that you can really anchor your mind into that and then your subconscious goes to work magnetizing things to you. That’s when you attract synchronicities. Now some people say, Well, I don’t want to do that, because then I won’t have plans if things go badly. So a great adage is have hopes for the best and plans for the worst case. Because you can’t always control outcomes. But you can have a plan B in place, you can have a series of ideas of what you will do if Plan A doesn’t work that can help you feel more confident moving towards this ideal outcome.
And of course, surrounding yourself with supporters really helps. In life, you’ll always have both negative and positive people around you. Do know that critics and cynical people can really impact your mind if you don’t have a strong focus on your ideal outcome. So leverage the people in your life who offer support and help to guide you in a good positive, constructive direction. And then I’m a big believer in practicing in playing the what if game, I actually even have a free download you can get to do this is where you write out your negative catastrophizing thoughts in the form of a what if question? What if I go broke? What if I get sick? What if the world goes into economic meltdown? And then you do the opposite? in the handout where you write out the positive version of that, what if I become prosperous? What if I get and stay very healthy? What if the economy turns around in a wonderful way?
And then there’s a third way to do it, which is the negative okay version where you go? What if I go broke? And it’s okay, I learned grow and move on. I mean, I’ve had that happen to me, I’ve gone broke at some point in my life. And you know, what? wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t nearly as bad as what I thought it was gonna be. And it turned around, and now I’m not so afraid of it anymore. Or what if I get sick, and it’s okay. I learned from it, I grow and I move on. Again, we’ve all gotten sick, maybe it hasn’t been very great. But maybe you had to learn how to be innovative to change some life habits, and it was a good thing. And now you help other people who’ve gotten sick in the same way, you know, there’s always a good side to these negative things that happen to us, or what did the economy goes down, and it’s okay, I learned from it and grow and move on. Again, we’ve all gone through ups and downs in the economy.
So look in the show notes for the what ifs worksheet. And I just print out a bunch of those and sort of my clients and just fill one out anytime you feel yourself caught in that catastrophizing thing, you can do it in your own mind, or just on a blank piece of paper. But I find if there’s this written out worksheet nearby, like on your desk or in your bedside, just doing it is really great. And then actually, you cut off the part of the worksheet or the negative what ifs are, and then you tear them up, or you burn the piece of paper, and it feels really good. And it’s sort of a symbolic way of letting go of those negative thoughts. So that it could go in a positive direction, if it goes in the negative direction, it’s okay. And that becomes your way of dealing with this change moving forward. And just know that all change has a structure, there are stages.
And if you know where you are in the stages, it can actually put you at ease. And if you know those four stages and see where you are, know how to process each of those stages, it can really help you with fear of change. So the first one is anticipation This is where we anticipate what can happen from change, and it feels exciting. So you just embrace those feelings for as long as they last and try to remind yourself of them, especially during the next stage. This is where you’d write down your purpose and how this change can help you achieve those goals. Remember your big why. So you can refer back to it when you go through the anxious phase that follows. So the second one is regression, the moment things turn worse before they get better.
And that almost always happens. And this is where anxiety and fear of change rears its ugly head. This is where you can use all the tools we just talked about where you’re focusing on your ideal outcome. you’re relying on support systems, you’re hypnotizing yourself in a good way you’re doing what ifs in a positive way and you’re training your brain to embrace change by allowing yourself to feel whatever is going on, maybe doing the five step of our model. So you get all those vulnerable feelings down and then you go through the steps to help yourself create a new And we’re positive timeline, a new and more positive mind story to work towards. And then the third is breakthrough where the benefits and positive outcomes start to show. And this is where you can reward yourself for making small changes, even if it’s say writing something good down in a gratitude journal, and really acknowledging the good things that have come from the change. And the fourth is consolidation, where the new change becomes your norm.
So you’re back to business as usual. Knowing that you will face change again, and this change will soon become your new normal to. So in summary, it is in the human condition, to fear change, the false self does fear change, our brains are somehow programmed or wired in many cases, to want to be in control and to know what is happening. And when it is happening, as this is a survival protection mechanism, but it’s almost impossible to have a life where you’re always in control, and you always know what’s happening, and what is happening. It’s just unrealistic. Life is unpredictable. So when you can connect into the true self, you learn to accept the unknown and practice a positive mindset when approaching change whether you want it or not, whether it’s expected or unexpected. And at some point or another, everyone will experience some kind of fear of change. So hopefully, some of the above. tips and techniques can help you overcome such fear and lead you to take action. So that’s it for today.
Do check out the what ifs worksheet, you’ll see it on the free tab section of mindstoryacademy.com. You can also check out the memory imprint journal, which is where you can track how well you’re doing handling change. It’s a way of acknowledging yourself and keeping a positive focus is a form of positive self hypnosis. You can also get the mindstory inner coach book with the five step AVARA model if there’s some deeper, more complex fears going on around fear of change. All of those are available to you. They’re all free. They’re on the free tab of mindstoryacademy.com.
So I hope that was helpful. In the meantime, please hit subscribe please like this episode and do share it so others can find it. Until next time, thanks for listening.