Change is Scary, but not Changing is Scarier
It's Monday, which is the day I show up for honest talks here. The stuff that really matters to humans.
You might be surprised, but I'm afraid of change. I might be surprised, but here's a guess that you struggle with it sometimes too. Not an unusual human fear but one that keeps rearing a knobby head nonetheless. No amount of pep talk has ever cured it. If you, like me, have scolded yourself endlessly and come up with no better result than driving more consciousness into the fear I have some things that might help.
Take it or leave it.
1. you could BOX IT IN
Don't be grossed out here, but if this was the accepted, healthy way to do things we would open up old food containers, a mildewed box in a damp basement, or our mouths in the morning and be pleasantly surprised by the results. Things need to be refreshed or cleaned or turned into energy periodically to remain any kind of good; change and metamorphosis are ingrained into the very nature around us. We couldn't exist without it, and truthfully the process of change isn't lovely. It often looks more like a thorough trouncing than a gentle "please step this way and let me serve you" guidance.
Internalized fears will spread insidious tendrils that compromise foundations. To allow this kind of thing too much time is ultimately harmful because the power of inverted emotions is underrated.
There must be more.
2. you could LET IT GO
A friend once read somewhere, and suggested to me, that a helpful way to avoid overthinking is to allow yourself 7 seconds to think about something and then release it. I scoffed. It might work for awkwardness because the classic over-thinker can chew the trivial to a tasteless poison for hours, days, or months, but would it work against fears? Surely not.
However, I gave it a shot. Kicking myself for an insensitive comment? 7 seconds. Okay. Pronouncing a word the wrong way in front of someone with admirable language skills? 7 seconds. Tough conversation with a client? Done.
For some things it cycled through about 70x7 seconds and didn't always work, but with time I found it reduced the weight of trivial happenings and slight fears.
It paved the way to another realization: it is a good thing to practice releasing things beyond your control. Perhaps fears are legitimately looming. A move across the country. A job change. A difficult relationship to be restored. A new relationship. The question of "what if?"
Prepare as best as you can, and then let it go. Worrying conceives anxiety and anxiety births chronic stress. Of course, we all experience these at some time but the idea is not to make your bed there.
It's taken me to my late twenties to sort of grasp this one but we can't hold things too tightly, least of all ourselves. It simply isn't good. For this reason we need to experience change. Change is a good way to keep fears cycled instead of allowing us to prioritize our life around them. Allow the change, or even embrace it. Let go of what we can't help, and the attached worries and fears.
This life sure does take some figuring out. I'll leave you with two quotes, one credited and the other not, because I haven't been able to find the author.
P.S. Photo by Grettagraphy. The photo was taken of my sister at another sister's wedding. I adore what this photo symbolizes.