Fear of Change

Change Ahead

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”

– Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Your heart beats so hard you feel you, and everyone around you, can hear it. Your head is tingling, your mouth suddenly becomes dry, and you have a thousand-mile stare as all you can do is think about what’s coming next. You’re stiff, too stiff, and you can’t stop thinking the “what-if’s” of what you’re sure will go wrong.

You begin thinking to yourself that this was a mistake, you shouldn’t be here, and while it was a fun idea to muse about and imagine, you’re sure that you aren’t prepared and that home is where you should be.

We’ve all felt this way at one point or another. Whether it was before a big presentation at work or a smaller presentation on The Catcher in the Rye in high school, we’ve all felt that tightening fear of doing something we’re not used to do. And it doesn’t have to be getting up in front of people (that’s just one of my biggest fears), it could be a move to a new city, going to college for the first day, an interview for a new job, the new job itself, baring yourself in your writing, talking to your boss, planning an event – the list goes on and on.

It’s much easier to stay at home than it is to put yourself out there. It’s much easier to be complacent than to strive for something more. After all, that little voice in our heads that says, “Right here is perfectly fine,” is just trying to help us out, right?

Well ‘fine’ is a relative term. In the movie The Italian Job, ‘fine’ is used as an acronym: it stands for Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional.

The reason we put ourselves out there in the first place is because we don’t feel fine. We want more, we want something else. While we fear change, we still strive for it at the same time. It doesn’t matter if that desire for change is as extreme as putting everything you have into becoming a billionaire (I’m sure most of us have this desire) or as simple as walking up to someone you find attractive because you no longer wanting to be alone.

 If You Fear Change

Nobel Prize Winner, Andre Gide, said this, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” We cannot gain anything new from living in our comfort zone. Stepping outside of the boxes we’ve made for ourselves is the only thing that allows us to move forward.

Change can be a scary thing, a terrifying thing, but it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, not if we embrace it. To use the old saying, “Play the hand you’ve been dealt.” Change will find us whether we are searching for it or not, for one thing is a constant: nothing stays the same.

I’ll leave you with one last quote from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus: “Nothing endures but change.”

The sooner we stop fighting change and start accepting it, the sooner we’ll start moving forward!