How Do You Feel About and React to Change?

By Christy J. Clark, 10/15/2019

How Do You Feel About and React to Change?

Our jobs change from day to day sometimes it is a small change as to a task or process. Sometimes the change is large such as a new responsibility or promotion or completely new career at a new company. How do you feel about change? Does change make you feel uncomfortable?

The definition of change is to make different in some particular way. Nothing ever stays the same which is why we should enjoy each and every moment of life and embrace change.

In reality, fear is one of the most common reasons for resistance to change because it stops us from taking any action at all. Fear often works with anxiety, self-doubt and guilt.  Some stress can be good because it gets us to do something. However, there are times when feeling anxious about something new can really limit us. This often happens if we are not certain about the future.

High levels of anxiety are often brought about by rumors of change, self- doubt, not knowing what to expect, not feeling our concerns are heard and this can be crippling. When you notice and address these issues you feel less anxious. Often a good reality check can be very helpful too. Take time to find out if the rumors you've heard are true as this can make you feel less anxious as well. Feeling anxious can stop us from trying something new and makes us resist change by stirring up fears of what is not known. In such cases we'll choose to stick with what we know rather than face an uncertain future.

There are a number of common fears that can be mistaken for resistance to change. Be aware of them and deal with the actual fear rather than calling all fears 'resistance'.

Fear of the unknown: Not knowing what to expect occurs when we don't have enough information about the change and we're expected to take a 'leap of faith'. This can result in a lot of anxious feelings.

Fear of failure: This fear works closely with the need for perfection and makes us worry about not getting things right. It makes sense that the best way to avoid the pain of failing is not to do anything at all. Successful people often have a list of failed attempts behind them. It's the way we learn. We all fail at some time in our lives. It is how we deal with the failure. We learn and move on to better and brighter future. We cannot let failure define us.

Fear of success: Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? It's as if we don't believe we deserve success.  We have beliefs about what successful people are like and we fear that we might become like them if we are successful.

Fear of loss: Loss is often a part of change. Change can mean that we lose friends, salary, or other benefits such as a parking space. Other losses are not as obvious such as the loss of known routines or the things that define who we are (like a job title or a position).

Fear of upsetting others:  You may feel guilty that change for you can have a ripple effect on others. Will customers be upset? Will colleagues have ill feelings towards you due to a promotion?

Fear of leaving a comfort zone: Like it or not we are creatures of habit. We like our routines and don't like to be faced with the unknown. Comfort zones may be safe but we can't grow or experience anything new.

A fear of change can stop us from taking any action. It literally keeps us from getting ahead in life. To reduce the fear of change we need to know our values and remain true to them.