EP 5: Why Is Change So Hard?
When contemplating change, do you find your mind racing to worst-case scenarios? Does it sometimes leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin? You're not alone in these feelings. Our brains have evolved to resist change. They thrive on predictability to ensure our survival. So, when the prospect of doing things differently arises, your brain might immediately label it as dangerous, causing anxiety and creating a list of potential negative outcomes.
Our environment and the people in our lives play a significant role in how we navigate change. If your current circle doesn't embrace risk-taking and is content with the status quo, you may struggle to find encouragement and validation for your desire to make a change. Growing up, if you didn't witness people around you taking risks, trying new things, and learning from both failures and successes, your brain might resist change even more.
Another powerful force that hinders us from embracing change is the fear of failure. Failing can bruise our egos and make us feel vulnerable. It's an emotional experience that requires significant effort to overcome. When you decide to make a change, whether it's quitting a job, ending a relationship, or starting a side hustle, and things don't go as planned, it can lead to feelings of shame and self-doubt. Your brain and your community might even point fingers, saying, "See, you shouldn't have done that."
Change demands effort, consistency, and action. At times, life can feel overwhelmingly busy, leaving you with the impression that you have no time to spare to try something new, take a risk, or ask for help. But here's the question: Is that genuinely true, or is it your brain's way of keeping you in a familiar, safe, and predictable space?
So, how do we overcome the hurdles that change presents and move toward a more fulfilling life?
Here are 7 steps to help you navigate the fear of change and the noise in your mind that keeps you stuck.
1. Define Your Goals
Start by getting crystal clear about what change you desire and why. Clarity can ease the anxiety associated with change by quieting some of the mental noise.
2. Break It Down
Divide your larger goal into smaller, manageable steps. This not only makes the change feel less overwhelming but also allows you to track your progress and build evidence for your brain that this change is a positive decision.
3. Create an Action Plan
Once you've broken down your goal, create a detailed action plan. Specify the actions required for each step and set timelines. Having a plan in place gives structure to the change process.
4. Seek Support
Consider seeking support from a professional, a coach, a mentor, or a group program. Support can help you stay accountable and navigate the moments when your brain tells you to quit because results aren't coming fast enough.
5. Embrace Discomfort
Understand that change often comes with discomfort. Lean into this discomfort, feel your emotions, and be willing to take risks and embrace new experiences. Discomfort is part of the journey.
6. Reframe Setbacks
View setbacks and failures as opportunities to learn and grow. Every experience, whether positive or negative, provides valuable information to help you progress toward your goals.
7. Stay Motivated
Maintain your motivation by seeking out inspiring examples of people who have achieved what you desire. Consider accountability systems that work for you, whether it's a friend, a mentor, or a calendar filled with your goals.
Change takes time, effort, and consistent action. It involves recognizing when your brain is working against you and providing a different perspective. Remember that you can overcome the fear of change and achieve the transformation you seek.
I've witnessed countless individuals make significant changes in their lives by embracing discomfort and pushing through resistance. Change is not easy, but it's a necessary step toward a more fulfilling life.
If you're currently working towards a change or feeling stuck, reach out for support. And don't forget to explore my Dream Bigger Mastermind, where change is not only welcomed but expected. You don't have to do it alone – you have a community, tools, and my unwavering belief in you.
Change is within your reach, and I'll be here to support you every step of the way.
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