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When Fear of Change Paralyzes

fear of change
Written by Edith Rodriguez

These last few days I hit a rough patch in life and stayed away from writing because I lost inspiration in my wording after feeling anxious and sad for a few days.  But I’m glad to be back and feeling much happier!

 

Why the anxiety and sadness?  Let’s just say I never imagined how hard it would be to move from one state to another.  I faced many changes that scared me when I first moved and a year later I realize I allowed fear to defeat me.

 

I thought by now I’d have a fair amount of friends, be part of a community, and be busy with commitments.  But, it’s not like that and the truth is, I’m to blame.  I somehow imagined all of that would magically appear at my door but it didn’t.

 

My mistake?  Confronting change paralyzed me with fear.  Now, a year later I’m facing the consequences because I allowed fear to separate me from the things I wanted to do when I arrived to my new home.

 

I had fear of making new friends, fear of not being capable to do my job (if I worked), fear of fitting into new environments, settings, and communities, and fear of never getting accustomed to this place.

 

The fear paralyzed me and it resulted in me becoming a hermit inside my own home, hence the anxiety, sadness, and loneliness that I was feeling the last few days.

 

But I don’t write this as a pity segment of myself.  On the contrary, I openly say what I was going through the last few days because it is a self-reflection of what I’m acknowledging happened this year and what needs to change in order for me to see positive changes in my life.  I failed to seek ways to integrate myself into a community because fear became bigger than I.  Something I had never done before.  So,…..

 

I need to confront fear more fiercely and boldly again!

 

Thankfully I came across three quotes that pierced inside me.  In fact, they scared me but in a good way!  They scared me away from living in fear of change.

 

fear1 of change

 

 

 

fear of change

 

fear of change

 

 

Reading these three quotes scared me!  I don’t want to live a life paralyzed by fear.  I don’t want fear to stop me from building a community, becoming successful, growing in love around people, or to ever stop evolving.  I especially don’t want to be where I am today in 10 years!  Heck, not even next month!

 

I’ve shared why I chose to stay home after moving to California, but just a few months later I realized it wasn’t for me.  And just when I tried to get back into my groove, fear of change settled in and stopped me from doing many things.

 

Confront Fear Of Change

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of fearing change.  I used to LOVE change and got excited about what life would surprise me with.  I want to have that fear mixed with excitement again.  I want to do what I did before when I was fearless of change.  This is what I remember and hope to practice again:

 

1.  Build a community of friends is important

Change is scary but it is much easier when we have a friend to be scared with.  This is the reason it’s much easier to show up to class when we befriend another person, who by the way is probably scared too.  I can think of many situations we sign up for where making friends right away will make everything else flow more smoothly.  Whether it be a new church, new team, new class, or new environment, building a community of friends is what gets us by.  They will become our support system.

 

2.  Think about the future in a positive way

It’s easy to imagine the worst in every situation.  We think that we won’t fit in or that something will be too hard, so we become tempted to not face the change.  But think about the future.  Imagine how you will feel if you don’t try the one change you are scared of.  You will be disappointed you didn’t try.  Or if right now you’re allowing fear to stop you and you aren’t happy, imagine if a few months, or even a year or 10 from now you’re still stuck.  Still afraid.  Not a pretty picture right?!  We need to develop a positive mindset about fear and confront it fiercely and boldly and know that everything will be fine.

 

3.  Make the changes slowly

Many times we confront a lot of changes at once and this can be hard and we have to figure out how to cope.  Other times, we are able to make changes slowly.  If you face a lot of changes at once, I suggest you focus on building a community of friends to help you get by.  But if you are able to make changes slowly instead of everything at once, take advantage.  Get used to one thing first before starting the next project.  It will keep you focused on learning the new thing before getting into something else again resulting in an overload of fear of failing at the new thing.

 

How about you?  How do you confront fear of change?  Suggestions are well needed as I head for a few changes soon.

 

About the author

Edith Rodriguez

Edith Rodriguez is a wife, teacher, adventurer, and the blogger at Unblemished. On her blog she writes lifestyle posts on living a healthy and joyful life. Her hope is to inspire and motivate you to live a life in wellness.

2 Comments

  • Hola Edith! I had the same situation just after I moved to North Carolina from Mexico 4 years ago (http://livecolorful.com/2011/11/moving-away-from-home/). I felt so lonely and miserable. I didn’t speak English well at that time, I couldn’t drive or work and to be honest, I felt so scared. I tried new things little by little. I used to push myself to go to the store and talk to someone new everyday, I enrolled in classes, went to festivals, etc. All of that was great, but I never felt like I belonged there. Then one day, we decided to leave everything behind and move to California. We packed the car and crossed the country with our little dog and a few boxes that fitted in the car. It was probably one of the best days of my life. I was ready for a new start.
    When I got here I decided that I never wanted to feel like that again. I looked for tons of meet ups, conferences and other festivals and events. I was lucky to find some women who were new in town too. For the first time since I moved from Mexico, I felt like I found people who I could trust. It took me a long time but it was worth it.
    Back in North Carolina, I remember feeling like I was failing because I was always scared, but now I realize that I shouldn’t have had made myself feel so stressed. For some people it’s easier, but others, like me, need more time to test the water before we jump. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Feeling sad and lonely is normal, and change is scary. Little by little you will get there, where you find your people and happiness where you live.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience Elba! I really needed to know the perspective of someone who has gone through this type of change. Your change was even bigger since you didn’t speak English! I’m glad you learned, overcame the fear, and that California was welcoming. I think what has been hardest for me is not having a group of friends and family, since I’ve always been close to them. I’ve felt mostly lonely but thankfully I decided to go back to school, possibly get involved in the church we found, and I’m really hoping I find a teaching job soon. I need to do what you did and sign up to meet ups, conferences, etc. One difficulty for us is finding friends we can relate to since most people our age already have kids and are much more busier. But that’s just minor. Back in college change was so easy! I guess with age it’s harder to develop friendships but I’m positive and hopeful that things are about to change for us! I truly appreciate your comment! It made me feel much more hopeful and reassures that everything will be just fine. Thank you!

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