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‘Fear of change’ is often used critically, even when we are talking to ourselves.

How often have you heard an expressions about someone being afraid of change (or commitment, or public speaking, or whatever)? Fear is a powerful emotion and one that it is difficult to have control over, so linking it to our day-to-day demands and activities can be powerfully inhibiting.

If you catch yourself thinking or saying that you are afraid of something, it might be worth re-thinking your choice of language (unless it’s a grizzly bear or something else that threatens your safety).

Caution is useful and we’re all different. No need to try and act Gung Ho! if you’re not, certainly no need to use implicitly self-critical phrases like “I’m afraid of change” (or commitment, or whatever).

Fear is often appropriate

Fear is an appropriate reaction in some situations. It can keep us safe, prevent us from making mistakes, even motivate us to take action when we need a push. But to say that we fear something when we simply don’t like it just emphasises it and makes it trickier to work round, should you want to.

Of course you re cautious about change, it would be idiotic not to be, but fear? It’s a generalisation, but true nevertheless, that people are resistant to change; it makes us feel uncomfortable;e and we don’t like that. So if you recognise a dislike or mistrust of change in yourself, welcome to the club, you are not alone.

Changing the language to “not liking” something or “being unwilling” to do something is less inhibiting than dramatising it with ideas about fear. It also places us back at the centre of things by implicitly suggesting choice, rather than  a primitive emotion linked to the survival instinct.

What do you think? Share your thoughts...

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