Why Do We Fear Change?

Feb 11, 2018
Silhouette of a woman jumping
“If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten”. Tony Robbins.

Why do we fear change? Why do we always assume the change will be worse than where we are today? Even if the road we see ahead isn’t exactly as we would want it, there is a strange comfort in knowing what it is.

One of the common limiting narratives of midlife is “Now is not the time to take risks”. “You’re too old”. “Risk-taking is for the young”. And my favorite … “Can’t you just hang in there. You’re near the end” I call BS on all of it.

Voluntarily making changes to some big things in my life is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I did it because I knew that I wanted things to be different. I also knew I wasn’t going to be able to figure it out what it was while I was fully consumed in living the way that I was.

The decision to make those changes felt right. It was a deep knowing in my heart and soul that this is what I needed to do at this point in my life, regardless of my age or stage in life. My mind, however, was not as on board with the idea. “Why would you do such a crazy thing?”, “A huge mistake”, “This is not going to end well” were the thoughts that circulated on a daily basis, instilling fear and forcing me to question my decision. The ego lives in our minds. The job of the ego is to keep you in a perceived state of security, and so it fights to bring you back to the safety of knowing, of being able to predict and control what’s in front of you, even when you know it's not what you want. The ego powerful. The more I refused to listen, the harder it fought. It brought every insecurity to the fight. It challenged my self-worth; questioned my sanity; played with loneliness and isolation, and brought feelings of guilt and laziness to the table, all in an effort to usher me back to the safety of knowing.

There is and will always be fear in the unknown. I’m not sure that it ever goes away. I’ve come to accept that. The thing that I have learned through this experience, though, is how not to let fear and ego determine what’s best for me. There are many other voices at the table that speak a greater truth if I’m paying attention and listening to them. You are never too old to make changes, take risks, or challenge the unknown. What are your inner voices saying?

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