5 Steps to Conquer Fear in the Face of Change

Are you afraid? Maybe you’re about to take on a new set of responsibilities in your current profession. Perhaps you’re preparing to dive into a completely new career path. Maybe it’s a new direction in your personal life. Whatever it is, change is afoot. Does it scare you? If you answered “yes,” you’re not alone. In fact, some of those who said “no” are also a bit frightened too; they just aren’t saying it. It is completely normal for you to experience feelings of fear and uncertainty. You are in the process of recreating your life. Of course, that can feel scary! Acknowledge it and move through it with these five steps.

Think positive but don’t skip the flip side

Positive self-talk is an important skill to master. There’s no doubt that an upbeat outlook can influence your results. A healthy dose of reality, however, also has value. Whatever change you’re about to kickoff has its challenges and potential pitfalls. You may stumble over some of them. It happens. And that’s important to remember. It does happen. Identifying the areas that might go wrong before you get underway gives you the opportunity to create a game plan to address those speedbumps before you encounter them. Knowing you have a solid Plan B ready helps you head out on your journey with the confidence that you can tackle what lies ahead (the expected and the unexpected alike.)

You are the captain

Think back to your school days. Do you remember standing in gym class waiting for one of the team leaders to select you for their team? How many of you are grimacing right now? Didn’t it feel terrible to stand in line and wait to be “chosen”? When we approach new adventures in our lives, it can be easy to fall back to the sidelines and wait for someone else to set or influence our course. I invite you to take your place at center court. You are the captain of this team and you should assume the lead.

Do your homework

When we’re facing off with change, not knowing what comes next is the scary part. It’s that sensation of walking out on the tightrope without seeing where to place our foot next. You can remove some of that anxiety by doing your due diligence. Understand the landscape of this change. What is pulling you in the direction? Where are your strengths? What areas might you need to improve upon to be successful in your new world? What mentors can help coach you through the rough spots? Get your game plan together and then work it!

Understand it

Fear rises when we’ve got something worth protecting at stake. Faced with change, you’re confronted with the way the things most valuable to you might be affected by a shift in your current status. Step back and evaluate what it is you’re most afraid of through this shift. Does financial security worry you? Is it your ability to reach a healthy work-life balance? Are you questioning your ability to handle the tasks you’ll be given in your new role? Once you have pinpointed the triggers, take stock on your reality and make a plan that specifically addresses those concerns.

Just do it.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear,” said Jack Canfield, the motivational speaker and author behind the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. If you’ve done your due diligence and you’ve crafted a plan, take the reins and move forward. Use the energy percolating in that fear to propel you forward and then celebrate your success on the other side!