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Battling Fear of Change: Overcome the Anxiety of Starting Something New
Fear of change is a paralyzing force. Starting something new can be as intimidating as it is exciting. Having such a fear can stand in the way of learning and making the most out of life. It can also close off potential opportunities, such as making a new friend. Therefore, overcoming the fear of starting something new is important so as to not let fear control you and to be open to more opportunities. Follow the method below to help push past the initial fear or hesitance to start something new.
Acknowledge Your Fear
The first step is acknowledging your fear, regardless of how small it is. Just the slightest hint of fear inside you is a concern because it could grow larger when ignored. Admit to yourself that you fear starting something new. If it’s a particular activity, then make sure to specify.
Know Why You Fear Starting Something New
Next, tell yourself why you fear starting something new as precisely as possible. For example, if you are scared of starting new things in general, you might say, “I fear starting new things because I don’t want to be bad at it or be laughed at by others.” Or if you are worried about proposing to the one you love, you might say, “I fear proposing to (person’s name) because I don’t want the marriage to fail or to have been in an abusive marriage.”
Tell Yourself that You Have Nothing to Fear
Third in combating a fear of change is to tell yourself that you have nothing to fear and why. Using the first example, you could say, “I have nothing to fear but fear itself. There is no reason to fear starting new things because no one is born knowing how to do everything. We all must start somewhere. Even as a baby, I had to learn how to walk via trial and error. I accept that I may not be the best at first, but with practice and dedication, I will become good at ______.”
Laugh at Your Mishaps
One of the most common reasons for being hesitant to start something new is not wanting to be bad at it. Let go of that desire to be good from the beginning and be open to laughing at your mishaps. If you fall on your butt the second you step on your skateboard (and it didn’t hurt), laugh at yourself. Find the humor in it! When you’re able to laugh at your mistakes, you enjoy learning something new and ease the pressure on yourself to perform well.
In fact, you may even want to purposely do the new activity wrong (without hurting yourself). The exception is with relationships because it involves another person’s feelings, which aren’t something to be tampered with. An example of purposely doing the new hobby wrong is pressing too hard with the paintbrush while painting. This sounds like a weird technique but in doing something wrong, you can learn more. Just give it a try. Even if you don’t heighten the learning process, at least you’re having fun with it.
To assist with keeping yourself motivated to stick with the new activity instead of allowing fear to make you give up, set goals and keep track of them. Whenever you start to feel doubtful, look over your completed goals. If you haven’t completed one yet, then examine your current goals and feel proud of yourself for each step you’ve taken. Setting goals gives you something to strive for, boosts how quickly you progress, and fills you with a feeling of accomplishment.
Reward Yourself Each Time You Achieve a Goal
Don’t forget to reward yourself each time you accomplish a goal! This helps reinforce your desire to follow through with future goals. Try to make the reward relate in some way to what the goal was. For example, if your goal was to write a novel (draft) in one month, then an idea for a reward is buying a new laptop or going on a shopping spree at the book store. Or perhaps you would like some cute writing accessories. Keep in mind your reward doesn’t have to be expensive or monetary at all.
In conclusion, following the guide above will help you to overcome the fear of starting something new and prevent you from giving up on the new venture once you have started. The first three steps are a process for overcoming fear of change: acknowledge your fear, know why you fear it, and tell yourself that you have nothing to fear. This can be repeated as many times as you need to when learning something new. Laughing at your mishaps, setting goals, and rewarding yourself each time you achieve a goal are worthwhile tips for staying on the fearless path of starting something new.