Facing your fears and worries

The one constant in life is “change”.  Life does not stand still.  Each day when you wake up the weather is different (well it is in the UK!).  The length of the day has either lengthened or shortened depending what month we are in.  The prospect of change can be scary and produce a lot of anxiety in us.  Change sparks questions in our mind. These questions can go around and around our head on an endless loop.  Some change can be sudden and feel like a rug has been pulled away from our feet such as a bereavement or facing redundancy.  Other change can be more planned such as going on a date for the first time, starting university or starting a new job. 

Whichever change you are facing, there is a common element that people face and that is fear.  Your brain is trying to make sense of the change and your mind is filled with questions.  Questions like:

  • Will I fit in with my work colleagues?
  • What shall I say?
  • Will they like me?
  • How did this happen to me?
  • How am I going to pay the bills?
  • Why is this happening?
  • What is wrong with me?

Change means the future is now unclear.  It is unknown territory.  Our plans have changed.  So, how can we cope with change or even dare I say thrive in the process?  Here are a few tips:

Talk to someone

By talking out your fears, you are moving them from the endless loop in your head to being out in the open.  The fears can be faced head-on.  They can be understood.  Once you understand why you have the fears, you can move into action.  Find a trusted friend or family member, or if that is not option, then talking to a counsellor is very helpful.  A counsellor has no agendas, they are there to help you process the change and find a way forward.

Write a daily gratitude list

Often when we are hit with change, we can feel very low and despairing.  Each morning try and write a few things down that you are grateful for.  It could be that you are well enough to walk your dog, that you have food in your cupboards, that the sun is shining.  At the end of the day, reflect on it and write down a few good things that happened.  This could be you chatted to your neighbour, a friend dropped by, you got a job application out the door, you made a phone call, you got up and had a shower.  The gratitude list does not need to be big things.  Daily things that sometimes we take for granted.

You can do this!

The majority of change is manageable and (enjoyable?!).  Remind yourself of previous changes in your life and how you coped and adapted.  If you are trying to decide to change jobs, then make a list of pros and cons of why you want to change.  Think through your fears and challenge them.  Are the fears realistic or are you catastrophising?  Talk to someone who has made a similar change and asked them for advice.

Whatever you are facing today, remember you are not on your own.  The most important thing is to share your worries and seek help, so you don’t struggle by yourself.  Good Luck!