Why The Fear Of Change Is More Than Just A Stance

Posted by Guest Poster | Mar 28, 2018 | Miscellaneous, News, Real News | 0 |

It’s the natural way of life for the world around us to be in a continuous state of transformation. This is as true of nature as it is of society, technology and all the other components that make planet Earth what it is. And yet, there are some people who try to resist this. But why does that happen? Let’s find out. 

Why We Fear Change

Although many of us deal with this phenomenon at least once during our life, we sometimes can’t seem to understand why we fear change so much. The answer to this might seem like a complicated concept, but it’s actually really simple. 

In fact, there is a straightforward explanation for this backed up by scientific data. When we are children, our brains are malleable and adapt to variations almost effortlessly. However, these very events are what shapes our worldview and the paradigms we end up guiding our lives by. Once these become ingrained, altering them is nearly impossible.

And thus, our belief system exhibits resistance when faced with something completely new, different or opposed to what we knew before. Furthermore, we tend to surround ourselves with people that have similar outlooks on life and their surroundings in general, which makes us even more resistant to change.

Nevertheless, there are other reasons too. For example, people who struggle with mental illness such as clinical depression, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder and so on aren’t usually able to cope as well as others. Changes provoke anxiety, which is a condition in itself, but it also worsens the symptoms of other afflictions.

If you find out more about schizophrenia test, you will quickly notice that an inability to handle seemingly small adjustments in daily life is a clear indicator that you are battling something within you. For patients in this situation, the necessity to adapt becomes a terrifying and crippling prospect. 

People who suffer from various phobias also have a tougher time acclimating than most. The very nature of such a condition involves feelings of repugnance towards various beings, things, situations or states. This means that being confronted with unexpected situations concerned the object of their phobia leads to distress and terror. 

What is more, the fear of change is a phobia in itself. It is known as metathesiophobia or tropophobia, and it represents an irrational aversion towards moving objects or doing things differently. It is often accompanied by a dread of failure and it is closely connected to the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder most of the time. 

Therefore, a preliminary conclusion can be drawn according to which the fear of change, phobias and mental illness are closely connected in some cases. Nevertheless, it can also be a natural part of human growth and progress. It all depends on the severity of the experience and the emotions that go into it.

How to Overcome It

Regardless of the reason behind your fear of change, it’s important to overcome this situation. If this is not fully possible, it will still be a good exercise in coping. Irrational dread might be holding you back, and you mustn’t be complacent. Here are three actionable steps to help you get started in the right direction and help you evolve. 

Accept that You Can’t Foresee Everything and Move On

According to Inc.com, a big part of adjusting to an important change is by accepting that you can’t foresee the outcome of the situation. Dealing with the situation is essential because the fear of the unknown is a major trigger for anxiety, as well as other slightly more severe symptoms of mental illness.

Just think about it the following way. You won’t know what happens if you take the plunge, but you won’t know what happens if you don’t either. Therefore, you have to embrace this and move along with your life. Don’t allow for your irrational thoughts to keep you stagnant. You need to spread your wings and evolve towards the fullest potential. 

Avoiding Change Doesn’t Mean Things Stay the Same

Another concept that you need to wrap your head around is the fact that running from change doesn’t mean things will stay the same. Nothing in this life is certain, no matter how hard you fight to keep it the same. Therefore, you are only tiring yourself out and wasting valuable energy on something that, realistically speaking, can’t be helped. 

Learn How to Handle Failure with Tact and Composure

As previously mentioned, the fear of failure is something that drives this type of avoidant behavior. This happens both in the case of mental illness patients, as well as people who are simply stuck in their ways. There is only one solution to this, and it’s a radical one. You need to find it in you to have tact and composure once a failure occurs.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that you will be successful all the time. In fact, even the best in their field have made mistakes that seemed irrecuperable at the time. For this reason, it’s important to keep your composure and remain dignified throughout the occurrence. The mishap in itself won’t look so bad if you don’t have an exaggerated reaction to it. 

Final Thoughts 

Dreading change and being unable to acclimate to it is more than just a stance or a bout of stubbornness. It’s an almost primal instinct that has to do as much with nature as it is connected to nurture. And in some cases, it might even be a symptom of some sort of disorder of the mind.

Nevertheless, regardless of the motivation behind it, overcoming the situation is essential for a happy and healthy life. To do so, you will need to accept and embrace the unknown, as well as learn how to deal with failure gracefully. After all, it happens to all of us sooner or later. 


Thank you to our Guest Poster, Alex Moore, who is a West Virginia psychology undergraduate obsessed with human nature. You can read some of his other works HERE and HERE.


Photo Credit: Mike Mckay

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