How to overcome fear of change

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Table of Contents

Most of us are afraid of change. When facing changes, it always appears a series of self-doubt questions in our mind. And from there, our mind will draw a series of “terrible” scenarios to “encourage” us to give up. If we don’t know how to get ourselves out of this “black hole of doubt and panic,” they will make us feel that the change coming is a mistake, and that giving up is the best way to solve the problem. .

Why are we afraid of change?

Fear of change is a part of human personality. Don’t blame yourself and don’t think of yourself as weak if you find yourself in this situation. This fear is the “specialty” of human evolution. Before mastering nature, our ancestors had to fight and cope with many dangers from the surrounding environment. At this time, new things often come with danger, and to ensure our survival, our body creates a mechanism to prevent itself from risk our own life to discover new things, and this can seems to have worked for thousands of years.

However, over time, everything has changed, today, we have mastered nature. If we want to discover something, we don’t have to risk our lives to risk it the way our ancestors did, but it doesn’t mean this genetic product will automatically disappear, because a product of thousands of years of evolution will probably need thousands of years to disappear, and none of us live long enough to wait for it to happen.

The 21st century with the development of science and technology has created new fears, and one of them is the fear of falling behind. Each of us is participating in a race, and those who are slow, do not keep up with the progress of the times will be eliminated. To grow and adapt to the new era, we need to change. We know change is necessary, our minds all understand that, but when facing changes, why do we still feel afraid, and why can’t we get rid of it?

The reason for this is that this “genetic product” has penetrated into every single one of our cells. Our human brain is amazing, but it doesn’t have the ability to control every single cell in the body. However, this is not the end, we cannot eliminate the “fear of change”, but we can choose how to face it.

In my life, I have faced many important changes in my life, and in front of those changes, I always feel afraid. Here’s how I overcame the “fear of change,” and I hope they work for you, too.

Step 1: Answer the question “Why do you want to change?”

Why do we want change?
“My current life is a series of boring repetitive actions, I can’t find joy in it. I hate this life, I want to live a more interesting, meaningful life …”
“I hate sitting still, I love traveling around, discovering new things. ..”
“I don’t like my current job, I have any opportunity to develop here. I want a better job with more development opportunities…”
Can you see yourself in the stories above?

We want to change because we are not satisfied with our current life. And imagine if we have to continue living like this for another 20, 30 years, what will it be like? Would you want to continue living like this? If the answer is NO , then both of you and I understand that it’s time to change.

Step 2: Acknowledge that running away is not the solution to the problem

I acknowledge that I don’t like my current life, I want to change, but why am I still afraid, is there any other way? Unfortunately, the answer is NO.  If you refuse to face your fear, you may feel comfortable for a while, but your problems are still there and will continue to haunt you. I call it “ toxic comforts ” because they will ruin your life, the same way we abuse stimulants to escape our problems.

That “comfort” will deceive us, they make us think we are fine and we made the right choice. But that feeling will soon end, and then our problem reappears, and we have to continue to avoid it, so that we will forever be stuck in the loop of “face difficulty -> run away -> face difficult again -> run away again…“. The best way to solve a problem is to face the problem.

Step 3: Plan for the worst

We fear the unknown, and to alleviate this fear, try your best to make the unknown become familiar. Try to figure out what the worst thing could be and prepare a plan to deal with it, and repeat it as often as you can. After times like this, we will gradually become familiar with our problem.

Planning will help us to prepare for possible situations. This helps us to be proactive in those situations, through which the feeling of anxiety and fear is also reduced.

Step 4: Go to the gym

Physical activity is one of the best ways to relieve stress and challenge yourself. Challenging and pushing yourself beyond your limits has a psychological effect on making you feel stronger and more confident.

I like going to the gym because it gives me the feeling of “beyond limits”. It is about us constantly setting new limits for ourselves, and constantly conquering them. You can choose for yourself any activity that you like, as long as it forces you to challenge and beat yourself.

Step 5: Enjoy the anxiety

Have you seen the movie “Inside Out” of Disney? As for me, this is one of my favorite movies. Through the movie, I learned that there is no good emoption or bad emotion, every emotion has a its own meaning. 

When we worry about something, it means that we really care about it, and it really matters to us. Worrying helps us prepare better for what is coming. 

Worry is the medal of success, so just enjoy it. After all, everything will be fine.


The above is my own experience on how to face and overcome the fear of change. Maybe these experiences don’t perfectly fit for you, but I hope that my ideas will help you somewhat.

Whenever you’re afraid, slow down a little bit, take a breathe and everything will be fine.

Finally, thank you for your interest in this article.

Ho Nhat Thanh

Ho Nhat Thanh

Founder of JustPassion website. Having more than 8 years of experiences in Software development and project management. A book-lover, a blogger and a learning enthusiast.

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