A Coaching Power Tool created by Jennifer “Jayde” Gilmore
(Career/Spiritual Coaching, UNITED STATES)
Fear of the Unknown vs. Acceptance of Change
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
Few people truly invite change into their lives. They may acknowledge the need for a change, but not know how to create it, or they may be afraid to move into the change. The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale lists 43 events that cause stress. Of these 43, 40 are related to change, 7 are generally considered positive changes, and 16 are phrased so that they could be positive or negative. That means that 23 – more than half – of the events that cause stress are, or could be, positive changes. Helping our clients learn to create positive change, accept negative change, and manage their response to change in general is the greatest gift we can give our clients.
Change is often accompanied by fear – fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of success. These fears create hesitancy and stagnation. Change can also create excitement, joy, and a sense of lightness. Sometimes one will experience both at the the same time!
Fear of the Unknown
One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.
Change is chaotic. It forces you to leave your standard routines and comfort zones and pushes you into a new routine, new comfort zones. Even a wanted and welcome change will have this effect, as a newly promoted manager gets to know their subordinates and processes, or a new business owner learns to accommodate all of the responsibilities created by owning a business.
Many people see the impact that these new routines can create, and choose not to act at all. There may be a subconscious aversion to an element of the change, which leads to excuses and stagnation. This stagnation holds people back from reaching their true potential, and experiencing true joy.
Your client may be focused on one particular element of the change they are faced with, and not seeing the bigger picture. This isn’t always a bad thing – sometimes we need to focus on an important or difficult aspect of change in order to ensure success. However, focusing on that aspect to the exclusion of everything else allows fear and stagnation to creep in.
Acceptance of Change
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Acceptance of change doesn’t mean having no fear, it simply means not letting the fear cause stagnation. When one accepts change and the unknowns that it brings, one is moved to a sense of peace and from there can confidently move into action.
It’s difficult to know exactly what a change will create in one’s life. Some changes will be obvious – a new job will mean I don’t drive the route I’m used to. Others are more difficult to predict – that new job may make it difficult to maintain the friendships I have with my former coworkers. So we must move into the change with few expectations, and allow our responses to come from a center core of confidence.