Change can be challenging for all of us – especially if we did not choose it, do not want it or we are scared of what will happen.The unknown can be frightening for all of us.
change is coming…
It is fascinating to learn that our brains are hardwired to stop us from doing anything that takes us out of our comfort zone – from making any changes. It is programmed to keep us exactly where we are and stop us from doing anything differently – even if it would be good for us. While this protective element is there to keep us safe, not doing something can also become our biggest regret. The more we don’t make changes, the more genuinely scared of doing things we become. We can completely miss out on a far happier and more positive life if we are gripped by the fear of change.
FEAR OF CHANGE
We learn fear from very early on and change can be scary because we don’t know exactly what is going to happen. It is the unknown that can be scary, “What will happen if I make this decision… I don’t know… best stay where I am, do nothing and hope it goes away.” I used to hide my bank statements in my desk drawer (not the best hiding place I’ll admit) but I was scared of the numbers at the bottom telling me things I already knew to be true that I did not want to face up to. When we choose to make changes of any sort, we make a decision to relinquish some degree of control, or open ourselves up to being afraid, or facing up to things. In our safety zone we are fully in control and none of those “bad” feelings can hurt us.
There are different types of fear – fear of being rejected or humiliated, fear of failure, fear of being unsafe, fear that we are not up to the task, fear that it will make us worse off than we already are.
Sometimes, we even get USED to feeling bad about our situation – but are too scared to change. You’ll know the feeling as a parent when you see your child unhappy, you reach out and get your head bitten off – they lash out and say things to be mean. That’s your child protecting themselves from facing up to things and trying to stay in control.
Happily however, it really does not need to be this way!
ways we can manage change
Change happens to us throughout our lives – our bodies change, our hobbies, friends, where we live, our school, the environment, the way we think – we are constantly surrounded by change. Some change we do not want – the loss of a friend or loved one, an injury etc – these are very complex and extremely challenging changes.
No one is saying that change is easy – yet change is coming and we need to be able to have the tools, skills and mindset to manage it as successfully as we can. If we can teach children – and ourselves – to embrace change, conquer our fears, it makes life so much easier
If your children are struggling with change, here are a few ways to look at the situation:
- Rather than hide from things, facing up to them actually makes our lives a whole lot easier. We can then manage a smaller issue rather than a big one that is far more complex.
- What is true about their worries – and what is not?
- What good things will the change bring – new learning opportunities, new friends, new interests?
- What is it that really scares us about the change and what can we do to minimize those fears?
- What has worked well in the past to help with change?
- Who can we ask to help us?
- When we embraced change before – what good things did it bring us?
- What would it be like to NEVER change?
- What feels good about change?
- What are the advantages of staying exactly in the same situation?
Remember, talking about it is really important – a problem shared is a problem halved. What changes are you and your family facing right now – and what has worked for you? Let me know – please leave a comment below.