Conquering the Fear of Change
By Elizabeth Barrera
I think we all have an idea of what happiness looks like and how we can help ourselves get there. I’ve written on this before, and though I don’t believe there’s one sole way to achieve happiness, I do think there are major key factors that contribute to the way we feel on a daily basis. One of those factors is the fear of change.
So many times, we tend to fear change because of the unforeseen. And while I am (for the most part) afraid of change, I also am all for it. Of course, this depends on how close the change is to me. For example, if I get my period and have an accident, of course I’m going to take proper measurements to fix the issue. If I’m experiencing discrimination at work, I’ll report it and find a different role, because who wants to deal with that, right? And if I’m stuck in a situation with a man, I’ll walk away because I know my worth, right?
I think this is where quite a few women can say with certainty that they’re sure of what they’d do, but that’s only because they’re not being affected by the issue firsthand. I’m not here to make excuses, but on the contrary, I’m here to empathize.
Late last week I was talking to a man I've been seeing and he asked me what I would do if I was ever beat by a man. A little context (since I’m sure most of you are asking why on earth he even brought up the question): Chris Brown came up on the radio and I was singing along to the song pretty happily. Now back to my example.
My response was: “I’d like to think that I’d leave him.”
Key words: I’d like to think.
I went on to explaining that I can make a quick decision as to what I would do if I were in somebody else’s shoes, but can’t be certain of making that same decision if I were actually going through those experiences. And many times, that decision is influenced by the fear of change.
Unfortunately sometimes people are afraid of change, of the unknown. Now the previous example was a little drastic, but in other life situations, we get so stuck in how we feel that we don’t look for ways out or seek the change that we need because of that fear.
That question really got me thinking about how even when we’re stuck in the most horrible of situations, we allow intimidation and the unknown get the best of us. Granted, that specific example had other contributing factors such as mental manipulation, among many others. But the circumstances aren't that drastic, why not take that leap? Who knows, we may be missing out on potentially better opportunities but are too afraid to even allow that possibility inside of our lives. Sometimes we need to make changes in terms of the people we give our attention to, the things we spend our time doing, and the places we expose ourselves to do. If we don’t make changes to the things that are making us unhappy, then who can we blame for that unhappiness?
So if you’re stuck in between wanting to make a change in your life, but hesitant to do so because of fear, then here’s my advice to you: pray on it, but also help yourself. Happiness doesn’t come from always leaving it up to God, 24/7. Push yourself to stop making the same mistakes and give yourself the chance to be happy instead. Like Kirk Franklin said, "the truth can hurt you, or the truth can change you. What will truth do to you?"