Lesson nine: Fear of change
Over the past nine lessons you’ve discovered that you have beliefs, you live in line with them, you feel afraid of perceived threats that you associate with your beliefs, and then you consciously and subconsciously respond to your fears and beliefs and act in line with them creating that cyclical effect of the self-fulfilling prophecy, which then confirms that you were ‘right’ to have the beliefs, so you keep on believing, and the cycle starts again.
When you consider making changes, and then you feel afraid or your inner critic pipes up saying “You know that you’re no good” or whatever it is, you will interpret this as a sign that you’ve made a bad decision or that you’re not good enough, instead of recognising that your inner critic pipes up because it thinks that it’s trying to protect you from something. In actual fact, it’s dragging down your self-esteem and whipping up a fear storm. You may mistake your inner critic for your true self when it’s not; it’s your inner critic.
Having your fears and beliefs actively communicating with each other will only have you coming up with a distorted prediction.
You will feel afraid because you don’t believe that you’re capable of handling the consequences of change and of doing something different, so instead, you stick with thinking and doing the things that support the lie that is the belief. It feels safer in the uncomfortable yet familiar comfort zone.
Fear is a natural and necessary emotional response alerting you to the presence of a potential threat so that you can either protect yourself, anticipate, and of course react if it’s a real threat, or soothe you with reassuring thoughts and actions that take reality into account.
Fear becomes distorted if like your beliefs, the basis hasn’t been evaluated, and you’re adjusting your behaviour to ‘fit in’, or if you don’t have an active response for a real threat (again based on beliefs and your habits), causing you to come to harm.
Challenging your beliefs improves your confidence and minimises and gets rid of unnecessary fears.
To bring about real change, you have to get uncomfortable and essentially feel some short, maybe even some medium-term discomfort to feel the long-term gain. This is where the ‘stuck’ happens because, in spite of knowing what makes you uncomfortable and knowing what creates pain, you may have been doing the equivalent of throwing yourself into oncoming emotional traffic and wondering why you’re getting run down.
If a belief doesn’t positively serve you, you need to challenge it, not feed it.
Have you ever started to make changes and then panicked at the realisation that you’re responsible for you or worried that not everyone will approve and quickly retreated to the familiarity of a painful relationship or habit? We don’t believe in ourselves enough to stop being afraid of doing what’s necessary, and instead, we focus on worrying about the things that we’re afraid of.
Why do we worry? Because we create obstacles about what is in the way of making change come about. We generate umpteen reasons for why the fear exists. We often exaggerate the fear so we can stay in our comfort zone (our beliefs).
Reviewing, challenging and transforming your beliefs with some balanced perspective, will help you to differentiate between fact versus fiction. It will also enable you to rein in your inner critic with its outdated and harsh view that’s not the boss or champion of you versus your inner voice that represents your true self that’s been overshadowed.
For the rest of the Get Out Of Stuck lessons, I will be sharing a process along with tools and inspiration for helping you uncover your beliefs and transform them.