“The key to change… is to let go of fear.” – Rosanne Cash
New Year resolutions are easy to list or write, but can be difficult to implement. New Year resolutions are about change. We all see the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to change certain habits or start new ways of life. We all want to change, but certain factors, such as fear, hold us back.
The key to change is to let go of fear. As Dorothy Thompson put it, ‘Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live’. To begin to live is to begin to live without fear; it’s to be able to change without fear. We live in a society that fears failure. Many times, we want to make a change in our careers, social lives, or family traditions or religion, but fear prevents us from achieving these goals. Fear is like a virus that wrecks havoc in our lives. It develops into mistrust, anxiety, worry, hopelessness, and other negative emotions. It paralyzes us and hinders our progress in life. When fear grips you, you become powerless. It’s the greatest obstacle to personal success.
The good news is that there are ways to deal with the fear of change. Consider the following:
1. Write down your signs or symptoms of fear.
It all begins with the awareness of the evidence of fear in us. Although we may have no control over the events or circumstances that we fear, we have control over the effect (fear) they have on us. Our fear is our interpretation of the events or circumstances. Writing down our interpretation of events or circumstances and not allowing them to prevent us from changing an aspect of our lives or following through on our resolutions will really help us to change. Once you know why you are afraid, you can deal with fear.
2. Take small, bold, decisive actions.
To overcome this fear, you must act. When you act, act boldly. Decide in your heart that you are going to change and begin to act accordingly. Action gives you the power to achieve your goals despite the circumstances or the situations surrounding them. Action also enables you to do what you fear. Take action one step at a time. Don’t try to take giant steps, with boldness. Doing this may leave you achieving nothing. Consequently, you may become less confident in your abilities. So, take small, bold decisive actions and you will be encouraged and motivated to change.
3. Believe in yourself.
Believe you can overcome any obstacle, any problem, and any situation that may want to prevent you from changing. Tell yourself you have the ability and capability to change. Even when you fail, get up, tell yourself you can do it and do it again. Picture yourself as doing what you fear.
4. Have regular time-out.
Any time you are having a hard time responding to change, spend some time with yourself; create the time and space to relax, and allow enough, fresh, revitalizing energy to move through you; have controlled deep diaphragm breathing, at intervals. Once you get relaxed and focused, you will know it is time to start to try to experiment with change.
5. Be curious about the object of fear.
Learn about what creates the fear in you. Learn about the change you want to make. Learn about yourself and the best way you can make that change effective. Get involved with life. Learn as much as you can. Develop curiosity. Explore the depths of your being and discover the courage to create a new life, a new beginning. Resolve to live the life of your dreams. Discover your hidden powers and change could be easy for you.
6. Set goals and strive for growth.
By setting goals and striving to adapt and change when necessary, you will eliminate the fear of not reaching your goals. Instead of looking at the frustration and disappointments surrounding your goals, see them as opportunities to grow and achieve your goals. Frustration and disappointments are stepping stones on the road to success.
7. Use your imagination.
Your imagination is like a powerful magnet that draws to it whatever you are anticipating. Use your imagination to focus on the positive, what is empowering and liberating, rather than on the negative, what is discouraging, such as fear.
8. Take calculated risks.
Taking calculated risk is determining that you are ready to face the worst to achieve your goal. It’s about determining to change despite all odds. It’s about doing it afraid. By doing this, your fear of failure will be reduced. Some people take uncalculated risks, and when everything collapses they end up being afraid to try again. If you experience a crash, take another flight. Risk is part of life!
* * *
Changing your life can be difficult. However, knowing how to overcome the number one enemy of change – fear – makes change a little easier. Take your New Year resolutions seriously and have a glorious year ahead.
Photo by Sabrina Campagna