Many women in their 40s find themselves at a crossroads. They may have been in a unhappy marriage for years, or they may have reached a point in their career where they feel stagnant and unfulfilled. They may know that they need to make a change, but the thought of starting over can be paralyzing. However, it is important to remember that change can be a good thing. It can be an opportunity to find out who you really are and what you are passionate about. If you are feeling lost, read this article where we’ll discuss the fear of change and how to deal with it. We shall also discuss ways to find your passion or identity outside of your career.
What Is Fear of Change and How Does It Manifest Itself in Our Lives?
Fear of change is fear of that which is not known, and it is being afraid to experience new conditions that accompany changes in situations, places, relationships, etc.
Several reasons can cause fear of change. One such reason is a person’s brain structure. Some people’s brains are naturally wired to fear change. Another cause of fear of change might be our childhood environment. If you grew up in a cynical environment or one where change was not embraced or encouraged, you are likely to develop a fear of change as an adult. Traumatic experiences can also cause fear of change. If changes in the past were unpleasant or traumatic, you are likely to develop a fear of change as it is like our brains want to shield us from traumatic experiences.
The brain does not like uncertainty and prefers structure and routine. Change brings a level of uncertainty, which causes the brain to resist and develop a fear of change.
Fear of change can manifest itself in several ways in our lives. This includes:
Maintaining toxic friendships. People tend to stay in unfulfilling or draining friendships as they are afraid of facing the uncertainty of being alone or trying to make new friends. They find that they cannot detach and remove themselves from such friendships due to fear.
Staying in miserable marriages. People who have a fear of change stay in marriages where they are not happy as they cannot deal with the transition of not having a spouse.
Sticking to unfulfilling jobs/careers. These people tend to stay in careers that they no longer enjoy just because they are paralyzed by fear of what would happen if they left their fairly comfortable jobs.
Holding on to identities that no longer serve them. People with a fear of change tend to stick to identities that they have outgrown or that they do not feel connected to.
How Can You Tell If You’re Afraid of Change?
If you fear change, some patterns are likely to occur in your behavior. These patterns and behaviors could be very subliminal or obvious, depending on what they are.
A sure way to tell whether or not you are afraid of change is:
1. If you tend to stay in uncomfortable circumstances for extended periods.
This might be failing relationships, an unfulfilling career, or even a physical location you do not like. If you find that you cannot make the necessary changes to leave these situations, you might be experiencing fear of change.
2. Anxiety can also be an indicator of fear of change.
If you experience anxiety when about to make or experience changes, whether big or small, you might be afraid of change in your life. This anxiety can be manifested through symptoms such as shaking, sweating, stomach knots, difficulty in breathing, and an increase in heartbeat rate while thinking about these changes.
If you are constantly procrastinating, taking the steps that are necessary steps for change to occur, you might be experiencing the fear of change. Most of the time, this procrastination is an attempt by the self to avoid making the required change.
4. Feelings of Inadequacy.
If, when faced with a change, you experience feelings of inadequacy, you might be afraid of change. These feelings of inadequacy include feeling as though you are not equipped enough to deal with the change. This might be feeling as though you are not strong enough or ready regardless of whether or not you had prepared for the change.
Shunning new experiences, situations, or places. This is consciously making an effort to not have new experiences, such as being single after a disastrous relationship. Or not going to new places just because they are not familiar.