When is change a bad thing?

Fear of Change: Reasons, Psychology, Tips & Quotes

Many people are afraid of change. The technical term is methatesiophobia, sometimes also called neophobia, which is the fear of new things. We make ourselves comfortable in habits, routines and known things, we encounter changes in this comfort zone with doubts, suspicion and fear.

Nobody knows exactly what is changing and what you are getting into. Leaving the security of the status quo is a fear of change. Why can't everything just stay the way it is? The problem: that's not how the world works. Not only is it part of it, it is even necessary for things to change. This cannot be stopped - which is why you have to learn to deal with and overcome your fear of change. Don't make the mistake of closing yourself off for fear of change. We show where the fear of change comes from and what you can do to better cope with change ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Causes: where does fear of change come from?

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that there have been a variety of changes over the years. After school comes the university or apprenticeship, very often in another city, new apartment, new environment, new friends. It continues like this in work and private life, there are always turning points at which changes are inevitable. Nevertheless, many are caught unprepared, resist it and are afraid of change.

But why? In fact, there are several possible reasons and causes for the fear of change:

Bad experiences

One possible cause is bad experiences in the past. Anyone who has ever gone through a change that subsequently turned out to be a debacle does not want to experience something similar again. The one-time negative experience is often enough to stir up lasting fear of change. In the future, it will be assumed that every innovation will also go wrong.

Lack of self-confidence

The fear of change is often caused by a lack of self-confidence. They are afraid of not being able to adapt to the new situation. It is not change itself that we fear. The fear of change arises from the uncertainty of being able to deal with a change.

No control

Fear of change can also arise from a feared loss of control. It is never possible to say in advance exactly what will change - and also not whether this will go according to plan. The feeling of not being able to control these things leads to fear of change.

Psychology of change

Upcoming changes allow a glimpse into a person's psychology. How does this react? What is his approach to the matter? Is he afraid of change or is he optimistic? However, the circumstances must always be considered - changes can be divided into two types:

Voluntary changes

The first category is always the more pleasant. Every change here is self-initiated, it is acted on its own initiative and with a correspondingly high level of motivation. In short: we want change and we do our best for it.

Voluntary changes are pending, for example, if the job is no longer fun, you submit your resignation and reorient yourself, or if you voluntarily end your studies early to do an apprenticeship. It is your impulse, your decision or your change - a great advantage for the psychology behind it.

It does not mean that there is no fear of change if it is entered into voluntarily. However, you will be better at accepting the changes and more easily overcome the fear because you have already made a decision for yourself.

Involuntary changes

These are much more difficult. A fixed-term employment contract expires and will not be renewed even though you would like to stay with the company, your employer files for bankruptcy and you will inevitably have to change jobs. Such unwanted steps lead to great fear of change and initially to rejection. It is difficult to see the chance, besides the fear of change, a forced innovation feels more like a burden. Such a change typically goes through five successive phases:

  • At first the change is completely refused and its necessity is ignored. It is pretended that everything can go on like this.
  • They even offer resistance for fear of change. Everything is being done to stop the upcoming change.
  • With the realization that the resistance will not help, the bottom of the crisis follows. Everything is questioned and the fear of change is particularly great.
  • From now on things are looking up. New possibilities are explored and implemented step by step.
  • In the end we realize that luckily it wasn't as bad as we feared and we accept the new situation. The fear of change is also diminishing or has already completely disappeared.

That is why you need to overcome fear of change

The key to success with changes: It doesn't always have to be the very big step that changes everything at once and turns previous life upside down. This is usually only necessary and inevitable when the time is actually right. For fear of change, you have waited so long that it becomes all the more difficult. It is better to overcome the fear of change early on. Then even minor adjustments can have the desired impact. There are three good reasons for overcoming the fear of change early rather than late:

You solve problems before they get worse

Sure, waiting is the easier way in the beginning. They hope that things will work out on their own and that problems will vanish as quickly as possible. Relying on it may work in some cases, but it is not a promising strategy. Usually you have to do things yourself for something to really improve.

If you acted early, you have an advantage. Despite opposing hopes, problems have a nasty habit of tending to get bigger over time. In plain language: the later you start making the necessary changes, the more difficult it will be to fix the damage that has already occurred.

You keep your options open

Not every window that has opened stays open. Most of your options are limited to a certain time frame - and once you have exceeded this, there is no turning back. Make yourself aware of this finality the next time you have to choose whether to leave everything at the status quo.

It also gives yourself the time it takes to make a wise and thoughtful decision about the change. You are not (yet) forced to act immediately and can examine the alternatives carefully and decide on the path that promises the greatest success.

You are continually improving

An important, but unfortunately often underestimated, finding is that improvement is not a one-off event, but a constant and ongoing process. It's not about making changes until the previous methods no longer work. Success is achieved by those who act proactively and consider possible changes even when there does not seem to be a need.

This can be observed again and again, especially in the corporate context. Successful companies don't wait for their business model to hit a dead end, for sales figures to drop, or for customers to switch to the competition. Instead, they are in an ongoing process of change and improvement.

This is how you deal with fear of change

The question remains: What can you do to deal with your fear of change? It is clear that it will not be easy, because overcoming fears requires perseverance, discipline and a good deal of work. The following tips can help you face your fear of change and get it under control:

  • Stand by your fear
    There is no point in ignoring your fear of change, belittling it, or pretending it isn't there. To overcome a fear, you have to face it. In the first step, this includes that you accept them and admit to yourself.
  • Talk about it
    Talking about it can help to better deal with the fear of change. Confide in your partner or a good friend. Explain what scares you and what you fear about upcoming changes. Such a conversation gives another perspective and helps against the fear of change, because you get support and support.
  • Be aware of the worst case
    Fear of change usually means fear of the worst consequences and consequences. What if everything really goes wrong? Play this thought through to the end to see that even the worst-case scenario is often not that bad. Knowing what can happen in the worst case gives you greater certainty.
  • Look to the future with optimism
    It is also important to have the right mindset: Anyone who believes from the start that they cannot cope with change only reinforces their own fear. Instead, believe in yourself, encourage yourself, and recognize your strengths. Optimism is a very good remedy for fear of change.
  • Take smaller steps
    Fear of change is easier to cope with if you take smaller steps first. If possible, you don't have to change everything at once. It's easier to cope with minor adjustments and to get used to the new situation. In this way you will also learn that there was no reason to be afraid of change and the next time you dare to do more.

Fear of change quotes

People have always been concerned with change. Many well-known personalities have already disclosed their thoughts on the subject of change. We have listed some of these sayings and quotes for you - to reflect, inspire and hopefully implement:

  • “I don't know if it will be better if it is different. But it has to be different if it is to get better. ”Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
  • “You have to pray for miracles, work for change.” Thomas Aquinas
  • "If you don't want to change anything, you will lose what you want to keep." Gustav Heinemann
  • "If you don't change anything, nothing changes." Unknown
  • "Change is as necessary as the renewal of leaves in spring." Vincent van Gogh
  • “Be the change you wish for yourself in this world.” Mahatma Gandhi
  • "Change hurts, but not as resistant as staying where you don't belong." Unknown
  • "Only the dumbest and wisest cannot change." Confucius
  • "If you want to be happy for a long time, you have to change often." Confucius
  • "Change is difficult at the beginning, chaotic in the middle and beautiful at the end" Unknown
  • "Life belongs to the living, and whoever lives has to be prepared for change." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “Whoever does what he can already do, always remains what he already is.” Henry Ford
  • "When the wind of change blows, some build walls and others build windmills." Chinese proverb
  • “Only those who change remain true to themselves.” Wolf Biermann
  • “The secret of change is to focus all your energy on building new things instead of fighting old ones.” Socrates

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[Photo credit: Karrierebibel.de]