Why Are We So Fearful Of Change !EXCLUSIVE!
Consider what knowledge, information and skills your team will need, during and following the change. Set a plan to help each person gain the necessary competencies. Spend time with everyone individually and encourage them to identify their own development needs.
Why Are We So Fearful of Change
Here are some tried and true ways to help you overcome the fear of change. Everyone needs their own practice to find the right solution, but these ideas are a good starting place to find what works for you:
There are also different types of therapies that can help relieve the fear of change. Group therapy, talk therapy, neuro-linguistic therapy, behavior therapy, and writing your feelings down are all ways you can use therapy to aid in overcoming this phobia.
Ask yourself what you are so afraid of before embarking on any change. You can then write down the potential outcomes and aspects you fear most. From this list, you can do some research to mitigate these results. Knowing what you fear will allow you to overcome the fear and approach change rationally.
When we choose to create a change, such as moving to a new home or shifting jobs, we feel more in control of the outcome. If the change is brought about by forces outside of our control, whether a boss, a pandemic or an accident, we feel disempowered.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a crippling fear of change, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
Everything seems different. Change is meant to bring something different, but how different? We are creatures of habit. Routines become automatic, but change jolts us into consciousness, sometimes in uncomfortable ways. Too many differences can be distracting or confusing. Leaders should try to minimize the number of unrelated differences introduced by a central change. Wherever possible keep things familiar. Remain focused on the important things; avoid change for the sake of change.
Ripple effects. Like tossing a pebble into a pond, change creates ripples, reaching distant spots in ever-widening circles. The ripples disrupt other departments, important customers, people well outside the venture or neighborhood, and they start to push back, rebelling against changes they had nothing to do with that interfere with their own activities. Leaders should enlarge the circle of stakeholders. They must consider all affected parties, however distant, and work with them to minimize disruption.
Sometimes the threat is real. Now we get to true pain and politics. Change is resisted because it can hurt. When new technologies displace old ones, jobs can be lost; prices can be cut; investments can be wiped out. The best thing leaders can do when the changes they seek pose significant threat is to be honest, transparent, fast, and fair. For example, one big layoff with strong transition assistance is better than successive waves of cuts.
When it comes to dealing with change, research indicates that there are three primary emotions we experience: cynicism, fear, and acceptance. The first two are strongly negative, and the latter is vaguely positive. No strong positive feelings made it to the top.
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Given this reality, we can turn to science to explain why businesses stagnate. Growing research from the neurosciences and cognitive sciences reveal that change really is difficult for humans. Resistance comes from three forces:
A common example of fear of change is when a person stays in an unfulfilling romantic relationship because they are terrified of being single, or of the effort and risk involved in trying to find a different partner. People often coast along in unfulfilling relationships, even marrying a person about whom they feel ambivalent, just because they are so scared at the prospect of breaking up. Often, these marriages end in divorce when one or both partners have finally had enough, but the divorce is very difficult for everyone involved, not least of which being the children.
Fear of change is often related to a negative worldview, and just as often related to a tendency toward anxiety (and of course, these two variables are often related to one another, as well). People who grow up in a home that is very negative, where parents think of life as burdensome, often exhibit fear of change as adults.
This is how young adults who objectively have lots of exciting opportunities in front of them can remain paralyzed by fear of changing anything, because the change might lead to something unsafe (e.g., a career change would lead to job loss and homelessness, or breaking up with a significant other would lead to dying alone).
Therapy can be extremely useful in helping you understand what you really need to fear in life and what is just a roadblock that your subconscious is throwing at you. Challenge yourself to try and overcome your fear of change, and watch how much more fulfilling, interesting, and meaningful your life can become!
While much, much more needs to be done to put us on the right path to avert the worst effects of climate change, the growth of renewable energy around the world, the rise of electric vehicles, and the growing appreciation for plant-based diets all give reason for hope over fear.
The only good news is that public awareness of the ongoing harm and increasing danger is growing to the point that countries may finally undertake the remedial actions needed to avoid even bigger changes in our future climate, along with adaptation measures that can reduce the harm from the changes we cannot avoid.
On all our lists, we hit on how we were scared of losing animals and hurting the planet itself. Climate change affects our ecosystems, and this will impact the lives of many animals. Some may even become extinct. But we also thought about how we are connected to our environment: Animals are a big part of our food chain, for example, and bees are critical pollinators, and if we lose them, it will affect our food supplies.
There is also a temporal dimension that takes us from science to economics to politics and policy. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) accumulate in the atmosphere (CO2 has a half-life in the atmosphere exceeding 100 years), and the damages are a function of the stock, not the flow of GHGs. Hence, the most severe consequences of climate change will be in the long term. But climate-change policies and the attendant costs of mitigation will be up front. This combination of up-front costs and delayed benefits presents a tremendous political challenge, since political incentives in democracies are typically for elected officials to convey benefits to current voters today, and place costs on future generations. The climate problem asks politicians to do precisely the opposite!
Together, the global commons nature of the problem plus this intertemporal asymmetry make climate change an exceptionally tough political challenge (and suggest why economics can help with the design of better public policies).
We all want to be right in our thinking. Vaccine hesitancy and global warming denial share much in common: (1) both are threats to personal, community and global health, (2) action is contingent on co-operation and social policy, and (3) public support relies on trust in science. The irony is, however, as the science has become more convincing, public opinion has become more divided. A number of early polls showed that 70% of people supported COVID-19 vaccine use and global warming, 20% adopted a wait-and-see approach, and 10% were staunch objectors. Although these percentages are approximate, what factors are responsible for the differences in engagement, doubt and distrust? How can we reduce the consensus gap? One approach is to return to grass roots and provide a brief history of the issues, understand the difference between fact and opinion, truth and falsehood, the problem of certainty, and how scientific consensus is reached. To doubt is a healthy response to new information, and it too has a scientific basis. Doubt and distrust reside in that region of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for suppressing unwanted representations. Bridging the consensus gap requires shifting human thinking patterns from doubt to belief, and belief to action. Education and improved public messaging are key, and social media providers require urgent oversight or regulation to remove false and harmful/dangerous content from our digital lives. Delays to vaccinate and failure to reduce greenhouse gases will dramatically change the way we live. The new norm may be more deadly COVID variants, strained healthcare systems, extreme weather patterns, diminished food supply, delays in goods and services, damage to world's economies and widespread global instability.