6 Ways to Vanquish the Fear of Change

Fear of Change

We all like to have things a certain way—a way that is comfortable. And change, whether good or bad, causes stress. Eventually, we get used to it, but there are certain techniques that make the transition through change seamless. It all starts with these six intentional mindsets.

1. Awareness

Most fear comes from lack of awareness. Before attempting to conquer your fear, acknowledge the change that is happening your life. What is changing? How? Why did you choose to make this change? Accept that change is inevitable.

It’s always tempting to have an emotional reaction to change. Be conscious of this and remind yourself that whatever change you experience is a natural part of life. Carefully and rationally examine the characteristics of the change. By being fully aware, you can make healthy decisions and avoid landing in a sticky situation induced by emotional decision-making.

2. Be Prepared For The Best/Worst

It’s good to be positive about change, but that does not mean you should blindly walk into something. Our instinctive reaction to change is skepticism. That’s okay—and healthy. Skepticism is the mind’s way of preparing for the worst-case scenario. But balance this with the pros of impending change, too. Don’t fill your mind with worry or doubt because nothing can come of these negative emotions.

Instead, consider all of the possible outcomes from the change you’re experiencing—both good and bad. How will you handle your changed life in both cases? When you map the possibilities out in your head, you increase calm and confidence. And sure, you can’t foresee everything—but you can set a tone for how you will handle outcomes.

3. Do Your Research

We often resist making a change when we are uncertain about what to expect. In this case, your curiosity can help you. Imagine you have a big meeting coming soon and you are presenting for the first time. While you have always been a listener, you have now become the presenter. Freaking out is natural, but focus on overcoming it: prepare, research, and investigate the subject on which you’re presenting. Consider questions you may be asked and come prepared with answers.

These tactics apply to change of any sort. As you consider possible scenarios once change is in place, compile questions you will likely have. Research the answers now; knowledge is key to quelling fear and reclaiming confidence.

Always look forward. Looking backwards is the enemy of progress.

4. Begin With Small Steps

Change is daunting in any vein, but especially if it’s big. It’s perfectly natural to want to incrementalize your change so that it can be easily digested. In other words, take change slowly and easy into your new experience with ample time to acclimate. As many have said, “When you conquer little fears first, the big ones are easier to overcome.”

5. Don’t Look Back; Look Ahead

We always assume the grass is greener on the other side, or that things were better before we experienced a gut-wrenching change in our lives. We don’t even give the new change a chance to prove itself before we start complaining. But looking backwards is the enemy of progress. If you keep looking back to the old ways for comfort, you will have a difficult time coping with inevitable newness. Once you have made a decision—for personal or official purposes—stick to it. Don’t bemoan the change; look forward with hope and positivity.

6. Cultivate a Positive Perspective

Finally, nothing works well if you have a negative attitude. Learning to deal with the fear of change is all about putting negative energy away and thinking positively. Consider how your newly experienced change can have a positive impact on your life. If you realize what the change can do for you, you will relish it.

Whatever fears you are facing, always remember to channel your inner potential. You are capable of change, and with your heart, mind, and soul invested, there is nothing you can’t conquer. Don’t let fear hold you back from the wonderful things you can do.

Be the bold, fearless person that you are meant to be.


For more ETR guidance on implementing positive change, read our “21 Day Habit Change Challenge.”