There is a paradox around change. Essentially, we desire security, stability and for things to generally stay the same. Yet the reality is that change happens in every moment. Change comes about in one of two ways. Either we make a decision or choice that inspires the change or we experience an external event we appear to have little or no control over, in other words, something happens to us. In both instances, it is natural for fears about the change to come up.
It isn’t necessarily the actual change that generates feelings of fear but the thoughts we have about it. For me, when fears come up one of the first things I do is to remind myself that, “this too shall pass.” It’s like my emergency roadside kit. This is not about addressing the issue. It is the paper bag you blow into when you’re hyperventilating to get your breathing back to normal. When fearful thoughts take over your day, what tools do you use to get grounded?
When I am experiencing fear, all kinds of catabolic, or destructive thoughts and limiting beliefs swirl around in my head. Using “this, too, shall pass” gets my thoughts reined in somewhat so I can begin to look at what is behind the fear. As a trained healer, I also call on my grounding tools. Simply closing my eyes and taking three deep breaths while reminding myself that here, in this moment, I am safe and have everything I need is another tool I use from my emergency roadside kit.
So my first step is to remind myself that whatever it is that I am facing right now won’t be like this forever. My second step is to get grounded.
Sometimes fear leads us to feeling isolated. It can seem like you are the only one stuck inside a swirling tornado-like cloud of fearful thoughts. When I struggled with fear in the past, I’d sometimes say that my head is one place I should not go alone. I said it jokingly, but there is some truth to it. Put together a checklist of ways you can immediately feel connected and supported. Perhaps you have a close friend you call for a chat. Checking into my Facebook page is a quick reminder that I am connected to a larger community.
I have a visualization I do where close my eyes and picture a velvet, black sky. As I look closer at the blackness, I begin to notice tiny lights, sparkling like diamonds. When I zoom in closer, these star-like lights burn brighter and become larger. I acknowledge that each of the stars represents people who are connected to me. Family, friends, business associates, dancers, writers, teachers ~ all the people who touch my life. I then notice that between each of these stars is a dainty silver thread connecting each one to the next with the threads eventually weaving back around to connect me. I take a moment to see all of the connections and notice the safety net that is formed by threads.
My third step is to get clear that I am not alone and, in fact, I have a lot of support in all areas of my life. What tools can you use to feel more connected and keep from isolating when change related fear hits?
Finally, I take a moment and remind myself of the purpose or goal behind making the change. For me, leaving behind a twenty-year career in production to launch my own coaching business generated a lot of fear initially. When I defined my commitment to helping others navigate through major transitions and to uncover their own brilliance so they could lead extraordinary lives, I was able to use that as a touchstone. Defining this core value of making a positive difference for others gives me strength and inspiration to move beyond the fear.
Once I am grounded, connected and inspired, I can begin to examine the triggers and issues around the feelings of fear. I need to get clear about what is bringing up the fear before I can transform it so that I am excited about the change.