by Ingrid Fear
It is a fact that the world is in a state of change. The reality is the world has been constantly changing for eons of time. The difference today, is simply the pace. Change seems to be on steroids, and we are not ready for the pace of change. We fear the changes that we cannot control.
The changes that are upon us are the future of how we educate ourselves, how we work, how long we can continue without being social, what the future of work looks like and in fact whether or not there is a career for us at all.
With the predicament that business in our own environment is facing at present, industries such as aviation, pubs, hospitality, leisure, we are feeling the impact of change. As there is an impact on our places of employ and leisure, so is there a direct impact on us individually.
As a result of the changes, people have become fearful of so many “normalities” of life. People are fearful of being alone, others are fearful of not finding a life partner (difficult when we are not able to socialise). Then there are fears of employability or not (as the world or work changes), finding new jobs in a climate that appears to be creating more redundancies than recruitment. And all this impact’s economic security and tests our emotional vulnerability.
Now is not the time to be too proud and stiff upper lip. Now is the time to be human and demonstrate vulnerability, tap into hope, show compassion and kindness.
So how do we face our fears in times of change?
Firstly, let’s understand more about fear. There are only two fears that we are born with:
• Fear of falling
• Fear of loud noises
These two fears are innate and designed to keep us alive and motivated to avoid potential dangers.
The rest we create……
Fear is an emotion that originates from perceived danger or threats. This causes a physiological change in our bodies that ultimately results in behavioural change such as running away, hiding, or freezing. Sometimes the emotion of fear happens in response to a stimulus that occurs in the present moment. Fear can also rise in anticipation or expectation of a perceived future threat. In an extreme case of fear (perceived or in the moment) it can cause humans to respond by freezing or temporary paralysis.
So, fear is our friend, in that it is there to serve and protect us. Learning to understand more about what sits behind the emotion of fear is the trick. E.g. Fear of being made redundant is possibly concern for how to economically provide for the family in the future.
The next time you feel the emotion of “fear”, take a moment to pause and consider whether this is an overreaction of something else such as “worry” or “uncertainty”? It is also worth being aware that the more energy we give to the feeling of fear or the more we “fuel” the thoughts about the emotion we are perceiving to be fear the more intense this feeling becomes.
Tips to face your fears in times of change:
• Identify whether it is a real fear or a perceived fear.
• Accept that the feeling of fear is there to help you make some changes.
• Be optimistic about the situation and in turn new opportunities will be easier to see.
• Change your environment by going for a walk-in nature, as the saying goes “clear the head”.
• Be responsible for your happiness. Take control. Focus on small goals.
Author: Ingrid Fear, Behavioural Change Coach