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Is the fear of change holding you back?

Do you want to change jobs but the fear is paralysing you to the spot? The fear of change or of changing things is called “Metathesiophobia” and can represent any change in your personal or professional life. The concept of changing your position, company or career is filling you with that all too familiar fear, and holding you back. Yet the fear of stagnating and staying in your current role is just as scary.

In your professional life, the fear of change can be due to a number of reasons, from fear of rejection at a new company, to the concept that your current role might be ‘the lesser of two evils’ (making the move all the more intimidating), to the ironic terror of getting stuck in the new role in a similar position to where you are now. Statistically, it has been proven that changing your mind is the better option for your future, especially when you take into account any newly acquired information…

Here are 3 suggestions for if you’re still fighting the fear and need some help:

1. Acknowledge and articulate your fear

By naming it, writing it down, or discussing it, you are identifying that the fear exists. By acknowledging it in the open, you can go into more detail around the fear itself, what’s causing it and why you are struggling to overcome it. Articulating your fear, allows you to associate it with a reason for being held bake. Consequently, by acknowledging and articulating your fear, you are removing yourself from your personal situation to explain it to yourself or others.

2. Identify what has changed and take small steps towards the ‘leap of faith’

By considering the fear from an angle that identifies what has changed, you are de-personalising the issue to understand its cause (whether that’s a change in your personal or professional desires or if is the result of a changing external environment). Once this is identified, you can begin to work on how to overcome your fear. Start with something small like tweaking your CV or your LinkedIn profile, to then start searching for a role (either direct or with recruiters), and continue forward taking baby steps until you get to the point where you feel you can actually leave your current role for a new role that will accommodate your requirements.

3. Remember you’re in the present

It’s easy to see your fear as a present version of a future state, however, you need to remember that you are living and making decisions in the present. Therefore, your fears may never be realised, making a large amount of your fear redundant when making a decision. By fearing what ‘may happen in the future’, you are restricting your ability in the present. Don’t let the fear get the better of you.

By taking these steps, you are identifying your fear and processing it logically, unboxing it to confront it. These fears are human, but if you’re reading this from your desk now thinking ‘This has just described my situation’, then you already know what we’re going to tell you…Take that leap. Change lanes, instead of sitting in the traffic, it will be worth it!

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