Why is change scary?
“You will either step forward into growth,
Or you will step back into safety.”
Abraham Maslow, American Psychologist
Maslow’s astute observation comes to mind when I am presented with change in my life. Whether freely chosen or externally imposed change can be scary.
As humans we are adaptable and resilient – these are traits that have helped us thrive and survive over the ages. For the most part our bodies are wired to protect us and keep us safe. Depending on the situation and our past experience, our response to actual and/or perceived danger may take the form of fight, flight, freeze or fawn.
We are creatures of habit, seeking comfort and safety in the familiar. In our daily lives, we tend to stay within our comfort zones – whether in relationships, in our careers, routines, activities and even in how we view ourselves. Stepping into the unknown, that which is not familiar, can feel threatening. So often times when we are faced with change, in whatever form that might be, our response is one of self-protection. When we are not feeling “safe” in ourselves or in the world, change can feel scary and we may choose to step back into the familiar, rather than step forward into growth.
When faced with change, how do you respond? Do you feel stuck? Anxious? Hopeless? Restless? Or disconnected? If so, talking to a qualified therapist like me can really help. Learn more here...