The only thing that prevents anyone from changing their lives and thoughts is fear. Fear is the most powerful emotion in the world, stronger than anger, stronger than love, it is fear that paralyzes us and keeps us from making change in our lives. There are three main reasons people fear from changing themselves – fear of the unknown, fear of losing control, fear of loss – and they prevent progress.
Because of this fear, most people try to change everything BUT themselves. They try to change how others act, think, and treat them. They try to change the past or future. They try to change everything that is outside their circle of control – which is everything outside of them. When in truth, the only thing anyone can ever change is inside their own bag of bones – nothing else. But that is so much harder and so much more fearful.
Fear of the unknown is present when people have become accustomed to the way things are. No matter how bad, how repetitive the issues and thoughts, how miserable they are – what they know about how they feel and live is much less fearful than what they don’t know or what they fear may happen if they change. How will they feel, how will they live their lives, who will they be if they don’t have the constant misery they current live with – the thing that has become their constant companion – their best friend. Like an warm blanket, they cover themselves with the misery they know rather than letting go of fear and making changes to themselves. They want to know what will happen, constantly anxious about the future. If they stay in the present misery they know what will happen – the same things that have happened for years. People do not fear what they know.
Many people fear that change means losing control. They have a false sense of control believing that they have some effect on other people, on situations, on the past or the future. These are all lies we tell ourselves so that our actions can be justified and so that we can blame others for our misery. Since we cannot control ourselves, our thoughts, our actions, our pain we must control others and we can see it as the only control we have. It is all fake control, all a lie, there is NO control of anything outside of our own skin to believe otherwise is to lie to yourself and everyone else.
Many people who fear change also fear loss. This may be the greatest block to change of the three. We fear that if we change we will lose those we love and care about. If we stop making bad choices for ourselves – drugs, drinking, sex – the people we do these things with will not want to be around us anymore. If we refuse to let others treat us badly, to keep rehashing the past, holding guilt and blame over us – they will stop talking to us, cut us out of their lives. If we change ourselves and build ourselves up, we may realize we should end relationships and we fear being alone. We are too afraid of what others will do as a result of our change that we continue on the same as we always have regardless of how miserable we are.
The only thing we can change is what is inside our own skin – our emotions, our thoughts, our actions, our processing of the past and welcoming of the future. The only way to make these changes is to let go of fear. Fear is the enemy of change. Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change themselves cannot change anything.
Until next time,
I am now accepting new clients for counseling – adolescent girls and adult women. If you think counseling can help you on the path to changing yourself call 406-413-9904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free initial consultation.