As a therapist and life coach I work with clients all day long who are trying to create changes in their lives. Often they want new career opportunities or their own business with more creativity, flexibility and freedom. They desire better relationships with a spouse, family member or colleague. They may want to change living situations, geographic location, start a new relationship, or improve their health, fitness and finances. The list is endless.
Change drives us and fascinates us. Yet, it also frustrates us and scares us like nothing else. As much as we may want a change, the desire to stay safe is equally strong. These two opposing forces– to grow, yet stay safe–wreck havoc and inner conflict like nothing else. I once heard someone say, “If you want to grow, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
So what is one to do?
Here are 5 steps to help you navigate change more skillfully and with less fear:
1. Get clear on what you want:
This may not be as easy as it sounds. I believe desire leads to destiny. This means that which we truly desire with our heart is part of our soul’s yearning and it is calling us to grow and evolve. The trick here is to learn to distinguish the voice of our ego, (fear), from that of pure desire. The ego often wants a specific change in order to satisfy a more superficial aspect of ourself. It wants us to feel safe, loved, admired and approved of by others. Pure heart’s desire is not so concerned about what other’s think. It is more about guiding you to fulfill your soul’s higher purpose or destiny. You must learn to listen to this voice to create fulfilling change. It does not lead you astray as the voice of the ego is apt to do.
2. Do not waver; act as if:
Once you are clear on what you want and feel it is coming from a pure place of deep desire and inner guidance, you must not waver. Set your sight on your desire and know/believe that it already exists in the field of unlimited possibilities. Commit to take the steps to create this desire and act as if it is already here. This does not mean it will be easy and fearless. The growth in this step is to learn to not be controlled by the voice of fear and to trust in your inner guidance. As you move forward with faith in this commitment you will find that doors open and help becomes available in unexpected ways.
3. Follow inspiration:
It is very important to follow your inspiration daily on what steps to take to create the change you desire. As A Course in Miracles advises, each day ask, “Where should I go?, Who should I speak to?, and What should I say?” Learn to listen to your inner self to receive the answers to these questions. Then do what you are instructed to do. It will feel like inspiration. Change only happens when you take action. Desire without action is a fantasy that will not manifest.
4. Learn to dissolve your negative, fearful, self-sabotaging thoughts:
As you are doing this process of listening to your inner voice, not your ego (the voice of fear), your ego will rebel. The ego does not like to lose control. It will most likely bombard you with all of the fear thoughts from the subconscious mind learned in childhood and taught in our society. You will hear yourself saying things like, “If I do this, I’ll lose all my money, friends, family, my job, etc.” Fear will tell you that if you follow your heart’s desire, you will basically end up penniless, homeless and on the streets. You must learn to counter this voice with a thought dissolving process such as The Work of Byron Katie which teaches us that most of our thoughts are simply not true.
5. Express gratitude:
Gratitude is a high vibrational thought. Fear is a negative, low vibration. We all know by now that everything is energy. If you want to attract positive situations, circumstances and people into your life you will be more likely to do this if you stay in a high vibration. Like attracts like. When you practice expressing gratitude for the doors that are opening and the things that are working, you will attract more of the same. You will create a positive, forward momentum that takes on a life of it’s own and before you know it you will have created your desired change with minimal fear, chaos and drama.
Learning to work more skillfully with one’s fear is one of the most important skills anyone can develop, especially when trying to create change. It will serve you well to do this as both change and fear are constant companions on the path of life.