Why are people afraid of living a happier, healthier life?
Truly, they are. It might seem silly to feel fear around something that isn’t spiders or heights or something “scary,” but what prevents people from taking control and changing their lives for the better is not laziness or lack of motivation and willpower, it’s fear.
But why? What about change brings out this fear and resistance?
Photo credit: Ibrahim Iujaz
The “What If” Game
Much of our fear stems from a desire to stay safe. Our current state, even if not ideal, is a known entity. We keep doing the same thing, we keep getting the same result. Boring? Perhaps. Familiar? Definitely.
Introduce the idea of change, and fears will come surging to the surface. New is scary! Different is unknown! We don’t know what will happen.
We start playing the “What If” game.
- What if I change and I get hurt?
- What if I change and my partner leaves me?
- What if I change and I lose my job?
- What if I change and my friends don’t like me anymore?
- What if I change and I’m still not happy?
This is especially common around weight loss and eating habits. Everyone knows that to lose weight they need to eat better and exercise more. Easy.
Not easy. Here come those fears.
If I eat healthier, what if I can’t socialize with my friends anymore?
If I start to exercise, what if I look like an idiot?
If I lose weight, what if I’m still not happy?
So what can you do to overcome them?
Try It On For Size
Take a moment to think of a change you’d like to see in your life. Close your eyes and see what that change looks like. How would your life be different? Now think of the worst thing that could happen and what you would do to deal with it.
By making those possibilities known, we can dissipate the fear surrounding them. Because the scariest “What If” is “What if you never tried to grow and change and stayed where you are forever?”
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin