I’ve had it all my life. I mean, the neophobia or fear of the future. Every time I lost my job or when change was on my doorstep. I couldn’t get around this form of fear with “excuses” like “nothing will happen anyway” or sweep it under the carpet and bury my head in the sand (I’m not an ostrich after all 😊).
Every form of fear should be taken seriously. Neophobia (Latin: neophobia) is the fear of something new, unknown situations, novel things or strange people (Wikipedia: Neophobia). Uncertain circumstances can trigger or intensify fears, such as the loss of a job, unemployment or a change of career. They are often associated with financial and social insecurities: Can I still pay the rent? What happens if my basic needs (housing, food, clothing) are no longer met? It is believed that this fear tightens the throat, the chest gasps for air and we often feel paralysed or close to fainting. We feel stressed, depressed and have trouble sleeping. We have the feeling that we are no longer in control of our lives, that we are suffering a loss of control.
Changes in life
Life is change. They are neither positive nor negative per se. We give them either a positive or negative meaning depending on how we look at them. Without change, we would not be who we are today.
Fears are warning signals: even prehistoric man had them and was able to use them to increase his chances of survival (after all, we are his “descendants”, aren’t we?). Even though we no longer have to run away from a dinosaur today, they warn us when our inner or outer “good” is in danger, such as fear of the future.
How do you deal with change?
Since bad news, changes in life often trigger an inner turmoil, you should first take a deep breath and catch your breath. The emotional strain is high in such situations and only those who calm down can get a clear head. A situation analysis, alone or with family or friends, can help us to see our situation more clearly: Where am I now, what are the possible solutions (the multiple-eyes principle can be very helpful here!) and where do I still have resources or how can I get them? (e.g.: who else can I turn to?) Analysing the situation and gathering information gives us the feeling of being in control of our lives again. You can find more on this topic here: What to know about existential anxiety.
Having an open conversation about where we are today and how we can avoid it in the future (e.g. earning money on the side as soon as possible) is always helpful. Not only family or friends can help us, but also counsellors, coaches or psychologists (my offers). Building and strengthening self-confidence is possible when we see our scope of action again: In the past we often overcame difficult situations (we are still there!), got information or help.
I wish everyone who is facing changes in life a lot of strength and a loving approach to themselves 😊.