Technically there are 2 types of fears: real and non-real.
The former is generated by an external life-threatening danger, to which our reptile brain, the oldest layer of our brain, reacts by “survival instinct” to keep us safe. For example, the fear of snakes is a real fear. Being afraid of snakes has been useful to man for millennia over the course of his evolution; it has allowed him to avoid danger and save his skin. And who wouldn’t be afraid of something that can kill you with one bite?
The second group of fears, the non-real ones, arise from our imagination, thoughts patterns, belief systems and from the idea of what could happen and could go wrong. Luckily, our brain does not distinguish between what is vividly imagined and what is actually experienced. Think about when you have a bad dream: as soon as you wake up it still seems so frighteningly “true”. This happens because the synapses created by our imagination and those created by real experienced events are the same, and for this reason, dreaming seems an almost real experience.
That is also why unreal fears can become a big deal and a limiting factor.
And here a question arises: is the fear of change real or not real?
Unfortunately, what generates more stress in situations of change are physiological mechanisms that our brain activates trying to keep us in a safe area. Unreal fears are then created as a consequence of stress hormones and “negative” emotions loops in which we keep looking at possible negative scenarios.
In this period, many people are adapting in one way or another to the change imposed by Covid-19. Others are completely at the mercy of fear, and in a more or less conscious way, they continue to focus on the worst possible scenarios. When this happens, it is easy to get into a vicious circle.
However, we can look at the fear of change from another point of view. Potentially any change brings with it a good deal of risk and danger. Think about how your job has changed right now.
Finding yourself in a new situation entails the possibility of making mistakes, of having troubles and of making wrong choices.
This possibility of “failure”, however, is incredibly valuable, since it challenges us to open up to new options, to study, prepare, evaluate more carefully, commit further and find new solutions.
It is that “good” fear that leads us to act in a more conscious and wise way, maximising our potential and our resources.
Where are you on this change curve?
The point is not what happens out there. It is not “change” but how you decide to manage yourself in change.
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Disclaimer: The preceding is intended to offer practical approaches and assistance for daily living in an effort to help where possible, those of us who need and seek it. We speak to the individual, and hope the nuggets offered are found transferable to family, business, community and country. The information is not intended as a replacement for obtaining professional advice.
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