The scary thing about change (and how to embrace it)

The scary thing about change (and how to embrace it) [PMP #176]

Change can be scary. And this isn’t our fault. The thing about change is that it creates mystery around what’s going to happen next and as humans we are biologically programmed to fear what we don’t know.

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But the thing is, change is necessary. Personal growth, self-improvement and business development all require change.

Change can be scary. But change is necessary. Personal growth, self-improvement and business development all require change. Embrace it!Click To Tweet

Changing what works

One of the concerns I’ve often had about making change within my business is around changing what’s already working well.

“Why fix what isn’t broken?”

If the way I do business now is working well, what’s the point in changing things? What if the change actually makes things worse?

For example, earlier this year I decided to change the way I deliver my consulting services. Last year, I offered packages of hours that clients could purchase to book times to get help from me. This has worked well in the past and has been a proven way of generating revenue.

But I was finding this too demanding. I was getting booked up weeks in advance and people usually want help now, not in 3 weeks time. So I changed my business model and created an online course and group coaching program that gives clients access to me on a weekly basis.

But this was a scary change to make. It’s quite a drastic change to my model and the value proposition I’m offering. My big concern was that people wouldn’t sign up to the new model and I’d lose out on potential revenue.

I had to remind myself that I’ve changed my business offering a number of times and it’s almost always been for the better. Change is scary, but usually a good thing.

How to embrace change

Maybe you’re thinking of making a change to your career path, personal life or business. But because change is scary, we often make excuses as to why we shouldn’t do it:

  • I can’t change jobs because I don’t want to upset people.
  • I can’t move house/city because this is where I grew up.
  • I can’t change my business because I don't have time.

Usually, the excuses we tell ourselves are a smokescreen for the real reason which is that we’re simply scared of getting out of our comfort zone and changing what we’ve become accustomed to. So, if you catch yourself making excuses, stop and consider whether what you’re telling yourself is the real reason you don’t want to make a change or whether this is an excuse for an uncomfortable truth.

Another useful way to embrace change is to use fear setting. This is a useful exercise I’ve used a number of times whenever I’ve considered making a big change. This involves writing down the worst-case scenario related to your potential change. You then think about how likely this worst-case scenario is (usually not very likely) and what you can do to come back from it if this does happen.

I did this when quitting my job in 2016. I wrote down all the potential things that could go wrong and how I would survive and earn money if they did. I realised that I wasn’t really risking that much (as I could easily recover if needed) but if the change worked out for the better, it would mean having a successful business and working for myself (which is ultimately what happened).

When I think about the big changes I’ve made in my life; quitting my job, starting a business, selling our house and going travelling, having a baby, they’ve all been scary but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t embrace change.

What big life change are you considering? Share it in the comments below and what you can do next to take that first step!