How To Overcome Your Fear Of Change At Work
It’s ironic, isn’t it? Most of us often complain about how we are sick of our routined work-life, but once changes occur, we go into a state of panic. Why is this so? Well, for starters, big changes cause uncertainties, and uncertainties will make us lose control. We are suddenly losing grip of the routine we are used to and that can be scary. Changes such as reorganizations and changes in responsibilities may also lead us to believe that our job is at stake. It’s only human to feel scared if these changes were to happen to us. However, there are ways for us to overcome our fear of change at work. Here are a few of them!
1. Accept the change
Like any other situation, the first thing we have to do is accept the change. Once the news of the change has been announced, there is no way around it. The more you try to deny it, the more burdensome it will be for you. Sooner or later, it will take a toll on your mental health. So, quit running from it and accept and acknowledge the fact that things are changing and that it is okay. It is also important to give yourself some time to accept the change. If you find yourself worrying all the time, use the designated worrying time technique. A designated worrying time is where you set a period of time out of your day to worry about the things that are on your mind. This technique takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will find yourself less worried and more productive.
2. Embrace your fear
One thing that always stops me from embracing change is fear. A slight detour in my plan will send me spiralling. I’ve come to realise that it is because I did not face my fear head-on. Facing my fear head-on is not to say that I should conquer and defeat my fear immediately, but rather, to ask myself what I am truly fearful of. Once I am clear about what I am fearful of, it makes it easier for me to come up with a plan on how to combat it. Creating a plan for when your fears come true can help reduce anxiety. If you don’t know where to start, I suggest using a brain dump technique. In short, a brain dump technique is where you write all of the things that are on your mind on a piece of paper or journal so that by the end of the process, you can see things more clearly.
3. Keep investing in or challenging yourself
Instead of just letting change come to you, you can also choose to change and upgrade yourself. One thing lockdown has made me realise is the fact that the only thing stopping me from gaining more knowledge and improving myself, is MYSELF. There are actually a lot of things we can do when there is internet access since we live in a digital age. So, don’t limit yourself. Pick up a new language or sign up for a course such as online marketing or graphic designing. Anything you feel like doing? Now is the perfect time. You can also start by doing something personal and non-work related to better yourself such as a 30-day challenge. These changes might not seem prominent at first. But in time, you will see the effects and no effort will be wasted. Even the littlest thing you do will add some value to your life!
4. Communicate with your employers
When concerns arise in the workplace, it is easy for us to confide with someone who is in the same boat as we are. That would be none other than our colleagues. Let’s admit it. Complaining and venting out our anger can make us feel better. We get instant satisfaction from it. Though it is good to not let things get bottled up, doing this will not solve the concerns that we have. So, the best way to eliminate your concerns is to talk to your boss. Here are some pro tips for when you want to talk to your boss without being too negative:
- Pick the perfect time: Have the courtesy to let your boss know beforehand that you would like to talk to them. Your boss will appreciate the heads up and it will also give them the time to prepare mentally and be in a receiving mode.
- Be specific: Beating around the bush may not be the wisest thing to do for this case. Get straight to the point and be specific. Saying something vague such as “Things have become dull here” will not help anyone. For example, you can say that “The new changes have made me feel like a machine and I don’t think I am using my skills to my best capabilities. Do you think there is a way for us to work on that?”
- Do not get emotional: Keep in mind that you are in a professional setting and anything you say will reflect on you as an employee. If you are feeling frustrated with your colleague who refuses to lend a helping hand, instead of saying how upset you are, let your boss know that you are afraid that if their behaviour continues, it will be reflected on the whole team. This will make you sound objective and concerned for the team instead of you holding a grudge.
5. Continue working
One thing you have to remember about change is that not all changes are immediate. Some changes might take months to be fully implemented. Everything happens gradually. Even if change does happen immediately, there will always be room for trial and error. So, all you have to do is continue working. Work will help you take your mind off things, and any distraction is a good distraction if it stops you from spiralling. Train your mind to focus on the now. Even if there are going to be any changes in the future, you will still give 100% to the work you do today.
Changes at work can contribute to one of the main stressors in your life, and rightfully so! Unfortunately, change is unavoidable. The key here is to prepare for them no matter how scary it is. With that being said, fear is also inevitable. However, we can try to reduce our stress and worries that come with change. Last but not least, just like how change can be scary, change can also be a good thing. Just like how we are often held back by our fears, maybe a change is what we need to help us be the best version of ourselves.