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By Chris Green
One of the biggest problems we can encounter when we consider making changes to our life is fear. Even though the changes we want to make will bring more happiness by considerably enhancing our lives, fear will still raise its head to try and stop us in our tracks.
Why does this happen? It's all to do with the way the subconscious perceives survival. It knows that you are in a safe position and that survival is more or less guaranteed if you carry on in the same way. As soon as you start to consider making changes to your life, your subconscious mind will play the fear card. You are leaving the comfort zone and boy-oh-boy, does it not like it! Not one little bit!
This is no joke. It happens to millions of people and this fear ruins their dreams for a better life. And here's the danger of giving in to this fear: You can feel as though you're stuck in a rut - kind of like life is passing you by. As the years pass, these feelings can become magnified and you can become filled with regret over opportunities you didn't grasp.
I don't know about you but the last feeling I want before I breathe my last is that I didn't take advantage of opportunities because I gave in to my fears. Because let's be honest here, we can generate excuse after excuse to save face and gain sympathetic understanding from our families and loved ones. But we can't fool ourselves. Deep down inside, we know the truth.
If you want to achieve a dream, you are going to have to understand and overcome fear. There's a lot to it, much more than I can cover in one article. But for now, I want to look at an ally of fear, an ally that you can easily defeat.
When we're in the comfort zone, one thing re-enforces it more than any other. Routine. Performing the same habits and behaviors on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. The more routines you have in your life, the harder it is to embrace life-enhancing changes. Any break from routines is met with strong resistance by your mind.
This is security. And the more secure you feel, the more the mind believes we are safe, that survival is assured. Introducing change triggers the fear response because your subconscious mind perceives a threat to your survival.
A great technique to combat this is to demonstrate that your conscious mind is in control. You do this by adopting the axiom that change is essential to growth. The more you embrace change, the more color you add to your life. The more you grow, the more happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment you feel.
Here's some further ideas to help keep the fear of change at bay by limiting the routines you perform in life. Use them to stimulate your own ideas:
- Start and finish work at different times each day - if work allows. Can also vary the times you have lunch - and where you eat lunch. Can you vary the routes you take to and from the workplace?
- Eat a different breakfast each day. Most people eat the same breakfast everyday. Can you vary it? And try not to get in the routine of eating the same meal on a particular day. E.g. Tuesday is pot roast, Friday is fish, Saturday is steak.
- Shop at different supermarkets. Many people shop at the same stores on the same day every week. Try different ones, different days.
- Try a different cuisine every week. I love cooking and I like to try as many different dishes as I can. One idea I use is to pick a country and try a couple of recipes from there. You could also use states and regions. It's a great way of varying the diet and learning about other cultures.
- Visit somewhere new at least once a month. This could be a new town or country, a new restaurant, a new museum, theatre, park wherever you can think of!
- Avoid the temptation to watch television every night. Read a book, surf the Internet, attend a night-school class, workout, go to the movies - the idea here is not to just slump in front of the TV every night.
OK, I know these are basic ideas but they are effective in helping to break mundane routines. Routine really can make life a bit of a dull plod, so please do try and use these ideas to help you break free from routine.
And please don't rush into making major changes as it can be overwhelming. Take it nice and slow by making small adjustments to make life less of a routine and to slowly get the mind to accept changes when they come. It's so important to demonstrate to the subconscious that YOU are in control and that you will not let fear of change control you.
If you let it, your imagination will set boundaries on the amount of happiness you can get from life. The biggest weapon it will use to stop you from embracing life-enhancing change is FEAR. Why let it get away with it?