CBT | Change is terrifying

The idea of change, for me, is terrifying. Watching things move on from a time I was comfortable doesn’t quite click with something in my mind until much later on. 

When we all left school, obviously everyone created new friends; and whilst I was happy to make my own friends, I felt sad and upset about the past; realising nothing would be the same again. The people I’d  expected to be around forever had different lives and the dreams we’d had together are gone. Friends drift, family dynamics change, and so do our views of the world. And all of this builds a strong hatred in my body for the whole subject of change.

The change can be big – like a career move – or small – like plans with a friend being changed on the day. My chest goes tight, my head whizzes and I can’t quite hide my discomfort. Ultimately I become quiet and can’t really talk about much.

I don’t like change; change can lead to danger, loss, dispute and makes us wonder about the decisions we’ve made in the past. ‘Surely if I’d made the right decisions in the first place, nothing would need to change?’

Over the past few years, I’ve had a tough time learning that not all change is bad. And to be honest, I’m not fully convinced yet.

But whether it’s for big life changes, or small plan changes, CBT offers the time and space to sit and write down potential pros and cons.

Advantages of making changes 

More people can attend the party 

I can move forward in my career goals

Advantages of not making changes

Everyone is on the same page 

I know my job and I’m comfortable here

Disadvantages of making changes 

The party has to be moved and re-organised 

The career move could go wrong 

Change affects more than ourselves

Disadvantage of not making changes 

Less people at the party 

Stuck in a rut, unhappy 

With change, I suppose, comes progression. And nobody can deny that progression is the aim. But with so many disadvantages to think of, it’s hard to even risk it for the pros.

My cousin says ‘no decision is forever’ and whilst she only said this in passing, I’ve been trying to use it in my decision making. I’ve also focused strongly on the disadvantages of not making change – as this is the most hard hitting.

At the end of the day, you are the only one that can make decisions for yourself. Eventually, you have to learn to be assertive and think about your needs and aims above all else to make sure you make the right decision for you.

Change is scary, it is. Risks sound horrific. But as the world is constantly changing, we have to learn to ride the waves and adapt, or be stuck at sea in fear.

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