One thing that is always certain in business and every small business owner knows is that change will always happen, things don’t and shouldn’t stay the same. As a business grows we have to change, when we get a quote come in, a new customer, a bigger office our first member of staff or even a new system to play with they all signify change.
Often it’s a change that we can control, like using a new email system for example, we know it’s going to be different, making that series of phone calls you really don’t want to do but know they need to be done, publishing your first ever blog post, other times it’s a change that is forced on us like a VA deciding to become employed or an employee resigning as they are moving on. These all cause change within the business and sometimes that change especially if it’s unexpected can be frightening and uncomfortable.
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Learning how to deal with that fear IS something you can do, once you understand the reasons for it, how it can actually benefit you and ways to overcome it.
Change doesn’t have to be scary if you embrace it then you can learn how to use it to become a stronger business owner.
First of all, the biggest universal reason to be afraid of change is fear of the unknown. We feel safer in what we already understand and are familiar with. The unknown causes anxiety for lots of reasons, one of which is that this anxiousness is a protective measure. Our brains tell us that we can remain safe if we avoid what we can’t see, understand, know or process.
Another cause of this specific kind of fear is the false belief that there is only one correct way, when in fact many options lie ahead of you. It won’t be disastrous if you make the “wrong choice” because there are actually a number of ways you could go that could be completely right for you. Don’t get hung up on perfectionism or absolutes.
Self-doubt is another common reason to avoid change. You may think you’re not enough to navigate whatever life is currently throwing at you. That’s usually not the case. In fact, you’ve probably made lots of adjustments in your life before now you just haven’t credited yourself properly for it.
There are actually more benefits to change than negatives. Truly. For one, the personal growth potential times of transition offer can be limitless. You’ll learn so much about yourself and your capabilities during this time, along with gaining new skills.
Change also gives you the chance to examine your business and your goals. Change leads to progress, part of being in business is to always be moving forward, when a business stays still it becomes stagnant and before you know it you are in trouble You’ll gain opportunities through transformation that you never would have had if you’d stayed the same .
Finally, you’ll develop new skills as a person and leader like strength, resiliency and flexibility when you embrace variation.
Now let’s look at ways to overcome the anxiety that comes with fear of change. First, you want to try to reframe the negative stories you’re telling yourself. Focus on the positive things that could happen, instead of the bad. Take time to process your feelings about the change you’re facing and try to determine the causes. This type of honest assessment provides insights that make it easier to get a handle on your anxiety because you can name its source.
Another great strategy that works is to look back on accomplishments you’ve made during times of transition or instances in which you’ve gotten through tough adjustments. Knowing you’ve done it before can give you the confidence and motivation to do it again.Speaking with mentors and other business owners will also help as often knowing someone else has come through the other side of a challenge inspires us and shows that it can be done and you can do it to.
These suggestions are definitely not a comprehensive list, but they can get you started on the road to overcoming the fear of change. Once you begin to do that, you’ll find your world will open up immensely.
If you are looking for support then come and join the dojo club where business owners at all stages of their business are working together to tackle the daily challenges of being in business
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Kevin Arrow is the CEO of the Online Visibility Academy where ethical entrepreneurs can train in digital marketing skills
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