Understanding Moving Forward
Do you know the old saying?
‘The only constant in life is change.’
Those wise words seem contradictory, but they are true. We truly don’t know what is around the corner. Knowing this, how is it that change reveals how many people are frightened of it, even if they desperately need it?
Many psychological tenets come into play here, but one definite answers are that humans are certainly averse to change — or at least, in a general sense. According to an article written in Psychology Today,
‘The paradox is that although we reject uncertainty, we have the skills to change and evolve. Fear is an emotion that gets in the way — we lose clarity about our potential.’
According to the author, the different parts of the brain are often at battle with themselves. Additionally, he states 5 reasons why fear gets the best of us:
- Accepting life’s impermanence is stressful
- Fear of change
- Being ready for the unexpected and
- Failure is a stop, not a destination.
Various examples of these principles can be found almost everywhere, for example in decorative plaques for the home and workplace.
Age and the Brain
In 2015 a Clinic Study by Prof. Mouna Maroun, head of the Sagol Department of Neurobiology, demonstrated the fight or flight (fear) reaction in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, mostly correlated with higher-level thinking and emotions, was significantly lower in younger patients than adults.
The plasticity response, which helps in adjusting back to the original state prior to stress or neuroplasticity, is also lower in adults then it is in young people. This demonstrates that age has a critical role to play in responses to change and fear. It would also explain that the older we get, the more ingrained our habits become.
Facing Fear and Anxiety
Facing fear and anxiety is not easy. Often, while trying to overcome, we end up aggravating the situation and spending or ruminating too much on the problem. However, if we don’t face our fears and anxieties, they simply have a way to multiply or at the very least, to ‘sculpt’ our realities with clay that hardens over time, eventually reaching a point where it can no longer be changed.
Nicolas Cole, who writes for Inc., provided some good advice on how to challenge these fears and anxieties, beyond the standard ‘plaque’ approach” for not only expansion but re-invention of the self, which gives room for expansion and room for growth:
- See yourself outside yourself (such as a sculptor is constantly changing and allowing changes looking at the figure from the outside)
- Find the habit associated with the thing you want to change. This means that you have to find the habit that led you to the path ‘astray,’ and changes it.
- Practice every day, no matter what.
- Set realistic goals~otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure
- Constantly look in the mirror. Self-reflection is just as important as the movement towards your goals of self-change.
- Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth, and…
- You have to take risks. This is probably the hardest of all steps, because there is so much personal opposition to change and taking risks. But you cannot change by continually do the same thing over and over. Risks don’t have to be major, they can start small. It is just important to move.
There is no one measure of success
We must remember that there is no one measure of success. In fact, success itself is subject to interpretation. But you are an individual, and what sets you apart from everyone else. You belong to yourself, including patterns, social circles, religious creed or none at all, lifestyle and interests, what is important to you in life and more.
As such, each individual will have different experiences in dealing with mood disorders and health concerns. What works for one person may not work for another. What treatments you find helpful may not work for another.
Supplements and medications, the same. So, it truly is a fact that overcoming fear, dealing with anxiety, changing self-perspective and more is an individual matter. However, it helps to learn from other’s experiences and take what you can, as a lesson learned in your own journey.
Whatever you do, just remember recovery and your personal journey rarely begins with jumping over boulders, rather, taking small steps in the right direction.