Hitting the big 4-0 doesn’t always mean that you are at the door of the “end of your career.” As the author of the book Don’t Just Retire and DieCraig Nathanson said, “The second half of life can be a magical time filled with joy and fulfillment.” Here are 10 steps to help you overcome the fear of change:
Step One: Envision what you want.
Making change especially when it comes to your work the fear of change tends to stop us in our tracks. We worry what will happen if we make a mistake or do the wrong thing. It can be the result of not having a clear vision of the desired state. Be clear about what you want (this is true in most aspects of life) and then you’ll be able to see how this change will get you closer to your goals.
Step Two: Take a field trip
Do you remember how exciting it was as a child to take a field trip somewhere during school time? You took your lunch, maybe rode a bus and actually got to leave the school during the day to go somewhere new? Prior to making a big change in your life, take a field trip. That is, take a day off and visit the place you may be going to live or work and spend some time imagining your new life. This field trip will get you excited about positive change in your life.
Step Three: Talk to others who care
Start talking to others who care about you and would be interested in this change. Don’t talk to people who don’t care and would not be interested in this change for you. The more you talk to others in your support network, the more committed you will become towards your plans.
Step Four: Build new networks
Build new networks to support this change. If you are moving to a new line of work or perhaps a new area to live, start to build new connections. This will give you a foundation, structure and sense of place in your new home.
Step Five: Move towards pleasure in your life
Much of the fear of change comes from living a secure life of avoidance. That is a life of staying clear of risks and essentially hiding under the rock most of your life. With a strategy moving towards pleasure, you start to take more calculated risks. Be more proactive and you will start to move towards what you want vs. avoiding what you do not want in your life.
Step Six: Look at your life as a series of steps
Rarely does major change occur as a result of one big change. To move towards more of what you want in your life, it takes small steps. Whether you are seeking a new relationship, a new line of work or a new area to live, make small steps first.
Step Seven: Make many small changes with the big change
Changing relationships? Buy some new clothes! Changing work? Get a new desk or planner! Changing where you live? Start grocery shopping at a new store. Small changes help to lay a foundation for bigger changes.
Step Eight: Change, especially after 40. It is time!
Change can start to break old patterns of living and thinking. As a result, new opportunities emerge for growth and happiness. Change after 40 can be challenging. Think about change in mid-life as mandatory for good health.
Step Nine: Look back and forward
Think back to when you made major changes in your life. You will discover in most cases they all lead to positive outcomes. Trust your intuition. Look forward to the result of new changes. Imagine all the new possibilities!
Step Ten: Celebrate
No one is going to throw a party for you after you make a major change in your life. In fact you may even lose a few friends who don’t agree with your change. The best way to reinforce every small change in your life is to celebrate yourself! Plan in advance a trip or small party right after the change. This will serve as an anchor for the future that you can overcome the fear of change.
No reason to FEAR
There is no reason to ANY longer be afraid of change after 40. It is healthy, necessary and MANDATORY for recreating a second half of life which WORKS better for you!
Recommended Books on How to Overcome the Fear of Change:
- Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success
- Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy … And Pays the Bills
- Shifting Gears To Your Life & Work After Retirement: A Boomer’s Roadmap to Transform Retirement into the Best Time of Your Life, Created by Two Boomers Who Did It
- The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life
- Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation