7 Ways to Let Go of the Safety of the Known
One of the reasons it can be hard to get started with mindful eating is that it’s unfamiliar. And if you’re like most people, you’re nervous about the unknown and therefore sometimes (or often) afraid of change.
Plus, we as humans are very good at normalizing situations. Even if things are crappy, we can find ways to justify staying in the “safety” of the known situation, whether that’s a bad job, bad relationship, or bad way of treating ourselves.
And as if that weren’t enough, you might be afraid of failing.
All of this makes it very easy to stay stuck where you are. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you’re ready for change but are nervous about stepping into the unknown, here are seven tips to help.
1: Acknowledge your fear
First, it’s important to understand and acknowledge what it is you’re afraid of. Only then can you address and face those fears.
In some cases, this might be fear of failing, but that’s by no means the only option.
When it comes to mindful eating, you might be afraid of having to confront some hard truths about why you turn to food so often. Understanding these underlying issues is challenging, and even though it’s also rewarding, it could make you nervous about the attempt.
You might also be afraid of success. When you start to recognize your true needs and look for other ways to meet them, this can impact how you relate to other people in your life. That will likely be a good thing in the long run, but intermediate stages can be uncomfortable.
You could have other fears, too. If you can identify them, you’ll be in a much better position to move forward.
2: Reframe “what if” scenarios
So often when we think about the future and making changes, our minds go to the worst possible outcomes. While that can be helpful on occasion to encourage you to prepare, it also gives you a very limited view of the possibilities.
Instead, try to imagine the best-case scenarios, too. This takes some practice, but when you start to envision the positive outcomes of the change, you’ll be less anxious. You’ll also likely be more willing to work towards the change.
3: Accept the likelihood of some failures
Even if you have positive outcomes, that doesn’t mean it will all be smooth sailing. Whenever you start something new, the odds are very good that you’ll have some failures, especially early on.
The important thing is to recognize those moments for what they are – learning opportunities.
When something doesn’t turn out the way you hope, that gives you valuable information. If you’re able to learn from that, you’re more likely to succeed long-term.
4: Get support from friends and family
When you’re making significant changes, it can invaluable to have the support of friends and family.
Simply telling them about what you want to do can help since it makes you more accountable. By sharing your goals, you’re subconsciously committing to them.
Plus, if you run into challenges, friends and family can encourage you and help keep you motivated.
5: Have a clear vision
Another way to make change less scary is by having a clear idea of what you want your life to be like afterward.
Ask yourself, how would your life be different if you met your goals? You could write it down to make it clear. Or some people like to create vision boards to have a visual representation they can refer to.
However you do it, make this image of your future as clear as you can. This will help think about how to get there, and it can get you excited about making changes.
6: Set small goals
Although it helps to have your final goal in mind, you won’t get there overnight, or even in a week. And thinking about the amount of change required to get there can be overwhelming.
That’s why it’s important to set small, intermediate goals. Break down the process into manageable chunks, so you can feel a real sense of accomplishment and progress as you work through those goals.
7: Remember that you’re worth it
Finally, you may hesitate to make a change because you don’t feel like you’re good enough to have the life you want. But that’s absolutely not true.
You deserve to have the life you dream of.
Remember that, no matter what anyone else tells you, or what the little voice in your head might say. You’re worth it.
Don’t let the “safety” of the known hold you back
Even if your current situation isn’t great, it can feel “safe” compared to the great unknown out in the world. But just because it feels that way doesn’t mean you should stay there.
When you want to make a change, but you’re worried about the possibilities, acknowledge and face your fears, and remember that you could have a positive outcome as well. You’ll have some setbacks, but keeping a clear vision of your goal, broken into small steps, will set you up for success, and having the support of loved ones will keep you going.
And above all, remember that you’re worth having that dream become a reality.