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MA, Family and Community Counseling

Do you fear change? Are you afraid of what people will think? Are you afraid you’re not good enough?

You’re not alone.

When you think of making a change is it like seeing yourself on a flying trapeze, letting go and hurtling into space? Do you often wonder what would happen if you fail and you fall?

The good news is that the courage it takes to make most changes comes with wings that will help you to fly.

How to Change Smart

Making a change is different than simply hurtling yourself into the unknown. It’s not just leaving something, but moving toward something better, carefully and step by step.

  • When you make a change, you create something. You make plans. You create a goal, with a road map and a direction.
  • And a dream becomes a plan when you write it down.

Successful change is a matter of preparation.

Something to Consider about Change

There’s another reason you might fear change in addition to your fear of failure and fear of the unknown. When you change you say goodbye to a part of yourself that you know you won’t get back. Raymond Chandler the author wrote that to say goodbye is to die a little. When you make a change something has to go.

You might be miserable now, but it’s your misery and it’s familiar. The way you live may be uncomfortable but still feels safe…even if it’s dying one day at a time.

The famous novelist, Ellen Glasgow, said the difference between a rut and a grave are only the dimensions.

If you feel you’re in a rut and want to change and expand your life’s dimensions here are some things to consider.

  1. Change is good, whether it is coins jingling in your pockets, new thoughts ticking your mind, or a commitment to a decision you’re finally ready for.
  2. Change compels you to be more of who you are. It expands your life. It opens doors to possibilities. It forces you to be brave.
  3. Change is a risk but it can be a calculated risk if you think before you leap.

C.H.A.N.G.E. Steps

  • Consider the pros and cons of the change. Make a list. Put a line down a page and write the positive things on one side of the line and negative things on the other. There’s always a price to pay. What do you stand to gain? What can you lose? What is your strategy if things don’t go as planned?
  • Will your change hurt or help anyone? Who? How much? In what way? When you change, you force those around you to change. Many of those closest to you will discourage you. How are you preparing for this?
  • What is your attitude about the change? Are you doing it from your strength or from your weakness? Are you running from something; a bad situation that with effort, you can help change for the better, or are you embracing something healthy and new? Are you afraid or confident? Are you willing to pay the price for the change?
  • Will the change cause you to neglect your responsibilities or commitments?
  • What is the goal of the change? What are you aiming for? What do you want? It is important to be clear.
  • Change takes effort. Major changes are hard work, emotionally, spiritually and physically for you and for those closest to you.

Sometimes you’re ready and you don’t yet know it.

Sometimes you just need a little push.

Sometimes change takes a leap of faith even if it feels like jumping off the edge of a cliff:


“Come to the edge,” He said.
“We are afraid.”
“Come to the edge,” He said.
They came.
He pushed them... and they flew.

- Guillaume Apollinaire


Your faith in yourself in taking the first step often gives you the courage to fly.

You’ve already taken the first step by reading this far.

Haven’t you?

About the author Lita Perna:
I have devoted my career and my life to helping others. My family has been touched by addiction, mental illness and suicide. My life fell apart when my parents divorced when I was 11 years old., I raised myself from that time while coping with my mentally ill mother. When I was a mixed up young adult, I learned that I could change my behavior and my life by what I thought. For a time I was a high school drop out. When I changed my mind about who I was and who I wanted to be, I finished school and worked my way through college and graduate school.
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Page last updated 08/12/2015

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