5 Crucial Steps To Minimize Fear During Change

Updated: Feb 20, 2019

A few years ago, my husband and I were in San Diego for a business conference when a colleague approached and asked if we'd ever want to sell our company. It wasn't on our radar at the time, so we told him we'd give it some thought and reply later.

After weighing the pro's and con's, we decided to start the negotiation process and see if we could come up with an agreement that satisfied both parties.

The sale went through 10 months later.

During that time we had to decide, what’s next?

My husband always wanted to make a living with his photography, but wasn’t keen on doing portraiture work. He was willing to learn that art form, but his passion leaned toward capturing scenes from life: the macro and micro landscapes that transport the viewer to a memory of their own.

He decided to try the fine art fair circuit, and we both put our energies toward starting his new business. Step-by-step, we pursued what was before us.

Now, over five years later, our lives look drastically different. Instead of a 9-5 job and a house on 96 acres in WI, we travel the country more than 30 weeks a year doing fine art shows while living in Tennessee.

We are in awe of how much change we've packed into the past five years. Multiple moves, building a home, helping to establish our young adult children, starting a new business, and all the other life moments that happen on a day-to-day basis we've experienced in a short period of time.

Some moments felt like white water rapids (keeping our heads above water and leaning into the waves enough to not drown), while others felt like a slow, steady pace through a meandering stream.

How did we do it?


1.) Frame the prospect of change.

In my life coaching practice, I often ask clients how they can re-frame what makes them nervous or scared – particularly when it comes to change.

  • Is there an opportunity in this situation that's worth going after?

  • Is there a lesson worth learning?

  • Can you see a possible adventure?

  • Can you feel the fear and do it anyway?

  • How will this particular change feel in the end?

  • Do you feel God is in this with you?

Since change is a constant, we have multiple opportunities to re-frame our thoughts.

We don’t deny what’s before us, but we can choose how we view a circumstance.

2.) Step-by-step.

My husband and I are five years down the road because we kept taking the steps before us.

In the beginning we had an overall vision, but no clue what form it would take. As we tackled what was in front of us, the form revealed itself.

Step-by-step is how we people find their niche'.

Change isn’t as daunting if you remember to concentrate on the thing you know to do right now, while keeping in line with your overall vision.

A marathon gets finished because the runner stayed on course and took the next step.

3.) Don’t Fight Change.

I ran across this quote recently,

"Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening."

Resisting what is happening just prolongs the freedom of facing change and deciding what good can come from it. While it seems natural to resist change, leaning into it can bring wonderful surprises.

4.) Take time to rest and reflect.

This is a game changer in a changing landscape.

Reflecting and resting allows the heart to catch up with the head. I’m the type of person that first responds to change with my head – what needs to be done and what makes sense for everyone around me – but my heart needs time to respond too, or I live out of synch. Taking time to do this keeps a peaceful interior world. Meditation helps during this step.

5.) Move your body and eat good things.

Keeping a healthy lifestyle is important at any stage, but during times of change and stress, it’s doubly important. Our bodies need endorphins and normal hormone levels to energetically walk through change and stay positive.

If you haven’t started a healthy lifestyle routine, I’d like to challenge you to take one or two consistent steps toward it in the next three weeks, and then keep adding to those steps. Soon, you’ll feel better and have what it takes to weather change.

Bonus Step: Pray or Meditate.

Seriously, if there’s ever a time to do it, change is the time. Some steps are a natural “next step” while others needed clarification. Ask for wisdom. Don't move forward until you feel led or sense peace about a decision. Tom and I pray together daily.

It pays off.

Framing your mindset, taking the next right step, accepting change, resting, keeping a healthy lifestyle, and prayer and/or meditation will all go a long way to getting you through your next major change in life.

What are the top practices you employ to keep sane during change?