So, what’s change gotta do with it?

We like our comfort zones and strongly resist anything or anybody that will challenge or upset them.  We want our routines of everyday to stay more or less the same and tonight when we get home from work for example (for those who go to work!), we want to mozy into our comfy slippers, flip on the TV or stereo and get dinner cooking.

Anybody or anything, such as an unforeseen emergency or unexpected event that mess with that, and we’re grumpy and unsettled. Face it, we humans are extremely resistant to change…hate it actually.

That’s why it is so crucial to realize the hazard this resistance can pose to your business. Business is all about moving forward, but strange as it may sound, this resistance can actually slow down all your efforts toward improvement and profit.

Facing change in whatever form, inevitably confronts you with the choice of either dealing with it and gaining from the experience, or freezing and losing out. The motive behind failure/unwillingness to deal with change is mostly fear.

Three of the most common ways this fear manifests itself, are briefly discussed below. In each case, the way the fear specifically manifests, some consequences and some remedies are given.  Just note that a full treatment of the subject is impossible due to an obvious lack of space and the help of a professional should be sought if needed.

Fear of man (FOM)



The thought, albeit unconsciously, “what will the people say/think/do..?” rules all else. People’s opinions /actions become the deciding factor to whether one pursues/does/says…something or not.


  • Indecision. Decision making becomes impossible.
  • Ineffectiveness. Preoccupation with what others think and losing sight of the real focus result in becoming unproductive.
  • Dishonesty. People wear masks because they think it too risky to be themselves. They say/become anything in an effort to fit in and consequently live a lie.


Accept yourself for who & what you are and do not attempt to change anything to fit in with others. Self acceptance frees you from the controlling fear of what others may say, think or do. We can’t expect others to believe in us, if we don’t believe in ourselves.

Fear of failure (FOF)



Atichyphobia, or FOF, can be very mild with no symptoms. It could also be severe with symptoms like having obsessive thoughts, bad images, chest pains and feelings of terror and can even lead to incapacitation.

It’s often linked with early childhood causes like demeaning parents or siblings, or the trauma of embarrassment resulting in heaped-up fear as childhood progresses. Perfectionism can result and “the person with atichyphobia won’t try until perfection is assured”See (1) below for more info.


  • A drop in self-confidence & motivation
  • Depression
  • Inaction & Apathythe sufferer is unlikely to try anything new.
  • Becoming unproductive
  • Curtailed life experience.
  • Significant crippling of potential realization.


“The best way to treat FOF is to face the things you fear gradually, accepting that failure is necessary for success. Break the fearful activities down into small, manageable pieces and do more and more of them until you’re relatively comfortable…then move to the next larger fearful step…”  See (1) below.

Fear of the Unknown (FOU)



It is a rare person that is not apprehensive of the new or unknown. It can evoke “familiar symptoms like rapid heart rate, dry mouth, trembling…anxiety attacks…”

Never forget: you’re not the first or last person to experience this!

Some thinks this fear is inculcated by the restrictions placed on us by our parents for our safety during our growing years. See (3) below for more info.


In reality…FOU is one of the most common reasons for resistance… because it stops you taking any action at all.” It goes hand in hand with anxiety, self-doubt and guilt and “operates under the radar convincing you that it’s there to protect… and keep you safe.” See (2) below for more info.


Self help techniques are the best way to combat this fear. It can restore lost self confidence and help to build a positive mindset. For more, see (3) below.


Just imagine what havoc and destruction fears like these can unleash on your business!

So, what’s keeping you back? How often don’t we really want to do something and then end up not doing it, because we’re letting fear stand in our way! Fear of what the people will say, fear of the unkown, of  failure of whatever…I say, bunkum! Deal with the fear and…well…just do it!

To great achievement without fear!


Elmarie is a wordpreneur for theEntrepreneurialBusinessSchool(Pty) Ltd and also a freelance creative-, web- and copywriter.

For more info see the following resources:

1.         E-home Fellowship.  Atychiphobia-Fear Of Failure . Accessed 9 February 2012.


2.         Change-Management-Coach.com. Exposing fear of Change.  Accessed 13 Feb. 2012


3. Morpeus Institute, Jan Heering. Do you suffer from fear of the unknown?  Accessed 13 Feb. 2012



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