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When we resist change, we deny ourselves the opportunity to fully bloom. As a result, we struggle to reach a higher level of life satisfaction, and happiness.

Fear of change can turn your life stale, and reduce you to being a prisoner of your circumstances. When you allow fear to decide for you, it prevents you from living up to your full potential.

Why are we afraid of change when life is ever-changing?

We are afraid of change when we lack adaptability. Think of the changes we go through as humans, from birth to adulthood. Our brains and bodies constantly transforming. Our priorities, wishes and wants also change as we age. In this case, change is forced upon us. We can’t resist it, so we accept it. We adapt.

Adaptability is one of the most important life skills for overall success. Refusal to adapt, isolates us from potential role models. And it stunts our personal and professional growth.

People who have an easier time adapting, are also more resilient. And studies show, resilient people are happier with themselves due to their ability to use positive emotions to rebound from negative situations. So learn how to defeat fear of change. Become more adaptable, and gain resilience to not just exist, but live happily.

Having lived in four different countries, and moved seven times in eight years, I know that fear of change can be overcome. Adaptability can be learned, and resilience gained. But it took me a while to figure this out.

I used to dread change. I was the type of person who wanted to live in the same house forever, and have my entire life planned out. As we all know, life rarely goes according to plan, which is why it’s so important to remain positive, and adapt to change.

Here are the main reasons we fear change, and how we can adapt to become more resilient.

1. Change is uncomfortable

Yes, change is uncomfortable, but can be so rewarding. Standing still, on the other hand, almost always leads to monotony and melancholy. We are able to change when we learn to accept feeling uncomfortable. And when we understand that feeling this way is what leads to the outcomes we desire. Progress means discomfort.

Adapt: Learn to let go of the notion that change is bad, and you should protect yourself from it. Acknowledge and accept that discomfort will be a part of your journey. Plan ahead how to deal with it.

2. We are afraid of failure

Fear of failure is perhaps the most prevalent of all fears associated with change. We fear failing because we are afraid of bruising our egos, disappointing others, or losing more than we stand to gain.

Adapt: Remind yourself that while failures can be painful, they are also life lessons. Think of your past failures, and how you’ve recovered from them. Take calculated risks that allow for the rewards to be greater than the potential losses.

3. We fear the unknown

People like to know what to expect from the actions they take. When we embark on a new venture with an uncertain outcome, we panic. We overthink the details, envision the worst case scenario, and can ultimately talk ourselves out of doing it.

Adapt: Recognise how little control we actually have in determining the future. Despite working hard toward the achievement of a goal, and doing all the right things, you can still be unsuccessful at reaching it. So do your best, and hope for the best. Channel your positive side.

4. Change challenges our identities

In some situations, change can threaten one’s sense of identity. Our identities are a cluster of values our parents ingrained in us, mixed with our environments and cultures. However, if those values happen to misalign with who we are today, we may want to let go of them. The adaptable people are more likely to achieve change, while those who are afraid of it stay stuck in an unfulfilling life.

Adapt: Acknowledge that no one can change the essence of who you are. You are in charge of your identity. So try to achieve the change you fear, the worst that can happen is you go back to who you were before. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know what could be. Remember, there’ll always be someone who disagrees with you. So stay true to yourself, it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself. Unapologetic living is the way to a wholesome life.

5. We don’t believe in our capabilities

Most of us don’t want to admit feeling incapable. Instead, when we don’t believe we’re capable enough, we avoid taking on a task. This lack of self-trust holds us back from reaching our goals and fulfilling our dreams.

Adapt: Encourage yourself to pursue a new dream, or goal that you never thought you can reach. Actively work toward accomplishing it while fully trusting your capabilities. Because you are as competent as you allow yourself to be.

Fear is a natural emotion that every single one of us feels for a variety of reasons. Allow yourself to feel it, but don’t let it guide your decisions. You can defeat fear of change when you realize how capable you are of handling change. Make fear follow your lead, not the other way around. Build resilience, and watch your life improve. Enjoy the ultimate prize- Happiness.

This article was originally published at Inspo Place.