Try This 7-Step Experiment To CONQUER Your Fear Of Change (Really!)

CONQUER Your Fear Of Change And Boost Your Happiness

While there are definitely bold, adventurous people out there who thrive on the new and novel ... most of us are not like that. Instead, most of us take great comfort in the familiar (that's why computer algorithms can profile our habits so easily). And for as much as we romanticize the notion of 'opposites attract,' research shows we're actually hard-wired to connect with others who are like-minded

In truth — we're all pretty terrified of change. It freaks out our lizard brains — sometimes called the "emotional brain" (a.k.a. or limbic cortex). And so, subconsciously, we try to look, act, and think the same as others ... to fit in, to feel safe and accepted. 

That's great, except for one crucial thing — change is the one undeniable, constant factor in life across the universe. Whether or not it frightens you, it happens!

So, how do you transcend your fear and learn to 'roll with the changes?' How do you avoid becoming so safe and predictable that you’re straight-up boring? 

I have a fun experiment for you — a way to push your boundaries, expand your horizons, grow as a person, and increase your tolerance for change ... without ever leaving your house. Curious? I hope so. 

The magic tool we're going to use for this grand experiment is ... music! 

Wow, I can already hear you saying, "But, I like the music I like." Awesome. I'm glad for you. It’s cool that you find happiness in the music you like; I'm not trying to change that. But I am challenging to explore your musical horizons a bit ... just as an experiment.

Why? Because refusing to listen (with an open mind) to any music other than what you already know and like limits you, physically, emotionally, mentally, and even sexually. It's like saying you only want to hang out with people of a single race, religion, or social/economic status. Or, that you only want to eat carbs for the rest of your natural — albeit shorter — life.

Change happens all around us all the time; wouldn’t it be cool to learn to engage with it?

So, go grab your headphones (fyi: they're less destructive than ear buds!), find your favorite lounging spot and your favorite music app, and let’s get started with just a few minutes of your favorite tunes to start. Listen undistracted by anything else, even driving. Once you warm up with music you like, then you're ready to GROW, baby! 

Here's the 7-Step Experiment (I know you handle it!) ... 

Step 1: Take six, slow deep breaths. 
Don't worry, I'm not going to make you Om or do yoga. But breathing grounds you, so don't skip this part. You’ll know the breaths are deep enough when it takes you a whole minute to do all six. (Tip: After you breathe out completely, wait a few seconds before breathing in again). 

Step 2: Pick a genre of music you've never heard (or never liked).
Remember when you said "I would NEVER listen to that?" Well, you’re about to. Use a site that lists musical artists by genre or lists all musical genres to get started. Pick ONE you’ve never heard before or swore you’d never listen to again, whether that's rap, country, jazz, or what have you. If you're feeling resistance to this ALREADY, that's all the more reason to give this experiment a try. Remember: this is only an experiment.

Step 3: Now, find the artist or song rated as one of the most popular.  
Yep, other people really DO listen to this stuff and have favorite music they go back to again and again. Follow their lead here. 

Step 4: Press PLAY and actually listen to the entire song. (Crazy. I know, right?) 
Yep, sh*t's gettin' real now. Press PLAY and listen to the track all the way through one time. While you listen, keep breathing. Six, slow easy breaths per minute. 

Step 5: Pause and either listen to a song you already like or sit for a moment in silence.
You did it! And you lived. This is going so well. Now, give yourself a break and either listen to something you really enjoy, or just sit in silence.

Step 6: Reflect on what you experienced while listening
Beyond judging whether you liked the song or not, instead, ask yourself how you felt while hearing this new music. What did you see in your mind’s eye? Did you imagine any aromas or tastes? Did you instinctively touch anything while you listened? Did anything resonate with you?

Step 7: Listen to the same song one more time. 
Yep, press PLAY on that song once again. Just once more. Breathe as you listen. Try to open your mind and your senses up a bit more this time. 

Notice: this isn’t about 'like' or 'dislike.' You can still engage viscerally with music you care for. Pay attention to how your physical senses respond, which gives you a deeper and more finely-honed sense of your own preferences.

Look, you're a better person already! 

Now, was that so bad? No. And let me be clear — if you never listen to that song again, it’s fine with me. But, before you shirk it off,  can you notice precisely how that 'never again in a thousand years' music differs from the sights, textures, tastes and nuances of the music you love to hear? 

The point? When you notice your precise physical responses to music that's noticing yourself as you evolve and change. As you (hopefully) repeat this experiment (today, next week, frequently as life goes on), you’ll become aware of other built-in responses within yourself that you never noticed you have.

The more you notice, the more you expand. See ... change isn't so hard to embrace. All you had to do was listen.