Change is inevitable. It is part of life, yet so many people are afraid of it.

Have you ever seen the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? I personally stopped watching after the third one, since after that it was just milking a franchise. The first one though was unique at its time. There is one scene where Johnny Depp’s character, Capt’n Jack Sparrow reaches for his flask for a sip of rum and realizes he is out. To no one in particular, he asks “Why is the rum ALWAYS gone”. Then he stumbles, realizes he has had too much and answers himself “oh, that’s why”.

One thing I hear from potential entrepreneurs all the time is that its just probably too late to start now. That they somehow missed this cosmic boat, and now there is no way they could ever make it NOW. The market has moved on, they missed their opportunity, blah blah blah. Or, I hear current business owners afraid to implement new changes as soon as they settle into a rhythm. They went through the big change from working for someone to being the boss, and as soon as the groove got comfortable, everything stopped. Then when business stagnated, they didn’t want to even rock the boat enough to make the changes necessary to fix it. 

The problem is, this is something they bring on themselves. Jack realizes that the rum is gone because he drank it all. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy of the worst kind, the kind you KNOW you caused to happen to yourself. Would-be entrepreneurs who are afraid of changing anything are causing their own downfall. “I’m afraid to implement this new daring strategy because it could topple all my hard work”. Well, guess what, likely your business will implode anyway, due to your inaction. Or even worse, you’ll never even get started, and just stay at your 9 to 5, being unhappy, and wishing for change you won’t ever experience.

Here’s the thing, that is just plain FEAR. No better word for it. 

Specifically, it is the fear of change. This manifests itself in many ways but can be fatal for entrepreneurs. If you never try it, you’ll never know. If you are change-averse, you will never get off the ground, even if you dedicate your life to your project. 

Change is natural. Change is necessary. Life involves change, and a lot of it is kinda mandatory. Many of life’s best adventures are changes of the kind you can’t opt out of. At some point, you move from school to work full time, from childhood to adulthood, from your parents’ house to your own house (at least we hope so!). So why are those with great ideas often afraid of their own imaginations? 

Short answer, because most people confuse being change-averse with being risk-averse. It is not, NOT I repeat ladies and gentleman, the same thing. While risk-aversion can be taken to an extreme that is immobilizing, that’s true. However, a little risk-aversion can serve you to make smart business decisions. Fear of change is more black and white. If you are afraid of change, you likely won’t ever even take the first step. 

So how do you get over it?

First, identify the change you are afraid of. Put a name to it. Make it specific. Write it down. Next, figure out the steps to take. What are you trying to accomplish? Be specific. Make it attainable. Vague notions are never attainable, but specific steps most certainly are. Many changes involve elements that you will have no control over. SO, figure out what elements you can actually influence, and do those things. There is always something you can influence. Be aware of your own strengths, and put them to work for you, that way you have a better chance of success. Surround yourself with people who pick up the slack in areas you lack experience or know-how. 

Once your plan is all laid out, just dive in! You’ve planned it out, done your best to anticipate, and prepare for any foreseeable risks, so hit ENTER. Execute! Do the change you want to see in your life! Don’t wait for it to just happen, like a lightning strike!

Written by Emily Dominguez