“I have to let you know… I’m really nervous.” This exact same sentence was repeated to me about 5 times this week as I did intake sessions with new clients.

“I know this is in my best interest, but I’m scared.”

“I’m nervous about changing and not knowing what the outcome will be, and I’m also nervous I won’t be able to change and will fail.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and it’s triggering a lot of fear for me.”

These are really common feelings and something that every single person I’ve worked with has gone through at some point. The nervousness and fear show up in different ways, such as saying yes (to a coach, therapy, accountability, a new intention, a break from alcohol, etc) and then talking yourself out of it, or procrastinating and waiting for the “right” time (there is never a right time). Sometimes the fear of change can keep you stuck in more of the same, even though you know that’s not working so well for you.

Heraclitus famously quoted back in 400 A.C.,  “There is nothing permanent, except change.”

According to Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory: change allows organisms to better adapt themselves to their environments. Moreover, the better the organism is able to adapt, the higher the likelihood of survival.

If change is a fact of life, and not only a given but an evolutionary requirement, then why is it so scary sometimes?

This fear harkens back to our cavepeople days. Even though change is necessary for evolutionary survival, our human brains came to rely on certainty for survival. We knew the path to take to the water source that was less likely to cause harm. We’d take that same path because we knew sabertooth tiger lived on the other side of the mountain, because that path was less likely to flood, and because it was the fastest and surest way to go and avoid a rival tribe.

Our fear of change can also be traced back to our more recent history as children. If a change in routine signified something painful was going to happen, our brains became hardwired to associate change with trauma. As adults, we may come to associate change with loss.

According to Lifehacker’s article “Why are you so afraid of change and what you can do about it”:

“Sometimes change involves a significant loss, and our brains hate loss. When we invest ourselves emotionally in anything, it becomes harder to change because we don’t want to lose all the time and effort we already exerted. As a result, we have a hard time letting go of a project we know deep down will fail. We also struggle to end doomed relationships because we’re terrible at accepting the whole thing was for naught. In reality, time isn’t wasted but our brains like to see the entire time as a loss rather than just a part of the inevitable conclusion.”

The fear and nervousness associated with redefining your relationship to alcohol is totally understandable. For many of us, our relationship to alcohol has lasted in some form or another for at least half of our lives, and for some of us, alcohol has been involved from more years than not. That’s a long time to rely on it for a certain outcome. Even though we know it might not be good for us or that our relationship is unhealthy, at least it is predictable, right?

“Breaking up” with alcohol, or seriously redefining the parameters of the relationship, can be just like any other break up – it’s hard!! And yes, it involves loss, grief, disappointment, and more.

You may be confronted with thoughts such as “what the bleep was I doing for so many years!?! I’ve wasted my life!!” Alternatively, you may grieve the desired feeling that alcohol brings and feel loss at never being able to feel that same way again.

While this is part of the process – it doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Here are some suggestions for “feeling and dealing.”

Feel the feels: The nervousness, the fear, the uncertainty, the confusion, the sadness… all of it. Know that it’s okay, and part of the process. Also know, that just like everything else, it’s temporary. Because why? You got it. The only constant is change!!

Permission to freak out: Take it one step further and freak the f*** out if you need to. Permission granted. Do what feels good to allow these emotions to move through you: cry, punch a pillow, scream, howl at the moon, curl up in fetal position, etc. Feel it but don’t fixate on this phase.

Accept the inevitability of change: Coming to a place of acceptance is essential for moving forward into the new and healthier you.

Flip your fears: Same as a coin, there’s always two sides (or more) to every scenario. Instead of dwelling on the fears of everything that could go wrong and all the ways life is going to suck now that you are making these changes and how hard it is going to be to relax, go to sleep, make friends, unwind after work, have sex, feel creative etc start thinking about the fact that the exact opposite could be true. What is the best case scenario? What is your most positive vision for who you will become as a result of these changes? Focus on that!

Take baby steps: If making a huge change feels overwhelming, start small. Focus on one things you can try to change this week and then once you are comfortable with that change, try something new next week. Sometimes the “all or nothing” approach can be a case of too much too soon – which is why it’s hard to maintain. Does having no wine on weeknights feel scary for you? Then how about trying one night with no wine this week, and see how that feels? Can’t imagine socializing without any alcohol? Cut out one drink, or two, and once you realize all of your fears don’t come true (it’s like that no one around you will even notice) try cutting back by a few more next week.

Get yourself ready for greatness: Sometimes change can be scary because you’re afraid of GOOD things happening. An article in Psychology Today explains: “Traumatic events, physical or emotional, can create such a powerful memory that it overshadows other important but evocative events. When strong emotional memories develop around the experience of happiness and a subsequent disappointment or pain—again, physical or emotional—then perceptual filters develop that contribute to avoiding opportunities for joy out of the fear that something bad lurks around the corner.”

You may also fear happiness because deep down, you feel you are unworthy, undeserving, or that your happiness will somehow elicit negative feelings from others.

It’s important to understand these fears and actively work to release the fear that might be preventing you from change.

Make a plan and get support: Change may be inevitable, yet that doesn’t make it easy all of the time. If you feel your anxiety, nervousness or fear is blocking you from making a change, then reach out for support. Talk about what’s coming up for you. Speaking the words out loud will help take the power out of the fear. We’ve got an amazing group of Evolver’s in the secret facebook community (more info below). Also, those who have had their free strategy session with me describe a huge weight being lifted after the first conversation. Change isn’t quite so scary when you have a plan. If you and I haven’t talked yet, book your session here.

I’ve love to know what resonated with you, whether you notice fear or resistance showing up for you in the way described in this post, and what tips work for you! Reply to this email and let me know!



Do you find yourself feeling “spun out,” filled with anxiety or having your brain blank out because of fear? One of the fastest way to ground yourself can be by using floral or plant-based scents or essential oils. These scents connect us to earth energy in a very grounding way and also stimulate the limbic system for a fast-track to a more pleasurable feeling. David Crow of Floracopeia suggests putting a few drops of lavender, rose, geranium or orange blossom oil into your palms, rubbing your palms together and cupping around your nose, and then inhaling deeply for a few breaths. This works wonders for an immediate and grounding “brain break.”

I did this just the other day when I was feeling totally overwhelmed by something. I felt I couldn’t deal and was about to have a major meltdown. I went into the bathroom, put some rose oil on my palms, did some deep breathing and immediately felt better. The amazing thing is I can’t even remember what the initial anxiety was about!! Try it out and let me know how it goes!