Embracing Change and Conquering Fear

6 min read

Co-authored by Nevia Fersula.

Change often triggers a sense of unease—be it a new job, a relationship shift, or a relocation. It’s natural; humans are creatures of habit, finding comfort in routine. Yet, change is inevitable, an integral part of life. Despite the discomfort it brings, it holds a hidden power: Embracing change unlocks creativity. So, let’s welcome it warmly. Whether it’s a career move, a breakup, or a shift to a new city, change offers a chance for growth. It’s an adventure waiting to be explored. Embrace it, for within change lies the opportunity to unleash our inner creativity.

Understanding the Dynamics of Change: Unlocking Your Potential

Unveiling the intricacies of change is paramount to unlocking one’s genuine potential. Within the depths of our minds lies a captivating revelation: Our brains naturally gravitate toward the familiar, seeking efficient shortcuts for navigating the world. However, consider this: Our cognitive shortcuts, deeply ingrained, can stifle personal growth and constrain opportunities.

Visualize this scenario: Deep within our minds, our brains are hardwired to safeguard fundamental needs such as safety, freedom, the status quo, belonging, and fairness. When confronted with challenges that jeopardize these needs, our instincts come into play, instigating resistance. This instinctual response involves the amygdala, triggering neurotransmitters like epinephrine and cortisol, priming us for fight-or-flight reactions. Fear and anxiety serve as catalysts for the amygdala and the sympathetic system, impeding clear thinking by suppressing the prefrontal cortex (Mathew et al., 1982). Understanding that our perception of fearful situations can be altered allows us to effectively regulate the amygdala response. Moreover, dopamine and serotonin exert influence over our emotional reactions to change, elucidating the innate resistance in various circumstances. By mastering the art of reshaping our perception of fearful situations, we gain the capacity to skillfully modulate our amygdala response.

Furthermore, the influence of dopamine and serotonin on our emotional responses to change reveals why resistance naturally arises in various situations. This neurochemical basis provides insight into how our brain strives to safeguard our fundamental needs. These play roles in shaping emotional responses to change. Understanding this neurochemical basis helps explain why resistance naturally arises in various situations (Krabble et al., 2017).

To embrace new experiences and navigate the ever-evolving world, we must defy our own internal resistance. Tap into the power of your prefrontal cortex, the epicenter of executive functions, reasoning, and planning. Activate this vital part of your brain, breaking free from the shackles of familiar thinking.

Though it may require effort, pushing beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone is where the magic happens. Embrace the process of experiential learning to reshape your thoughts, leading to transformed behaviors. As you embark on this journey, remember that your brain possesses astonishing neuroplasticity, allowing it to rewire and adapt.

What Are Our Options?

We can let fear take over or we can choose the other way and learn to roll with the punches. We can embrace change, turn it into something positive, and take control of our own path.

Sure, it’s comfy sitting in our little bubble where everything feels safe and predictable. But let’s be real; life loves throwing curveballs. Unexpected twists and turns could be lurking just around the corner.

So, let’s be prepared. Life won’t give us a heads-up before shaking things up. We have to be resilient and, most importantly, have the right mindset to handle whatever comes our way.

Embrace the Power of Fearlessness to Unleash Progress and Innovation

Fear, an innate emotion governed by the primal amygdala in our ancient limbic system, often becomes a formidable obstacle to our journey toward progress and innovation. Interestingly, when fear dominates our neural pathways, our inclination toward exploration and risk-taking diminishes. It is in these moments of apprehension that we find ourselves clinging to the familiar, hindering true growth (Bocchio et al., 2016).

However, let us remind ourselves of the incredible importance of defying fear and embracing change. Rather than allowing fear to shackle our potential, let us see the unknown as an opportunity, a gateway to self-discovery and expanding our horizons.

The Powerful Role of the Neuroplastician

Neuroplasticians harness insights from neuroplasticity for transformative coaching. Our understanding of brain plasticity, refined through dedicated research in neuropathology, neuropsychopathology, and brain trauma, now extends benefits to areas like positive psychology and coaching. This synergy empowers neuroplasticians to make enduring impacts on lives.

These coaches seize opportunities with clients who value continuous learning, fueling curiosity and empowering them to conquer fears by tapping into their intrinsic motivation linked to the brain’s dopamine reward system. Supporting clients through mindfulness meditation and regular exercise, coaches help manage stress, nurture inner peace, and reduce anxiety by stimulating the release of GABA, a natural inhibitory transmitter in the brain (Kalueff et al., 2007). These strategies unlock coaching’s full potential.

Fascinating research highlights the connection between creativity and high functional connectivity in top-down versus bottom-up processes. High creativity also correlates significantly with gene mutations related to excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, modulated by the competition between glutamate and GABA systems.


In the wild jungle of progress and innovation, fear lurks like a mischievous monkey swinging from neuron to neuron. But fear not, brave adventurers! When we defy fear and embrace change, we turn into fearless explorers, ready to conquer uncharted territories. Instead of clinging to the familiar like a koala to its eucalyptus tree, let’s see the unknown as a thrilling roller coaster ride of self-discovery.

As neuroplasticians, coaches, and educators, you have the superpower to ignite curiosity in your clients, turning them into fearless daredevils on the journey of learning. Tap into their brain’s dopamine reward system, not like a magician, but as a practitioner of deep self-introspection, with skills from neuroplasticity to unleash their innate motivation.

Remember, mindfulness meditation and regular exercise are some of the key secret potions to banish stress dragons and bring inner peace to the realm of neurons. Embrace these and you’ll unlock the vault of potential! Keep fear at bay and let happiness reign supreme on this adventure of progress, love, and laughs.

Nevia Fersula holds a master’s in neuroscience psychology. Fersula is a global talent lead and leadership coach.

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