Why Do We Find Change So Hard?

Posted on Friday, 4th May 2018

Change is inevitable in life. They say there are only two certain things- death and taxes. But I would add change to this list.

People find change hard for many different reasons. Even if the change is ‘positive’ it can be stressful. Here are some reasons why:


As humans, we are creatures of habit and we often feel more comfortable in an unhappy situation that we know and are familiar with, rather than going through change to get out of it (even though we might not readily admit this or even be aware of it).

Lack of control

We can sometimes experience change that is out of our hands. We may be forced into a change that we have not orchestrated ourselves. This can feel uncomfortable as we can be left feeling very powerless. Even if we have set the change in motion ourselves, there will be many elements that we cannot control, as different is unknown. Which leads me to…

Fear of the unknown

We can fear what we don’t know. It’s unpredictable and new. This can be unsettling. We don’t know what’s going to happen and when. We don’t know how we will react and how much affect the change will have on other things in our lives.


Any change will mean us experiencing something new. As this happens we can often doubt ourselves. What if this change presents something we don’t know how to handle? What if we aren’t capable in this new situation? Self-doubt and imposter syndrome are things most people can relate to, and can certainly add to the fear of change.


As we get older we are supposed to get wiser right? And we know that change is inevitable and so should become better at dealing with it. Actually, as we age, we may get worse at dealing with change. The longer we’ve known a situation, the harder the change can feel. So if something is changing that has been the same way for years and years, even though these are often the most needed of changes, they can be the hardest.

Our past

Our experience with change in the past can greatly influence our present feelings about change. Were your experiences negative or positive? Did you experience any traumatic sudden changes growing up? All our experiences shape how we interpret things now.

Understanding why we’re finding something difficult can be half the battle. Being really honest with ourselves and exploring the situation carefully can be very helpful. Counselling can provide a great opportunity to do this safely and without judgement, with someone objective. If you think this could be helpful to do, get in touch.

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