How to use storytelling to combat the fear of change

In the fictional world of Stephen King’s Shawshank Prison, Brooks Hatlen is a man with a fear of change. 

He’d been inside for 50 years and finally, faced with parole, he cracks and attacks another inmate. He simply doesn’t know how he is going to adapt to world on the outside. 

We may never have been in prison but I’m pretty sure we can all identify with Brooks (lockdown 1 anyone?)

So why is fear of change so terrifying?

Fear of change is based on stories, sometimes real ones, often ones we tell ourselves on repeat that society just loves to (unhelpfully) reinforce. 

These stories can get in the way of us achieving our potential or stop us from seeing when we’ve made massive, positive leaps forward. And that’s a damn shame. 

      “Progress is impossible without change”

It’s time to re-write the narrative when it comes to supporting change in business. Whether that’s pivoting within a smaller business, a larger transformation programme, or even making that leap to working for yourself.

Stories can re-focus your mindset around change. They create a more positive, healthier relationship that is built around being excited about all the possibilities ahead of your, rather than giving into the fear. 

So how can you use stories to help you make changes?

1. Create your change story with a clear vision and mission. If you work within a team, develop that story together with a collective, shared view, looking at where you are now, where you want to be and the core principles and values that’ll get you there. If you’re on your own, just do it for you – but don’t forget to keep your customers in mind. 

2. Use this story to unite people within your business and help them understand their role in achieving the vision. This could be other team members, investors, suppliers and collaborators or even just those close to you that are supporting your change in business direction.

3. Build excitement around the change with creative storytelling. Use characters to personify the change and talk about it in terms of the people it’s going to impact. Like your customers or your team is the change is internal. Make these people the hero of your story. Show them how you’re going to help them achieve success and avoid failure with examples and stories

4. Provide a platform to share success stories. From the little wins to the big triumphs to keep you motivated. Use stories to show the impact of change and encourage your people and/or your customers to do the same. This could be a shared # on Instagram or LinkedIn, in your newsletter or even on your website. 

Are you looking to make changes in your business – big or small? I can help you get your story straight to combat your fear of change or unite your people (teams, collaborators or even customers) around doing something differently.
You can view all my storytelling services here 
And when you’re ready to chat, you can book a FREE 30 minute discovery call here