The Catch Up Effect (The Real Reason We Fear Change) by Teal Swan

It doesn’t take a genius to see that there is so much fear around change. Most of us resist change like the plague. We would so much rather stick with what is familiar to us, even if it is causing us pain. Why is this the case? 

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We cannot stand the pain of uncertainty. I did a whole video on this subject on YouTube incase you ever want to check it out. It’s called How to Deal With Uncertainty. Essentially, uncertainty is the state of being when something is either not known or not decided. When something is not known or not decided relative to a circumstance that causes us stress or pain, we feel vulnerable, anxious and helpless. But what I would like to expose to the collective consciousness today is that there is one particular type of uncertainty that creates the vast majority of our unwillingness to make changes in our life.

As humans, we are a group species. This means that our survival and ability to thrive is dependent upon being connected to other people. We have very real needs that do not go away when we grow older, which are dependent upon other people being there. In fact, most of the emotional needs are related to our connection with other people, such as the need to feel understood and to feel seen and to feel heard and feel belonging and to feel connection. This means, when we form bonds with others, those attachments are very, very strong. We depend on them so as to not starve emotionally. And in my opinion, emotional starvation is more of a threat to the physical human than physical starvation. This is why when someone is heart broken; you often see them quite literally starve themselves and loose weight dramatically. This indicates that emotional needs in fact rank higher for the physical human than physical needs. Separation from someone who you are attached to creates terror for you as a physical human.

We live in a vibrational universe. Everything is vibration. Generally speaking, over the curse of our life, if we are committed to growth and expansion our vibration will continually increase. Even if someone is not ‘conscious’ of growth specifically and simply makes a change for the better to their life, their vibration will increase. In a universe based on the law of attraction, we can only come into contact with and stay in contact with things that we are a vibrational match to in one way or another. So what happens if we change our vibration? We run the risk of no longer being a match to the people who we are currently bonded with in our current vibration. We run the risk of losing them. We run the risk of losing our connection. This triggers our attachment based self-preservation system. We would rather preserve our connection at all costs rather than become isolated, which is the number one worst fear for the physical human. It is a torture that far exceeds death. We would rather preserve our connection even if it means dropping anchor in the stream of expansion and staying stuck where we are, in excruciating pain.

The uncertainty that makes us incapable of making change is the uncertainty of whether or not the people and things we are bonded with and attached to will be lost to us as a result of making the change. Take a look at the story you are telling yourself about the change you are afraid to make and see how the deepest root of it, is in fact the fear of loss of connection and separation. For example, you may come from a background of poverty and you may not be making the changes to create wealth in your life. You may tell yourself that you are afraid of success. But is that really true? Or is it that you fear that by becoming successful, you are going to be shunned by your family, who has put down rich people all their life and made rich people ‘not one of them’. Or you may be afraid to make the change to your life to come out to your parents as gay, because you fear that they will reject you. Or you may be afraid to move to a different city because someone in your family needs you. By moving, you will feel guilty and bad and because being bad in your childhood led to punishments like time outs (disconnection), you are convinced that moving means losing your connection with them.

I call this the “catch up effect”. I call it this because any time you make a change for the better that increases your vibration and causes you to expand, the things and people in your life, must play catch up for you to stay a match to each other vibrationally. Luckily, because expansion is in the best interests of all beings, and because by loving them, you want to stay connected, the universe brings every opportunity to those things and people to make the shift with you. The universe does this in kind ways but also violent ways. In other words, by going with the current of your own expansion, it turns the fire up on the expansion of other people around you.

A while back, I was in the middle of a deep healing process and I got to a point where I could feel this process was about to change my entire vibration and my entire perspective on life and also my boundaries. I could feel that I was shifting in a way that would make me no longer a match to the relationship I was in, in it’s current form. I was so afraid of it that I went numb and couldn’t make myself continue with the process I was engaged with. I knew that by continuing, I was making a conscious decision to risk disconnection with my partner. I had to deal with that fear first before continuing. I had to become ok to potentially lose the connection so as to continue with the current of my own expansion. Fortunately, I was in a relationship with a man who was equally committed to growth and health and so when this terror came up, he essentially gave me permission to shift, even if it made our connection in our current state less secure. He later shifted with me. But I have had plenty of relationships where shifting meant losing the relationship in the physical dimension. I tell you this story to illustrate just how intense this fear is for us all.

Most people think it would be an absolute delight to be in a relationship with a spiritual teacher, like myself. But what they do not know is that the stream of expansion is flowing so fast through people who actively pursue and commit their life to awakening and expansion, that everyone in their life is drug along in that fast moving current. The flames of expansion can be turned up so high around people like myself that people who resist their on growth at all, get burnt by it. It can be agony to continually be forced to play vibrational catch up with someone you are in a relationship with so as to stay a match to them.

It is at this point that I will issue a small warning. The human ego, being comparative and competitive in nature, is tempted to use this idea of vibrational catch up as a means to strengthen its own sense of superiority. So I do not want you to begin using this catch up effect as an excuse to fuel your own sense of superiority. A person who is expanding is not “better” than anyone else. They have simply made a choice to ride the current of expansion. Rather I want you to use the catch up effect to understand what is going on in your life when you make a change and why you resist change so much.

Even the most unconscious person on this earth is a spiritual being and is therefore subconsciously aware of this effect. And so, on a subconscious level, he or she will be afraid to make changes to their life because they wish to prevent the pain of disconnection. He or she will most likely have to get to a point where the pain of staying as is, is equivalent to the pain of changing. In other words, they may have to feel as if they have nothing to lose for them to actually make a change. And the universe is perfectly willing to make this happen. Terminal illness in fact is all about this. It’s the universe putting you in a “you have noting more to lose… so change” scenario.

There is an old saying that goes, “To get what you want, you have to let go of what you don’t want”. This feels a bit like letting go of one ledge of a cliff in the hope that another ledge will catch you. So it is totally understandable why we would avoid this. This is a tormenting degree of uncertainty. If you are afraid of change, ask yourself “what or who am I afraid of losing my connection with by making this change?”

So what would I say to someone who is suffering from the fear of this catch up effect of universal expansion? I would say that you will find connection on the other side of your disconnection and that connection will feel so much better than the connection you have now. I understand you don’t have proof of that yet. And I trust that when you are ready to pull up your anchor and go with the current of your own expansion, you will do it.

I would say that the real dilemma of this life is that no one is exempt from the current of expansion. It is the reason we came into this life. So you must go with the direction of your healing, progression and desires or as you have noticed, you will suffer greatly. Do you want to live your life being held back in the prison of that pain so as to guarantee you will stay connected with someone? Is it even loving to them to do that; or by doing that are you preventing their growth, expansion, highest happiness and healing too? Perhaps the universe is calling you to make this change for the sake of them too, so you can call them into alignment with their own expansion.

Wouldn’t you rather have relationships where you are committed to consciously staying a match to one another by both committing to growth? Wouldn’t you rather have relationships where the other person looks you in the eye and says, I want your healing and your progression and your happiness and so I am committed to shifting with you when you shift rather than expecting you not to shift so as to stay connected to me? Wouldn’t you rather be this kind of friend or partner to others? Would you ever consciously want someone to give up on their own happiness, health and progress just to stay in a relationship with you? On a conscious level, no one wants this of anyone. The time has come to heal our past trauma around disconnection, separation and the isolation that followed.

Awareness is the principal ingredient for change. All other ingredients are accessory to it. And so, just by becoming aware of “the catch up effect” and seeing that it is really the root of our fear of change, we are a great deal closer to making change. When we can stare this root of our fear of change directly in the eye, we can resolve it and change will be the inevitable result.

By Teal Swan

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