Everyone has been through changes in their lives. Sometimes it’s easy to deal with and other times not, but the fear of change can have a negative and disruptive impact on us.

It can stop us from doing something great today because we fear the consequences of tomorrow.

How do you know what your fears are?

I was born and raised in Brazil. In 2015, aged 25, I moved to England and at that time it was the best thing I had ever experienced in life.

Even though I was far from my family and friends, my dogs… my everything in Brazil, it felt great to be discovering new cultures, people and places. The moment I returned home, I started dreaming of the day I would be able to have another similar experience.

Man waiting at the airport for his flight | Fear of change
Experiencing new cultures can be a true career booster.

Four years later it happened: I was offered a job in Portugal. However, fate has a funny way of making your dreams a reality. The thing I had spent years working towards has proven to be one of the most challenging phases of my life.

This time, in order to pursue my dreams, I would have to leave everyone and everything behind. I had to juggle the advantages of an enticing job offer in Europe against everything I know and love back home in Brazil. My friends, my family and my wife.

Could I? Dare I?

I did, and this time the stakes were higher. In the meantime I had got married, so I feared losing someone I love, I feared missing important moments in my friends’ lives, I feared not being able to adapt to a new country, a new culture, a new job, a new market. I feared everything. The fear of change.

I’ve been struggling with all of this up until now.But suddenly things have changed. Suddenly I no longer feel fear, I actually feel like I’m winning.

How did I overcome my fear of change?

Sport has proven to be my main comfort. Running has a cathartic, therapeutic effect on me and serves as my meditation. I realized that when I am running, my fears take a backseat and for a while the only thing I focus on is to get better, a better runner and a better person. After a while, I learned that if I can forget something for a moment, I can forget it forever. It’s just a mindset.

With football I have the feeling that every time I play, I face a new challenge and discover something new about myself. It grounds me.

Marcelo Leite during an indoor soccer game pointing at something | Fear of change
Playing football can help you learn how to win and how to lose.

Obviously, I can’t play on my own. You need teammates to win a match, score a goal, make an assist. For 90 minutes, I am part of something. I am not alone and that feels great. And It makes me understand how to lose.

I rise up to the challenge. Again, and again.

When I lose, I want a rematch. When I see a better player than me, I want to mark him, beat him. It is always like that. Now, when I fear something or when I see changes coming, I don’t want to avoid it anymore, I want to go through it. And become better.

This is the mentality I’m trying to adopt when beating my fear of change. It is just another race to run. Just another football match. I know how to win. I have done it before.

Do you fear something in your life? How are you facing it? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below

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by Claudio Corti 22.05.2019
Hi Marcelo,

Truly, a beautiful and inspirational article. I really loved every single bit of the story and how you found sport as your therapy to confront and fight your own fears.

I too, am afraid of change. All ties to my youth where things were constantly changing with family and friends. Attachment is our weakness, where getting too attached to one thing eventually leads to a harsh separation, because everything eventually will be separated from you in life. Little things can really make a difference in how we handle it because despite things get separated doesn't mean they are REALLY gone. You might have had to be separated from your friends, your country, and your wife, but you got the culture brought with you. You have the values you learned all those years that you can share with new people in your surroundings. Above all, they are always there: it's all in our power to decide how much we still want all of them in our lives and if the bond is strong they are not going anywhere (you're just missing the day-to-day but not the love and affection for one another).

In my case, I found a way to embrace new adventures without leaving behind what shaped me to arrive to the present. I know I can't go back in time and make it the same as it was but I can find new ways to make it as exciting or more valuable when I do go back. That allows for me not to miss out on the new adventures, and embrace changes with new 1st times and more new to come.

Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope your time in Europe is proving itself to be worth!
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