“I don’t want you to move,” I said. “I like you working here.”
“I know, but you know it’s what I’d really like to do,” my friend returned.
“Well, then you just need to step out with confidence and go for it.”
“I’m not good enough…..and I’m afraid.”
“Afraid is more accurate than not good enough. That “rug snatching” might be partly your own un-doing.”
Fear can stop us in our tracks, and for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is the fear of letting go. Another friend I have talks about moving and has for years. Every time he and his wife get close, they change their mind and stay right where they are, even though they both agree they would much rather live somewhere else.
So what are we afraid of “letting go?” It seems our past, even if unpleasant, has a way of conforming us to a box we are completely used to. It’s our “normal,” our “comfort zone.” It is what we know and if we let go and leave that box, we are changing what always has been. Change comes hard for people. So many questions wrap around change. We become suffocated with the fear of “what ifs.” It keeps us from moving forward and stifles growth.
Along with wanting to stay safely in our comfort zone, rises the “fear of failure monster.” It seems we harbor fears of falling flat on our face. We are certain, like my friend above, that if we finally get enough courage to move forward, we are going to fail. That too, raises many questions that feeds our fears. There are questions of the ramifications of failure…Where will that leave us? How will I face my peers, or how will I make ends meet financially? There are so many unknowns!
This “fear of failure monster” has a “sibling!” ….The “fear of success monster!” This “monster” raises questions much like the “failure monster” because change, again is a factor. We can’t move forward without some kind of alteration or transformation. Change brings growth and takes us out of that comfort zone where we like to dwell.
Along with the success monster comes another “sibling,” the “fear of responsibility monster.” When we have success people are going to find our hidden talents and that brings on more responsibility and the irrational fear people will abuse us, take us for granted, or expect more than we are able to give and consequently, unable to live up to people’s expectations.
It seems there is always some kind of ‘fear monster” we must overcome if we plan to grow, stretch our potential and move forward to new places and experiences. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Always do what you are afraid to do.” I tend to agree, even if it is hard. Even if we don’t have all the answers!
So I challenge you to reflect on one thing you’ve always wanted to do and try to find a way to see it through. It might be asking for a promotion, or visiting a foreign country, becoming a missionary, or any other passion you’ve been hiding and suppressing for a very long time. Break out of your comfort zone, cross the "scary river of unknowns" and allow yourself to grow and experience new things!