There you are, stuck. Or, so you feel. Afraid to move out, afraid to move in. Afraid to leave the soul-sucking job for a better life even though you know you are completely burned out. Afraid to leave the one person who is the bane of your existence even though you know deep down you should. Afraid to lean in, afraid to lean backward. So, on it goes.
Of course, the basis of this lack of prudent decisiveness is fear. The emotion, fear, is hard-wired into every human brain. It has served a vital role for our survival as a species. No one is fearless. It is a powerful emotion we all share.
The brain would just as soon suffer ongoing misery from a place of perceived safety than the thought of an unknown outcome from a different venture, risk, business decision, relationship, job or career. Some have termed this state comfortable misery. It’s not comfortable and it is misery nonetheless.
Comfortable misery is only perceived as safe because it is what is known. It is not a safe place in which to live. Fact is, it is a very dangerous place in which to live. Comfortable misery causes us to eat up the one commodity we are all running short of – time.
Fearing change might be worse than what currently exists, or take more energy, or require more money can coheres one into a state of benign resignation. So, people become stuck, sometimes paralyzed, by fear. I say, to hell with that. Life is too short.
How does one get past this block, this thing that feels like an impenetrable wall when decisions for our better interest need to be made? Like most situations in life where the human brain is concerned, there are no easy answers, Everyone’s path is different.
I will tell you what will help you to overcome fear of needed change. Let start with this quote by Usman B. Asif, “Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.” Absolutely true. Scary things are much scarier in the dark.
Find people you trust and share your struggle with them. Telling what you fear the most to another human being will lessen the impact of the fear of the unknown. Hearing someone else’s story about how they dealt with a similar situation will have a liberating effect. This is the primary reason we have language, to share what we know for mutual benefit.
If needed, get professional help through counseling or coaching. This is your life. Your story. Hopefully, many chapters have yet to be written. Be the author of your own story. With each passing day and each turn of the page you can decide how your story unfolds.
Originally Published on Clark Gaither
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