“The coast is not clear”
“The situation has only gotten worse”
“I suggest you don’t start today, or tomorrow…this year is just not the best time!”
These are some of the many warning cries I hear in my mind whenever I am faced with a situation involving change. My mind continues to persuade me on why it’s so dangerous for me to take on new challenges, transform my daily routine or embrace new people. My response to the overwhelming doubts and resistance is: “Why am I so threatened by change?”
There is this idea that many people have about pursuing goals. Many of us believe things need to be “aligned” and in order before we can begin something new. We think the more planning we do before starting something new, the less challenges we will experience along the way. However, while planning can give us a great start, it cannot remove obstacles along our paths to success.
Let’s face it: change is frikken scary! Even those who courageously chase their dreams aren’t immune from fear. When circumstances change, our bodies are triggered to believe our survival is at risk. Just the thought that our plans could fail, and uncertainty we expose ourselves to, can make reluctant to take the first step.
Remember those things called New Years’ Resolutions? I remember a time when I would create my resolutions and at the back of my mind, debate how long I would realistically keep them going for. As admirable as my goals were, and as determined as I was to achieve them, they required me to explore the unknown and take on a lot of risk — something I wasn’t prepared to do!
It would take me many years before coming to the realization that taking on risk was the gateway to many of the lofty plans I had for my life. Yup, I had to be willing to travel in uncharted territory to live a lifestyle I had never experienced before.
Embracing change helped me overcome my fear of failure. I failed so many times, I had to start looking at failure as “feedback” in order for it not to stop me. My comfort zone become too small for me, and venturing into the unknown was the only option I had to live a life that felt comfortable.
Embracing change helped me accept the fact that life is filled with both good and bad outcomes. Not every smart idea will yield a profit. I couldn’t predict in advance or control how my actions would turn out, and instead of this making me feel scared, I simply made peace with it. No longer did I create a list of terms and conditions before pursuing a goal. No. I wasn’t looking for a pain-free, worry-free, or crisis-free life. I simply wanted to live a life that felt meaningful, and if taking risks regularly would make me feel alive, then hey, BRING ON THE RISKS!
Learn from me: you cannot wait on happiness to happen. Happiness doesn’t just happen. Instead, it’s cultivated by your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. You create the environment for your happiness in your life by turning your words into actions. So I encourage you to take that risk because whether you win or fail it would have been worth it.
Article written by author and ghostwriter, Lolo Ntshiqa.