There is comfort in the familiar. Knowing that each day you get up, shower, grab breakfast, go into a job that you know all the ins and outs of, then clock out at the same time every day to go shopping before heading home to cook dinner and watch TV until you get up the next morning and do it all over again.
When laid out before you in black and white, this scenario appears to be dreadfully dull, but this is the reality for far too many of us. The same familiar movements each day can be soothing but may over time turn into a prison of humdrum that people just cannot seem to escape. To make matters worse, a good majority of people in this routine have a job that they dislike.
Letting go of the familiar can be daunting.
The great thing about diving into new territories is that doing so is correspondingly greatly freeing. Something as simple as hanging new art on the walls can open your mind to new ideas and dreams. Beginning the change will often avalanche into you taking those leaps of faith which lead you directly to your dreams.
For example, my best friend, I’ll call her Lauren, has been struggling with her desire to move to another town. The home in which she lives was left to her by her grandmother, and for the last fifteen years Lauren has gone through marriage, divorce, and the birth of her children within the walls of that home.
The problem now is that her family has outgrown her house. In addition, the city in which she lives has grown in not only size but violent crime. Several times a week she hears gunfire, and several times a day sirens scream on the way to one emergency or another.
Lauren feels both trapped and unsafe in her own home.
Not long ago the two of us were having tea in my dining room while she shared with me her feelings. I asked her why she didn’t just sell her house and move somewhere that she really wanted to be, and I’ll never forget Lauren’s answer.
She said, “I can’t move away from here, because I’m afraid that I won’t make it.”
I asked her why not. She gave me a lot of reasons like “I have three children” and “I don’t think I can make enough money.”
It all boiled down to fear.
Don’t mistake me. A little fear can be a good thing. It serves its purpose by keeping us from potential harm. The problem comes when, instead of just saving us from harm, it is keeping us from growing.
So how do we avoid this pitfall?
Quite simply by taking calculated risks. Granted there are not too many risks inherent in changing your wall art or paint colors, but when making a life changing decision, careful consideration is needed. List out your needs and desires. Write down what you need to accomplish them. Consider all the pros and cons. Ponder what can go wrong but dream of what will go right.
I have often heard the saying “expect the best but prepare for the worst.” I believe that these are words to live by if for no other reason than to discover the worst that can happen. Once you know that the road ahead will look much less intimidating.
Finally, when you have worked out exactly what you want, let the rest go! Disney wrote an entire song about this. If it’s not what you want, not what you need, and not working out for you then let it go, let it go.
Go forth and be the you that you desire to be. You are talented; you are beautiful. You can do this!!