If your car had a dead battery and it was petrified of jumper cables, it would have two choices. It could embrace the fear and allow the cables to give it a jump, or it could refuse the jump and remain a motionless car. If it chooses to face its fears, it will move forward. If it chooses to avoid the jumper cables, it will go nowhere at all. You are not so different from your car. You will have to face some fears if you want to move forward in life.
Without the courage to face our fears, we stay stuck in a life of mediocrity. We must be willing to step outside our comfort zone if we want to experience life at its best. By settling for the status quo, we sell ourselves short. There is so much more to life than that. There is so much more to us than that. We need to do more than avoid the destructive boulder. Life is too good and too short to just settle for the status quo. Saying to ourselves, “Well, I am not self-destructing, so I guess I am doing all right,” just doesn’t cut it. Oh, no. We must keep going so we can experience the excellence that resides within us.
Take a moment to answer the following questions:
- What areas of my life are making me unhappy?
- Do I make excuses and come up with reasons to stay right where I am?
- Would making a change create anxiety or a sense of loss for me?
- If I were to make a change, would the grief and uneasiness that I experience be temporary?
- What might I gain by making a change?
- What do I have to lose by making a change?
- What do I have to lose if I stay with the status quo?
- If I make a change, what is the worst-case scenario? Can I survive it?
Life is just too short to spend it in fear. Having the courage to face those fears can take you to places you never thought possible. Remember that anything new becomes comfortable and routine if it is done long enough. Identify the things that are going well in your life. These are the things that you probably don’t want to change. But also identify areas of needed growth. Making changes here will propel you to a much higher altitude. Making changes here may be necessary if you are to experience the best version of you. Sometimes it is only he who attempts the ridiculous that ever achieves the impossible.
Sometimes we need to take risks in order to grow. How are we to create a positive snowball effect if we consistently refuse to move? Positive momentum is created by motion. Norman Vincent Peale tells us, “Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.”4 Remember that. Life rewards action. Face the fear that holds you back from the things that you really want in life. Eleanor Roosevelt put it so well: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” And do you know what? The very thing that you fear many times ends up to be no horror at all.
This excerpt was taken from the book, The Snowball Effect: How to Build Positive Momentum in Your Life.