Last week during a text conversation with my older brother he mentioned feeling trapped by his job. “If I could travel the country and not worry about my job, I would have left years ago.” His lamentation was thick with desire for something different. “But,” he continued,”if we can pay off our debt and make some changes, maybe someday we will.”
So many of us feel trapped by our current situation, whether it is a job, a relationship, financial debt, or monotony that I know my brother is not alone. And you wonder if someday will ever actually come. And yet, it seems so impossible to give up the good, the acceptable and socially normal for something even greater. I may desire and dream about selling my home, buying an Airstream and seeking adventure with my family, but conventionality and the invisible social norms are likely to curb it.
Fear is the underlying current driving many of the decisions I and others make. Fear has the ability to limit potential, resulting in a comfortable, but boring life. But how does one overcome it? I’m no life coach, but my guess is that allowing discomfort into my life and readily accepting new challenges will better prepare me for a showdown with my greatest fears. Routine and predictable living removes all possibility of challenging oneself.
Frankly, I know that I’m lucky to have a safe and comfortable life. But I desire adventure, new challenges, and more for my family than material stuff and the status quo. So in the meantime while I’m still mulling over what to do with my life, I’m going to challenge myself, face a few fears and create some new habits. Top of my list? Learning to say no and getting up consistently at 5am (or earlier.)
What fears are you facing and how do you plan to overcome them?