Why do we stay in a bad relationship, a dead-end job, or a town that we hate? What is it that makes it so hard to change, even when we want to?
There may be many reasons, and some could be outside our control. But one big reason that is within our control is that somewhere inside us, we know we’re not prepared.
We’re not prepared to cope with the feelings of loss, regret, sadness, or pain that change would bring up.
We’re not prepared to work with the feelings of fear and doubt that will pester us if we try to leave our familiar situation and step into the unknown.
We’re not prepared to let go of the predictability of the patterns we have lived with and respond with curiosity, compassion, and courage to the daily surprises that come with taking on something new.
These emotional challenges require skills to navigate with confidence, and most of us are out of practice. And somewhere deep down inside us we know that, and so we wisely stay put, rather than take the risk of embarking on a journey that we’re not prepared for.
But these are all skills that we have used at some time in our past. We’ve all had to deal with loss, regret, sadness, pain, fear, doubt, unpredictability, and the unknown at some point in order to get where we are.
So if we sense that the time is coming for change, a time when we’ll be called to leave behind what we know and hit the road again, we can thank the voice that is warning us that we’re not prepared. Because instead of reacting to the warning by deciding we’re stuck where we are, we can hear the warning as an invitation to start practicing those emotional coping skills.
We can choose to get back in shape now, so when the opportunity comes for us to take that leap, we’ll have the skill, strength, stamina, and flexility to get back on the road.24 August 2022