The sound of birds chirping and the smell of flowers tell us that Spring has indeed sprung. Long hot days filled with sun and relaxation remind us that Summer is here. The sight of orange and maroon on the trees indicate that Autumn is upon us. And the first flakes of snow let us know that Winter has surely arrived. We use all of these familiar queues to let us know when the physical seasons have changed, so why is it that we have such a hard time realizing when a season is changing or ending in our lives?
Lately, I’ve been feeling led (by God) into a lot of change, and unlike many, that doesn’t really bother me. I embrace change because it’s through change that we are able to grow and experience new things. It’s through some pretty drastic changes that I been blessed with the most amazing things in my life like my husband, my child and my budding career.
I’ve been known to take some pretty huge leaps of faith, but the catalyst has always been exactly that; my FAITH in the Lord. And while that means that I have been able to take those steps into the unknown confidently, I have never done so quickly. So what is it that causes us to hold onto something when we know deep within that what we’re holding is essentially dead? We each have to figure out our own answer to that question, but the more I think about it, the more I believe the root of our hesitation is fear.
Fear of losing the little that we have, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being alone, fear of the judgement of others, fear of disappointing someone or hurting somebody’s feelings, fear of being misunderstood, fear of the unknown, fear of not being enough, fear of discovering who you really are…fear, fear, FEAR! That tiny little word that has confused minds, ruined lives, paralyzed potential and shattered dreams all over the globe. We let fear magnify the potential negative outcomes of a situation to the point that we can’t see all of the beauty that CAN come from change.
The truth is that, yes, some (maybe even all) of those things can happen. You might lose the little that you have, but what if holding on so tightly to that little bit of nothing is keeping you from being able to grab hold of something great? Yes, some people might reject you and your ideas and plans but that just means they weren’t the right people. Do you really want people that can’t see your vision on your team?
It’s quite possible that you will fail, but it’s been said that the path to success is paved with failure. I’d rather fail forward than be stuck going nowhere any day. And what about success? Success comes with it’s own “problems,” right? If you succeed then that means that you’re capable; that you can do all of those things that you told yourself for so long that you couldn’t. The thought of that kind of awareness and accountability can be scary, but that’s just a trick of the enemy to get you to stifle your greatness.
The fear of being alone, fear of not being enough and fear of discovering who you really are sadly all stem from a low self-esteem and lack of confidence and self-love. And before you get defensive on me, please understand that I say that because I used to live at the corner of Low Self-Esteem Ave. & Self Loathing St. How I changed my permanent address is another post (or series) for another day, but hear me when I say…
You are enough.
You are awesome.
You are beautifully and wonderfully made.
And if nobody has come along that has the capacity to handle and love you and your greatness, then you’re better off alone than wasting your life with somebody that doesn’t see you, appreciate you or really love you.
Now that we’ve gotten that all cleared up, you may have noticed that there are a few fears I didn’t address: fear of the judgement of others, fear of disappointing someone or hurting somebody’s feelings and fear of being misunderstood. It sounds cliche, but the fact of the matter is that nobody can live your life except you. That means that people can, and will, have opinions about what they think you should do, tell you what they would do (even though that’s probably not what they would do), or simply get offended that you’re even considering doing. And that’s fine. Even if it’s none of their business, we’ll go on and say that they are entitled to their opinions and feelings. But you cannot let their expectations interfere with your destiny, despite how uncomfortable it makes you to have to disappoint someone. I’m not saying we should be mean or disrespectful to move our lives forward; never that. But we might have to endure some tough conversations, weather some icy looks and maybe even bear some hurtful remarks in order to get to the next stage of our lives.
This particular fear family has been one that I have struggled with more than some of the others. Often in the past, when it was time for me to make a change in my life, I was more worried about managing the expectations of others than the actual risk OR benefit of the change. And I believe that I have missed windows of blessing and “wasted” years of my life because of it. I don’t want the same thing to happen to you.
Now that brings me to the fear that I do let govern my life; fear of being outside of the will of God for my life/fear of letting God down. I had to come to the realization that at the end of the day…and at the end of my life…the only One that I need to be pleased with me is God. And I’m happy to report that my desire to walk the talk now supersedes any fear, worry or doubt about whether things will work out, what people will think, what people will say, etc.
So as I move through the changes that I face in my life right now, I’m going to flow with the seasons. No parkas at the cookout for this girl. I’m acknowledging where I am and doing what I know I need to do for God, me, my family, my business, my health and my sanity and I suggest that you do the same.