Classes on Fear and Change from Mark Twain and My 10-Year-Old Twins
When I was sixteen, I decided to leave the small hometown of Beaverton, Oregon, where I’d resided since birth, to go abroad and study in New Zealand. I use no idea how I made this particular decision, or why I needed to leave home, but the idea quickly got legs plus before I knew this, there I was, boarding the plane and madly embracing goodbye my friends, family and our high-school sweetheart. I got for the plane, walked down the church aisle to my window seat, sat down…and promptly burst directly into tears. Crying quickly boomed to epic proportions into hysterical sobbing, a lot to the alarm of the poor man in the next seat. He tried to calm me personally down and asked the flight attendant for a cup of water.
I tried to take a sip, but I had been crying too hard to even choke it down. Correct then, I made another big decision – I hurried off the plane, and ran screaming after our taken aback parents. They were having none of it. These people reminded me I had made the decision to which I was now committed and sent me right back to my allocated seat to follow through on it.
After this spectacular start, the rest of the journey has been uneventful. Well, to be honest, I can’t remember much of more of my journey. Just a quick phone call from a pay out phone in L. The. to let my parents know I got there safely, after which, my next clear storage was walking into landings and looking around, though uncertain as to what I was looking for. I then saw the sign, ‘Welcome to New Zealand Tracy’ – and there these were, my Kiwi family! My host Mum, Dad, Sibling and Brother. They will took me home and settled me in my new space. They offered me a quick tour, I fulfilled the neighbours – among whom was the principal of the school I was to attend – and we ate.
I’d like to report that at this time I was wondering what all my pre-departure hysteria had been about, but no, I was not done with the crying. Not really nearly. All I remember of these first few weeks were the endless tears and aching homesickness – oh, and the beating myself for not ‘thinking it through’. Surely easily had have thought this particular through, I’d be back house now instead of sobbing down the line on my once a week, very costly phone-call home?
My sponsor Dad gave me some very specific advice: ‘Stop blubbering’. Easier said than done. One evening, lying on my bed, sobbing and trying to make sense of it just about all, I reached out for a small book of quotes my friend had sent along with me personally – clearly for just this kind of occasion! Flicking through, this one grabbed me:
I actually ripped it from the guide, jumped out of bed plus pasted it on our mirror.
I wouldn’t state I was any less homesick after reading it, but I did obtain a wake-up call about the opportunity I was missing by concentrating on what I’d left behind instead of what I now had in front of me. I knew I needed to embrace this big change which i had, after all, brought upon myself. I was going to search for the positives in it and many of all, stop the strenuous slog of fearing it.
And, yes, you’ve suspected it – New Zealand turned out to be a complete blast.
This quote served me well and many times over the years considering that. It’s been a research point for many life-changing decisions – more travel, new directions in my career, relationships…
As I work with clients, fear of change comes up constantly – a simple but profound and often paralyzing fear of moving forward in to the unknown.
Even when people know that they need to do something various and that staying the same should come at a great personal price, the barrier of dread seems impassable.
Even when people know precisely what they want to do and actually believe they could be successful doing it, still they hold back in the face of the truly great unknown.
Of course , fear has been a major asset to mankind. We wouldn’t be here right now if our ancestors hadn’t responded to it and so taken precautions to steer clear of all of the giant sabretooth tigers running around around. It’s the same fright, still hard-wired in us today, that keeps all of us on the lookout for threats to our basic safety and well-being. Any feeling of our ‘being under attack’ will bring out our inborn fight or flight reactions.
The challenge is determining what it is that we are actually scared of.
If we do that we can begin to get some viewpoint on what we’re up against. Are usually we talking sabre-tooth tigers or not making the same revenue in the first year of the career change? Are we talking about telling our mom and dad we’re over studying legislation and want to open a café? Are we talking about a threat that’s not even true e. g. thinking you can never afford to work part-time to spend more time on a innovative interest when you haven’t actually done the math? Get pinning that fear straight down – know your foe!
A few weeks ago, I was talking to my twin daughters about the subject of fear of change. A single daughter, in particular, had recently made a very significant alter – to stop gymnastics. Actually at the young age of 10, she’d already dedicated 5 years of physical work, mental effort and sheer determination to participate in a sport she’d loved. So much of her young identity was wrapped up in ‘being the gymnast. ’ She understood it was time to move on, yet she wrestled with the decision, and even more so , with the idea of change. She worried about what the rest of the group would believe. She worried about missing the girl twin sister who would always go to the gym every week with out her. She worried it turned out the wrong decision even though the girl knew it was absolutely the correct one. She was living proof of something I see all the time – knowing a change is RIGHT for you frequently isn’t enough to make subsequent through on it any simpler.
My conversation with the girls got us to idea motivational quotes that would help people face their fears and move through change.
Later that will night, after I had put them to bed, one of them returned out, with a journal exactly where she’d written down her very own sayings – all from the heart and Google-free!
Of course , I’m biased, I love them all, but here are my favourites:
- If you allow fear take over, you will stay in the same place, but if you take chances and risks, you will always move ahead.
- Change is a new opportunity for greatness.
- When you’re scared to change something in your life, remember that when you take issues and risks, it will proceed you forward to your next destination.
- When your fear gets control you have to break through. End up being brave, and always remember you can’t let fear take over the particular change you need to make.
And the best till last…
- Change is like the roller-coaster. A mix of emotions. The particular ups and the downs, the particular highs and the lows. But the ride always stops plus you’re always glad a person did it.
Wow, the 16-year-old myself on the plane to Brand new Zealand could have done with this kind of wisdom – let alone the grown-up version of myself! So , next time there’s a change you need – or just frantically want – to make, a change you understand is right yet you’re still hitting a wall of fear, pay attention to Mark Twain…or my 10-year-old daughters.
Be daring. You got this !
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