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Have you ever worked toward a goal, only to give it up at the first hint of a challenge or hiccup? Have you bypassed opportunities because you were fearful you would fail? Call it self-preservation. Call it a coping mechanism. No matter what you call it, it could be holding you back.
I've read the brain can interpret change as a threat, and it puts the body into a fight, flight, or freeze reaction. Your body is just trying to protect you.
But it's always confused me that our brain seeks out novelty, yet we're uncomfortable with change. My unscientific mind concludes that novelty feels inherently temporary, so there's less pressure. On the other hand, change feels more permanent, particularly when it's connected to personal development.
With permanence comes a fear of failure that we won't or can't achieve our goal. But it's in the midst of change that we grow, learn, and develop.
It's important to recognize we can often be our own biggest obstacle. We must allow ourselves flexibility as we work toward our goals. Our quest may get uncomfortable. But being uncomfortable is not an indicator of failure, and we have to stop connecting the two.
Recently, someone offered me an opportunity - an opportunity unlike anything I had done before. My first reaction was hesitation, based solely on the fact it was out of my comfort zone. But, rather than declining, at least I had the presence of mind to say, "I'd like to learn more." In my due diligence, I learned of the positive, wide-sweeping impact I could have. I also considered the personal and professional growth opportunity it presented. In the end, I accepted, knowing if things get challenging, I have resources at my disposal to assist.
Is it the path I planned for myself? No. But growth and development probably won't happen in a straight line. There will be bumps and curves in the road. Don't immediately conclude that means you're failing. You're just taking a detour, and that detour will provide lessons you wouldn't have received otherwise.
Imagine you're driving to a chosen destination, and your intended path is closed due to construction. There is, however, a detour you can take. Would you turn the car around and go home? Of course not! You would follow the detour and still arrive at your destination. Why should the journey to your goals be any different?
We are all works in progress, whether we're 9 or 90. Don't abandon your goals because of fear, discomfort, or an unexpected detour.
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