What are you afraid to lose?
The question might just send a shiver down your spine. So what ARE you afraid to lose?
One of the things that keeps us from being exactly who we desire to be is fear of loss. Whether you fail, or if you succeed, and everything in between, can bring up fear of what you will lose.
All too often, I know that I have used this as my excuse for not going for it. There was a dream, an idea I wanted to pursue…but I didn’t, because of what I feared I’d lose.
The thing is, a lot of this fear is utterly intangible, and based on anxiety for things that haven’t happened at all yet. Overall, the thing you are likely most afraid of is worse inside your head than it will actually be.
Let me break this down a bit better for you.
What do you lose?
Let’s say you would like to quit your job and start your own business. To be certain, there is money that may be lost, as well as other material items like cars, homes, and other similar things. Chances are, however, that’s not what you are most afraid of losing.
A job you have today gives you a sense of security, no matter how you might feel about the employment otherwise. You take comfort in knowing there is steady pay, maybe benefits, and any other perks you have at your current job. In other words, familiarity and comfort.
This is why it’s called stepping out of your comfort zone. Because that which we are used to and most familiar with provides a sense of comfort that we tend to be loath to relinquish.
Sure, those tangibles you might lose are scary. But more terrifying are the intangibles. This is also why change scares people as much as it does.
You get comfortable with the way things are. For a lot of people, routine is part of their nesting instinct. Comfort, knowing things are going to be mostly unchanged drives you to continue…even when you are unhappy.
You are only on this planet, in this body, for a limited time. This is your one and only opportunity to experience life, and it is up to you what that will entail. While it is a good thing to feel comfortable and secure, doing so at the cost of your joy is actually a greater loss than your security.
Being miserable but comfortable is not what this life is supposed to be about.
What do you gain?
Redirecting this conversation, even in your own head, is important. What can you gain from taking a chance, stepping out of your comfort zone, and becoming exactly who you desire to be?
What you gain is the opportunity to create an entirely new comfort zone. Rather than accepting the ho-hum but secure, you can build something new and different.
Let’s be realistic about this, however. This can be a real challenge. There are all kinds of things in this life that adults must be responsible for, like rent/mortgage payments, healthcare, buying food, and other necessities. How do you choose to go for it when you risk those things?
Let’s face a major, uncomfortable truth here. There is always risk. That secure job? You could get laid off tomorrow, the company could be bought and broken-up, the office could burn to the ground…or something else could happen to end it.
Hell, you could be hit by a car crossing the street one day (and let me tell you from personal experience — that’s a life changer). Suddenly you’re spending MONTHS in recovery, so not working and piling up medical bills.
The point is, life is uncertain. You never know what will happen at any time that is due to other people and outside circumstances. As such, what you gain from taking a chance is the opportunity to live better, be happier, and experience a more complete life.
Change is a constant
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that change is a constant. The Universe is in a constant state of change, whether you like it or not. Some change happens instantaneously, while some change is slower than a galaxy forming. But change is always happening.
As such, being afraid of losing what you already have is rather pointless. Why? Because in part what you have will change, so technically you will lose it — or at least, lose part of what makes it comforting today.
That great job that pays well but doesn’t stimulate or excite you? What do you do if the environment becomes toxic? The comfort and security have changed, so you lose what you have.
This is why getting out of our comfort zones is so vital to living more full and happy lives. No matter what reasons we may come up with to not do this, it doesn’t alter anything. You can let change happen to you, or you can attempt to direct and control it.
Don’t be afraid. As Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said,
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
You have a choice. Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings and tackle change and get it to submit…or be submissive to change.
What you gain could be something far better than what you are afraid of losing.