Recently, I had a lunch date with a girlfriend who was talking about a coworker who cries regularly at work. She mentioned the fact that this particular coworker seems to always be unhappy and shows that outwardly by being manipulative and generally shady to other colleagues. Her colleague has a track record of not only lying and gossiping about people she works with, but also spending a lot of time speaking negatively about her husband and her personal life. My friend went on to mention that this woman seems to be having some financial difficulty in addition to the stresses between she and her spouse. Now, never mind the fact that she’s so comfortable giving up so many personal details at work, I had to wonder why in the world she would allow herself to be so unhappy in so many areas of her life at all.
I had the same thought during a recent conversation with a close friend of mine who was considering getting back with an ex-boyfriend. This particular ex-boyfriend made her miserable and unhappy for an extended period of time during their previous relationship. So I couldn’t figure out why she was questioning what I thought about the possibility of her getting back with him. I understand that some time has passed and she wants to believe that he has changed, but I asked her “what do you have to gain by entering into a relationship with him again?” You can press rewind as many times as you want, but the same story will playback.
I think that we all, from time to time, become complacent in areas of our lives. A lot of that complacency is the result of fear. There may be fear of losing your job and having to spend time looking for a new one; fear of being alone so you stay too long in a relationship you shouldn’t be in; fear of the unknown in general. Sometimes taking a leap of faith to try something new is a daunting concept. The challenge is in being mindful of the opportunity cost. What are you giving up by staying stagnant out of fear? When we remain in situations that do not serve us, help us grow or make up happy, we are giving up all of those things that could possibly be found elsewhere.
Instead of being afraid of breaking free of complacency, we should concentrate the fear on what will happen to us if we don’t. Instead of that miserable coworker feeling stuck at a job simply because it’s close to home and her young children, she should choose to shake free of those shackles and dream bigger. Maybe she could start a business right from her home. And that friend that wants to double back to that no good relationship – I need her to shake loose of the fear of being alone and see what else is out there. Dating can be scary, but also fun and exciting. Besides, how can you receive your blessings if your hands are full holding on to what no longer serves you? Living a big, full life can be scary. But we have to feel the fear and do it anyway.
What are you afraid of? What are you going to do despite that fear?
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