Thursday, November 24, 2011

'Healthy fear', transitions and leaving one's 'comfort zone'

I've been coming across all kinds of interesting books at the library in the past few months.  It is quite amazing at times, to see what comes in when you just type in a keyword and the list of books it generates!

One small, quick read book was written by Barbara De Angelis, PhD., called, "Confidence. Finding It and Living It."

In one section of the book she talks about fear associated with transition and about starting new ventures.  Her take was that fear is a positive -- a good sign, that it means that you are stepping out of your comfort zone and becoming more than you currently are.

She summarizes it best in her words:

"If you don't have a dream in your head right now that scares you, then you've probably stopped dreaming. 

A lot of people stop dreaming because they don't believe in their ability to make their dreams come true, which is very convenient because then you can't fail....I call that 'healthy fear'. But when you have dreams and do nothing about them all your life, and you let the fear paralyze you, that's not healthy.

Every time I undertake a new project, or commit to a new dream, I'm scared -- scared of failing, of not doing it right that I may be making a mistake.  But the difference between me and most other people is that I don't misinterpret the fear as a sign that I should stop doing what I'm doing. 
I don't use the fear as an excuse to not go forward.  In fact, when I'm feeling nervous or frightened, it usually means that I'm really stretching myself out of my comfort zone and into new directions -- in other words, it usually means that I'm doing great!"
Those paragraphs really sum up my experience of the past few months.  However, that scenario described in the book is applicable to any kind of change or transition a person may be going through, not just a career change.  We have said a sad goodbye to close family friends this past week, who moved to Australia.  They are currently out of their comfort zone and going through this same type of transition.  See, this concept is definitely applicable to more than career change!  ;-)

Just something to think about, that indicates that fear is not necessarily a bad thing -- just a reality of life!  And, the change does not have to be as drastic as a complete career change or moving to the other side of the world.

Next week is the last full week of classes before the term ends...and preparation for finals begins...more on that later!

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