I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back! ~ Erica Jong
This summer wrought many transformations in our family. Some were wonderful, like the birth of our new niece; others were not so welcome, like the massive firm-wide layoff that claimed my husband’s job a few weeks ago. Today, the beginning of the new school year brings more change to our household. One child merely faces new teachers, while another is entering a middle school for the first time.
With each alteration, a surfeit of mixed emotions emerges, impacting our thoughts and actions. Obviously, unwanted developments dredge up pain, sorrow, and dread. Last night my ten-year-old hit me with a barrage of nervous questions (will my teachers like me, is it going to be harder than grade school, how will I find my way around the building). During our discussion, it occurred to me my husband is contemplating similar concerns as he begins his job search.
But even the joyful anticipation attached to exciting transformations contains an edge of trepidation – the fear of the unknown. When Jill Marsal offered me representation in June, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Yet, as the surge of adrenaline faded, I worried about those same fretful issues my son and husband now face (will she like working with me, will she like my newest work, will my work sell, and, if so, will readers respond positively).
Whether a change is welcome or unwelcome, no one escapes it without suffering a little apprehension. Fortunately, humans are truly resilient. I’ve witnessed amazing resiliency within my extended family, including comebacks from major physical, emotional, and financial upheaval. I draw courage from their examples of facing facts, adapting, and moving forward. For me, the key to minimizing nagging doubts is to focus on the possibilities ahead – the chance to reinvent myself – rather than cling to the comfort of what must be left behind.
After all, there is no getting around change, so we may as well march straight into it with our chins held high. The added bonus of embracing new circumstances occurs when you come out on the other side with newly acquired confidence gained by having met that challenge head on and survived.
Care to share your advice on handling change?