Embracing the Joys of Fear and Pain

Fear and pain motivate you to stop, run, avoid, or stubbornly dig in. They don’t move you forward, they move you away.

Fear and pain may, however, ignite passion to change. Politicians create fear that galvanize constituents around a cause and garners votes. The problem, fear only works for the short-term. It creates a huddling effect but doesn’t create a future.

Fear and pain are good if they drive you toward courage and joy.

A few years ago, I let fear and pain motivate me to seek a new future. I’m learning that pursuing what I want is an ongoing, incremental process. What I don’t want is quick and easy, pursuing what I want is slow and hard.

What I’m learning:

  1. Fear comes with us when we move forward, accept it.
  2. Faith answers but doesn’t eliminate fear. I’m learning to trust God, myself, and my friends in new ways. It’s not a magic pill; it’s a process.
  3. Conversations change me. I’m fortunate to have conversations with some of the world’s brightest people; their stories, experiences, and wisdom inspire me.
  4. Courageously sharing my inner-most thoughts took time. However, the more I do the easier it gets.
  5. My journey makes some uncomfortable. Because it does, I’m learning the good and bad of people pleasing.
  6. The bad side of people pleasing is it motivates me to make decisions based on other people’s values and opinions.
  7. The good side of people pleasing is it motivates me to explore and understand what pleases others.
  8. Exploring and understanding what pleases others opens the door for me to explore, understand and communicate what pleases me.
  9. Doing what’s best for others isn’t people pleasing as long as it aligns with my values.

This list began with “I’m learning,” not “I’ve learned.” I haven’t learned anything.

What are you learning that’s changing you?


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