I mean who doesn’t watch those vacuum commercials with the Golden Retriever puppies and go soft at the heart?
I’ve been watching in amazement my good friends’ baby has grown over the last 9 months. I held his fragile body in my hands the day he was born and a mere few months later, he’s almost walking, forming words, breaking in teeth and even recognizes me.
I watched an episode of a TV show I enjoy recently and heard this quote: “Change doesn’t care if you love it or hate it. Change is indifferent, intractable, and will not be denied.”
Change is the only constant. It is the only thing you can count on in the course of your startlingly short life and it’s the fabric of everything we know to be true.
It’s the war we have with existence. Even animals wear down paths to their watering holes as they go back and forth along the same predictable routes.
No matter what we try to do, we’re victims of our insatiable need for stability and live paralyzed by:
“fear of change”
When we say “fear,” we’re talking about an emotional and even physical response to a stimulus we deem threatening or dangerous. The unknown, the disturbing, the upsetting and the deviation are classic anxiety-invokers.
I’m reading Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (it’s wrecking my world right now) and came across this quote: “People fear change…Though their situations may be terrible, at least they have a sense of control; at least they know what to expect. Change presents a world of variables that are largely out of their control.”
When it comes to ourselves, some of us are the kinds of people who can’t eat the same cereal for breakfast every morning (anybody with me?) But others are creatures of habit (like my roommate) who has eaten the same lunch every day for the last four years.
But when it comes to our personal development. What we’re talking about might be:
“fear of criticism”
We talked last blog about the fear of imperfection, but this one begins to strike a physiological chord with some people, because criticism might require change. It hits us either because we can’t handle the possibility of humiliation (gelotophobia – fear of being laughed at) or even the shame of having messed up beyond repair (enosiophobia – fear of having committed an unpardonable sin).
At the end of the day, we’re either the victim or the victor and I believe we have the right to choose. The immediate stimulus might paralyze us so that we do nothing (freeze) or scare us away (flight).
ARE YOU LISTENING?!
This is serious people! The fears of change and criticism are running our lives. You are allowing something to make decisions for you and to dictate your actions. In fact, some of you might be in such paralyzing bondage to these fears that you couldn’t move if you tried. YOU MAY NEED HELP!
This isn’t how things were supposed to be. I assure you: if you confront this, you will take away its power and one day these fears will be a memory long forgotten.
Are you stronger than your fear? Maybe you should start acting like it.