An article I read today had one line that hit pretty hard:
“Fear keeps you stuck.”
I would add that inertia, not just fear, keeps us stuck. The status quo is familiar, and even if it’s not full of sunshine and rainbows, it’s comfortable. It’s what we know. Even if what we know doesn’t make us blissfully happy, inertia keeps us in our place. When nothing is awful, it just doesn’t make sense to reach for a different kind of life. I’ve spent years of my life holding back on all kinds of things—jobs, relationships, novel submissions, freelance projects—because I was too afraid of failure to make any changes.
What if the things we think we’re risking are actually the things holding us back? I’ve been slowly working on edits for a novel I love, but without ever finishing. I think I’ve become so used to editing and so afraid to get actual agent feedback that I’ve held onto my manuscript for too long. It’s not that I’ve missed my chance, but that my chance could’ve come so much sooner.
I’ve thought about this a lot over the past three weeks. On the trip with my sisters, we had two rules:
- No talking about school.
- No talking about work.
It was like a total brain re-set. Now that I’m back to “real” life and I have to “adult”, I’ve realized that I’m tired of the status quo. I’m exhausted from the effort it requires to live with inertia and fear. Best of all, I think I’m finally ready to do something about it.
I’m going to try something that absolutely terrifies me, and I’m going to try it soon. I already know it’s going to be painful, but I think I’d rather have a few seconds of terror than stay stuck the rest of my life.
Michelle is still jetlagged, and her work email won't let her log in.