Anticipatory Fear

IMG_0737That’s my bandaged hand in the photo. I had a minor surgery yesterday. Nothing crazy, but I’ve been avoiding it for 10 months. The first time I met with the doctor back in July he said I could get a cortisone shot and if that didn’t work it’d be surgery. Well, the cortisone shot didn’t work. But surgery seemed daunting. I mean, having some stranger carve on my arm wasn’t the most appealing option. Then again, I’m not sure I want a good acquaintance carving on my arm either.

Regardless, I finally broke down and had the surgery. And it was fine. In fact, I have less pain and more mobility now than I did before the surgery and I’ve still got a wound healing on my arm. So, I guess that’s a winner!

I wonder, if like my hand surgery, will I find myself in less pain and with more mobility by making the decisions that paralyze me in other dimensions of life?

Anticipatory fear of pain can be crippling. Yes, physically, but also emotionally, relationally, spiritually, occupationally. The fear of pain, the fear of failure, the fear of rejection can be more overwhelming than the reality of each.

I was fearful of how my business partners would respond to my proposal to relocate cross country. They responded positively and we’re now planning our move for this summer.

A long time ago I drug out breaking off a relationships for fear of how my social group would respond. The group responded poorly, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the anticipatory fear.

I find myself fearful of building my own business, stepping out into uncertainty, speaking up and even clicking publish on this blog. I think, that when we’re on the verge of making positive change our last ditch effort for self-defeat is to hold tight to anticipatory fear. There, we may be paralyzed from taking the very step that teaches us of our own capacity. Our capacity to both manage adversity and build success.

I find myself far more alive within the reality of pain or the momentum of success than I ever do in anticipatory fear.

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