The Courage To Change

It takes courage to change. There’s a popular saying in recovery, “The only thing you have to change is everything.” That is a tall order. While such extreme measures do not apply to everyone, answering the call to change is a brave step into a new frontier.

Something does have to change, and we don’t always get to know what that something will be. Uncertainty can feel like a cause for fear. It’s human nature to run from what we don’t know. Yet this natural impulse isn’t always necessary or helpful. Fears left unchallenged cause us to shrink back from life and our ability to show up to it.

When contemplating change, desperation of all things can be a hard-hitting, divine intervention. Once we’ve hit bottom and the fear of things staying the same outweighs the fear of things changing, desperation’s grip can propel us into action with little concern for the details.

Sometimes we just have to do things afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear but progressing in the midst of it. Perhaps fear of change isn’t a call to retreat but a rite of passage, a visceral confirmation that something meaningful is about to happen.

When the fear of change shows up, it’s an opportunity to do some compassionate self-inquiry, asking questions like, ‘What am I afraid of? Where does it hurt? What do I need right now?’ We can listen closely, acknowledge the fear with loving kindness, take a deep breath, and step forward.


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