Thursday, June 8, 2017

The great unknown is just the future version of the new normal. Fear not.

Why do we fear the unknown?  Isn’t the unknown just the future version of the new normal?  
In 2003, my wife gave birth to twin boys.  They were premature and spent four weeks in the hospital gaining weight and stabilizing.  So, our first four weeks of parenting were backed up with round the clock nursing care.  I recall the fear I felt as I drove home from work the first day that our babies were home with us after we left the hospital.  They were our responsibility now.  No nurses to do the job when we felt overwhelmed.  Just Sara and I.  Over thirteen years later, we’ve added two more boys to the mix and I can imagine nothing else than a house full of kids.  It’s the new normal.

In July of 2009, I paced the parking lot of an East Tulsa hotel.  The gravity of the move I was about to make hit me hard.  I was about to move my family from a stable life we knew well in Pennsylvania to a completely new, and unknown, life in Oklahoma.  The fear inherent in all the questions hit me hard that night.  What if this new endeavor we’re jumping into in Tulsa fails?  What if this experience hurts or even scars my kids for life?  What if this puts a strain on our marriage that we can’t recover from?  Is this something a responsible – or even sane – man does?  We moved in December of 2009.  Over seven years later, we love living here and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.  It’s the new normal.
Change is usually scary, but not often fatal.  In time, the things you may fear the most become your new normal.  The mistake we often make is to run from the fear at the decision point.  If we do that, we never know what could have been.  If we can find the fortitude to lean into that fear, the thing we feared the most becomes the new normal . . . in a surprisingly short period of time.  Is there a decision or move you should make, but fear is holding you back?  Of course, I’m talking about a decision where the cost has been counted and you’re convinced it’s a good and right decision, not a flippant gut-level decision.  If you’ve done your homework, and you are truly convinced it’s right, lean into your fear.  Isn’t the unknown just the future version of the new normal?  
I’d love to hear your story, as it relates to this topic.  Will you share it?

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