Overcoming Fear Of Change & Making The Best Of Bad Situations
Overcoming Fear Of Change & Fear Of The Unknown
A friend once asked me for some advice on making a big move for a new job in a new city. It is safe to say that I’ve gone through some big changes of my own as a kid who lived in a few group homes, foster homes, and being institutionalized; not to mention as a person who has failed at many ventures just to succeed at a few. So I thought I’d share my thoughts with you. I hope it helps.
The fear of change is the biggest issue for me in these situations…which translates into a fear of the unknown. When we get caught up in the fear of the unknown it is easy to have the perception that if the worst of the worst happened, our lives would be over…or at least severely hindered, causing unhappiness. That’s what we are searching for, right; happiness? The threat of losing what happiness we do have in search of more happiness is a scary thing, but it can also hold us back from greatness.
In order to accept these fears we have to ask ourselves “what is the worst of the worst…and is it really that bad?” In this story I experienced some of the worst possible situations, but came out a better and more well-rounded person.
For very specific steps you can take to overcome fear check out this article called 4 Ways To Change The Way You Think About Fear I found online. For more inspiration, please continue in this story …
In 2006 I had a semester of college left and felt as if I was having a mid-life crisis because I felt that after graduating, I was going to be the only stable one in my family to care for my 9 year old nephew. I felt that if I did not step up he may end up in foster care so I firmly decided that I would plan on stepping up. I decided to spend my “last summer alone” as a single bachelor with no children simply exploring and gaining new experiences that would help me find what area of nursing I wanted to practice in. I also wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle and spend time getting to know my biological father better as I hadn’t lived with him since I was 8. I started working toward this goal of gaining new experiences immediately upon realizing it was my “last summer”. I put a two week notice in to my job where I worked as a psychiatric technician, which caused me to lose my benefits. I used my last paycheck to buy a plane ticket to Seattle.
Since it was my “last summer to myself” I thought I should learn how to ride a motorcycle, which is something I had dreamt of since I was 11. Five days before taking off, I found someone who was willing to teach me how to ride a motorcycle in a nearby parking lot at the university I was attending. Two days before leaving I tested for my motorcycle license. Upon arriving to Seattle, I searched craigslist for a motorcycle and got a loan from my bank using my previous job as income verification.
This motorcycle enabled me to be mobile, walk into staffing agencies, shake their hands and receive assignments as an emergency room technician. I had never worked in emergency departments, but I used my credibility and knowledge from previous work experiences to show them I was capable. I made just enough money to eat, pay my motorcycle payment, travel to Victoria B.C. in Canada, go on some sweet dates with Seattle girls, and take my dad to a Seattle Mariners baseball game. At the end of the summer I realized I couldn’t afford to buy another plane ticket and ship my bike back to Iowa so I rode it back. I made it to Des Moines with $7 left in my bank account after spending my last $200 getting my motorcycle repaired when it broke down in Sioux Falls, SD.
Even with these mishaps, I made it back to finish my final semester of college. I had to sell the bike so that I could get a car for the bitter cold Iowa winter and I lost about $2000 from the sale due to the difference in seasons/weather and markets. But I had some of the most amazing experiences, got to learn what its like to be around my dad as an adult child, caught up with people I hadn’t seen since I was a child, and got to work in the busiest trauma centers in the Seattle region. To top it all off, I had some crazy times on the ride back to Iowa that I will never forget.
If I had stayed working in Iowa that summer, I would have had the same job, never learned how to ride a motorcycle and would still be wondering what its like to spend quality time with my father.
The moral of the story is that the worst of the worst can happen anywhere so you might as well follow your gut to new experiences, people, places, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities without hesitation; and do so as if it is your last summer ever. The worst of the worst in new opportunities is better than wondering “what if” and allowing a fear of the unknown to prevent you from going all out, or even worse, from ever going to start with.
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Travis Lloyd is an inspiring motivational speaker with a powerful story of Overcoming Adversities to achieve happiness and Success – Against All Odds. As a youth motivational speaker, Lloyd’s audiences include high school, college, leadership events, and conferences for educators, child welfare and mental health professionals. He speaks and performs internationally, but still works as a Mental Health Crisis Worker and advocates for social change that impacts at-risk populations. He is a board member of Foster Care Alumni of America, VP of the Our Fields Of Hope Foundation and co-author of the book Fostering Hope For America. Find out more at www.TravisLloyd.net.
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Motivational speaker Travis Lloyd believes that “If someone else can do it, so can you!”