Breaking Free from Fear and Attachment to Old Routines

Overcoming Fear and Breaking Free from Old Routines - Embracing Change for Personal Growth and Transformation

Each conclusion is the start of something new. We aren’t yet aware of this fact.

Albom, Mitch

The recent experience of becoming lost in a labyrinth at a children’s amusement park reminded me of the challenge of locating and maintaining a route. Totally befuddled.

Finally, I escaped the labyrinth by climbing beneath it. I didn’t enjoy always feeling like I was slamming into obstacles, turning to overcome them, and then encountering yet another roadblock. In addition to the oppressive heat, the purpose of a maze is to throw you off your game.

Someone jestingly cried out “Cheater!” when I emerged from hiding beneath the fence, and they were right. At the time, I wasn’t going to continue.

I started wondering if this isn’t the name we give ourselves when we’re traveling down a road we know isn’t good for us or isn’t producing results and are contemplating turning back. Maybe we’re looking to skip forward, seize an unanticipated chance, or forge a new route altogether.

Having a sense of direction may be useful. If we don’t know where we’re going or why we’re here, we’re less likely to be motivated to get there. The pressure from others to know what you’re doing with your life is a major source of anxiety for many individuals.

I’m often taken aback by how quickly this stress sets in. Some of the young kids I see in my clinic, between the ages of 13 and 14, report feeling rushed to make a life choice. They talk about how they worry about failing classes and getting low-paying jobs since they aren’t good enough.

Some people would assume that these young adults are very focused and determined. Living with constant worry and pressure to succeed may make life seem quite confined; at least that’s how I’ve experienced it. It’s not healthy to live in continual apprehension of making a mistake. After all, we all make mistakes in this world.

Others have trouble deciding which direction to go in. People worry, “What if I pick the wrong road?” Okay, but what if I mess up? What if, after making a final decision, I discover I don’t like it? I’m afraid of failing at it.

Others may express their uncertainty by saying, “I know what I don’t want to do; I just amn’t sure what I want to do.” Unfortunately, this might leave you in “I have no idea what I want to do” limbo.

People used to get an education, find work, and then remain in the same field or occupation for the rest of their lives. But that’s not how things work in the present day.

As the economy and job market evolve during a person’s lifetime, they will inevitably need to switch careers. People shouldn’t feel trapped into making just one decision since there will almost certainly be other options available to them in the future.

When I’m talking to people who are at a crossroads in their lives, I frequently tell them how I went from being a musician to a clinical psychologist. My life serves as an archetypal illustration of how a bad decision need not be the end of the world. In many cases, as in my own experience, this may result in an even more favorable conclusion.

In high school, I discovered my passion for singing and acting, and I decided to pursue a career in musical theater.

When I wasn’t accepted into my preferred course of study, I should have known things weren’t going to work out. I didn’t want to be an opera singer, but I opted to disregard this warning and instead enroll in a classical music school.

As the year progressed, I realized that I was not enjoying myself here. Although learning about music in school has been enjoyable, majoring in it and spending all of one’s time among other music majors may become tedious.

After discussing my lack of advancement at the needed level with the dean at the year’s midpoint, everything became crystal clear. I finished the year, but I always knew I’d only be a mediocre music student at best. After spending a year in the company of those more suited to a career in the performing arts, I realized that I lacked both the requisite skill and high degrees of extraversion.

It was awkward, to say the least. I had never experienced defeat before. It also presented a chance.

My curiosity about the world, about other people, and about life outside the confines of classical music was finally allowed to run wild. What should I pick? I had dedicated my whole life to becoming a better musician.

Lucky for me, exploring what didn’t work led me to what could. So I went with an endeavor that would teach me new things and put me in a better position to assist others.

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For a while, it disturbed me that learning classical music didn’t appear to have any practical application. Because I was curious about human nature in general, I decided to pursue a degree in psychology.

The fit improved instantly. All of my senses were tingling; I couldn’t wait to go to class. It seemed like I was on the right track, so I took note.

I tell this tale to individuals who are at a crossroads because it addresses two of the biggest obstacles to moving on in life: the fear of failing and the inability to let go of one’s ideals from the past.

Confronting the Panic of Potential Failure

The fear of failing lies at the heart of many people’s struggles with self-discovery and course correction. You can’t go wrong if you don’t make a decision. On the other hand, you won’t go anywhere if you don’t make a decision. How can we get over our inability to succeed?

Recognize that worry about deciding is common.

Feeling uneasy about your decision is normal and does not render it incorrect. Since of this, you should not expect to ever feel entirely at rest with your selection since there is little assurance in any route.

Train yourself to deal with worry by breathing, being present, and talking positively to yourself.

Physical anxiety may be alleviated with deep breathing, which has a calming effect on the neurological system.

The practice of mindfulness helps us realize that we can only influence the present and that worrying about the future is pointless.

Anxiety may be alleviated by the use of helpful self-talk, which lessens the weight of negative predictions. One might replace the negative thought pattern “If you fail this, you’ll fail everything” with the more positive thought pattern “I don’t think I’ll fail since many famous individuals have changed their minds or had setbacks along the way.”

Read about famous individuals who made mistakes or took a different route to achievement.

By learning from the experiences of others, negative predictive thinking and ingrained views about failure may be weakened.

Putting Aside Ideals From The Past

Having too much invested in your current course might sometimes make changing it a challenge.

You may have put in a lot of work to reach that destination. You could have spread the news far and wide. You could even have some serious feelings about the prospect of success.

There is sometimes a feeling of loss associated with making a necessary adjustment in direction. It’s possible you’re telling yourself this is for nothing. In order to overcome these obstacles:

Acknowledge your loss and work toward acceptance in order to let go of the objective.

It’s natural to feel melancholy while moving on from the past. Recognize them, but don’t get caught feeling sorry for yourself. Acknowledge the emotions and allow them to pass.

Take into account and question your own negative assumptions.

If you doubt your own abilities and ask yourself questions like, “Who are you to even think you could have that?” I tried my hardest, but it just wasn’t meant to be.” isn’t the most helpful way to put it. The simple “I’ll never know if I don’t try” or “I’ll find something for me” are both good ways to motivate yourself to look for what you want.

Think about the benefits of the present course.

Focus on the here and now as much as possible. Mindfulness training may help you develop that ability.

Deal with worries about futility.

It’s important to remember that your detours along the way weren’t wasted. Your experience so far has undoubtedly given you knowledge and abilities that will serve you well in the future.

My background in the performing arts, for instance, has come in handy as a clinical psychologist more times than I can count. I can better understand my clients who are musicians or who work or study in related fields, and I can empathize with their performance nerves.

Having a plan for the future may make life more satisfying. Many argue that the process itself is rewarding in and of itself. These techniques may help you overcome the kinds of barriers that hold most people back from living life to the fullest. Take risks and enjoy life to the fullest, knowing that you can always make adjustments along the way.

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