Facing change in our lives involves facing our fears. We learn to recognize them, feel them, face them, make choices in our own best interest – and then take action. Many people are terrified at the prospect of getting sober. It’s frightening to continue to live in active addiction, but it’s also very frightening to imagine giving up the familiar dysfunction in order to get sober.
In early sobriety, we learn to live our lives all over again. It can be intimidating to perform some of the activities that we have done for so long under the influence. We have to learn how to do them all over again – sober. Fear and anxiety often surface when we don’t have a sense of confidence and experience with what we are doing. We imagine all sorts of scenarios in our minds; most of them negative. Our old self-talk says things won’t work out; we are not good enough, and there is no point in trying.
The reality is that the possibility of a good outcome is just as good (or maybe even greater) than that of a negative one – because we are sober. There are many times that we need to take action in the face of fear, access our courage, shore up our support system and jump. We learn to trust our inner guidance to steer us along our path. Courage is not the absence of fear. It means that we may have fear, but we act anyway. If we do not risk, we may not get very far beyond where we are right now.
Living in our old familiar ways can be comfortable, especially when we are comfortable in discomfort. If you are allergic to wool and have been itching all of your life, try putting on a new fabric. You might be pleasantly surprised. In other words, don’t settle for less than you can simply because it is what you have always done.
Make it a priority to employ courage in your life to make changes that will enhance the quality of your life. Whether that means going back to school, pursuing your dreams, moving or scheduling a needed medical procedure, go ahead and try. You are capable of much more than you think you are. Take the power away from fear, and take action!