Every single decision in my life was either based on fear or growth. My brother made me realize that a couple of days ago.
And here is another one. Everything you do, every decision you make is either based on moving AWAY from pain or moving TOWARDS pleasure.
We are very simple creatures.
So when you are in just enough pain. When your back is against the wall. And you have no way out other than to step up and fight for what is important to you. That’s when you turn your life around.
When you are sick and tired of being “good enough” and want to be “great”. And you no longer accept giving up responsibility and control over your life to anyone other than yourself.
That’s when your circumstances finally forced you to move away from where you are right now (pain) and closer to where you want to be (pleasure).
But what if you are right somewhere in the middle of these two?
What do you do when you are too afraid to move towards pleasure because you are still scared SHITLESS of what might happen next. And not quite in enough pain to finally take the leap and step up?
When you are in this weird “my life is OK, I really should not complain and just be happy about it” grey zone.
In this weird and mild mixture of comfort and discomfort. You are not the best that you could be. But you are quite fine.
“I am fine.”
That’s when the pain is not pushing you yet.
And the pleasure is too far out of sight in order to pull you.
And you are stuck. Living the mediocre life.
But here is the kicker. Deep down you (your soul) knows that you are not stepping up. That you are taking the easy way out. It actually freaks out about it.
And suddenly a slight feeling of discomfort creeps in. Getting stronger and stronger every day. An alerting signal from your body that something is off. That something should actually be different.
But you can’t put your finger on it yet.
It’s still in a blur.
And that’s also the point where you have to make a decision. Based on FEAR or GROWTH.
My brother was right on this one.
I was thinking about every major decision I did in the last couple of years.
- Taking on a new job in the gaming industry with way too little practical experience in this field.
- Running a triathlon.
- Breaking up with my “perfect” girlfriend.
- Starting a blog in English although it’s not my first language.
- Sending thousands of dollar (I didn’t have) to an Indian app development team and hope they will not run away with my money.
- Cutting down sleep and tearing my body down in order to become “successful”.
- Spending all my savings while trying to start a business.
- Saying “NO!” when I actually wanted to say “YES!”. And the other way around.
- Not saying what I really thought because I was too afraid of hurting somebody’s feelings.
All of these decisions were either based on fear or growth. The big decisions. And the small ones.
And all of them are either moving you further away from pain or closer to pleasure.
And the sad thing here: my fear-based decisions never worked out of for me.
My relationship with my past girlfriends never became better even if I “waited it out”. Every time I didn’t say what I was truly thinking it haunted me for months and years.
Fear-based decisions turn into regret. Grow-based decisions on the other hand turn into little miracles.
You feel them in your body. You feel stronger. Mentally. And physically. You are ready to take on the world. You feel it in your chest. You expand it proudly. Taking deep breaths. You dare to take up space. You sit, walk and talk in confidence. New ideas suddenly arise in your mind. Your feeling of competence increases.
I could have quit my job six months earlier. With the exact same result. Maybe even better ones. But I was scared. Fear was overruling my decision-making process.
So I waited. And went the “safe” route. I hoped it will get better over time. But only the pain increased. My body was sending signals that something was off. It knew.
What was I scared of?
- I will be broke. I can’t survive a month without my income.
- I am disappointing my co-workers. They have to do my work load afterwards.
- They will hate me. And call me names.
- I am throwing away a good job.
- I risk too much.
- It won’t work. And I will come crawling back begging for another chance.
And yet. Here I am. Still alive.
Also, another tricky part. Sometimes we opt for the fear-based decision and tell ourselves it was the growth decision.
We put a lot of energy into making us believe it. Energy we could have used elsewhere. And now is occupied with the lie we came up with.
Because we were afraid to face the real growth decision (and the challenges that come with choosing this path).
But when we finally do…