The worst thing that’ll happen is everything stays the same.
I am totally crediting this podcast and blog post to Brooke Castillo for this brilliant quote, “The worst thing that’ll happen is everything stays the same.”
What she is talking to about here is our tendency to overreact to fear. Some new opportunity presents itself to us, but instead of pursuing it, we come up with a reason not to.
“I don’t have time for that.”
“We can’t afford that.”
“I have no idea how to do that.”
“That would be a great thing for so and so to do, but it wouldn’t work for me.”
We tell ourselves these things because we get afraid.
Afraid of leaving our comfort zones. Afraid to fail.
But what do we accomplish when we talk ourselves out of change and growth?
Not a damn thing.
And that can be the worst result in the long run.
Because we don’t fear receiving more of the same most of the time.
More of the same feels safe.
It feels familiar.
It feels secure.
Even when it’s not.
ESPECIALLY when it’s not.
Your mind just wants to keep you where you’ve been.
Same. Same. Same.
If we do what we’ve always done, we’ll stay safe. We’ll stay alive.
But what if that’s a lie?
If I had continued to eat massive amounts of sugar and processed carbohydrates after receiving the news that I’d become diabetic, I’m pretty sure my diabetes would’ve gotten worse instead of better.
I wouldn’t have lost the forty seven pounds I no longer have to wear plus size clothes for.
I wouldn’t have lowered my blood sugar and blood pressure.
I wouldn’t have started to exercise at all, much less committed to walking at least a mile and a half daily.
I would still get sweaty and breathe hard after climbing a single flight of stairs.
I would probably have cut years if not decades off my lifespan.
And for what?
So I could keep overeating instead of actually experiencing my emotions?
So I could stay on that couch eating whole bags of Oreos or Cheetos?
So I could go to bed bloated and in pain from reflux every night?
How is the same better in that situation?
But if I’d listened to my primitive brain, I probably would not have lowered my weight and improved my health.
Sometimes, we have to outsmart our brains. We have to outthink our minds.
So let’s look at this in another way.
Let’s say you want to pursue a dream job in a completely different field.
You could start making inquiries, taking courses or certifications, and polishing up your resume.
You could start reaching out and networking with people in that specific field.
You could start picturing yourself doing what you love rather than being bored or stressed out doing what you’re doing now.
Or you could do nothing.
What will happen if you do nothing?
You won’t make networking connections.
You won’t have a fresh new resume.
You won’t obtain any new degrees or certifications.
You won’t leave where you are right now.
You won’t leave your comfort zone or experience growth.
But that’s your choice.
So which feels better: to stay where you are or to risk a change?
Because what you really need to weigh is whether you’ll feel better in your current circumstances or in new circumstances.
If the worst thing that happens is you have to go back to where you are right now, is that really so scary?
I think a lot of times we don’t take the leap because we’re so afraid of losing something.
But what if you won’t?
What if the worst case scenario is returning to where you are right now?
Let’s say you leave the company you’re working for in order to pursue another opportunity.
Let’s say it’s a “grass is greener” sort of deal.
You go only to find you liked your old company better.
So you go back to your old company.
Not so frightening now, is it?
Not to say that such a thing is always possible.
Business and industry goes up and down. Corporations come and go.
The original or new company could go out of business altogether.
Such is life.
But that may also be the lesson.
Even the most stable of jobs can disappear overnight.
But what if you feel like you’re overworked and underpaid?
Would leaving such a job really be that horrible?
The next time a big decision crosses your path, consider that often the worst thing that’ll happen is you’ll continue doing what you’re doing now.
The worst thing that could happen is no change at all.
Can you be happy if everything stays the same?
Do you want something different or not?
Can you make your current situation work?
Or do you feel like a change is in order?
Do you want to experience something new?
It could be fresh and exciting, or it could be a train wreck.
It could be a mistake.
You could fail.
But would staying where you are be a failure all its own?
Would not trying mean that you were just failing ahead of time?
Sometimes, bravery is gathering the strength to fail. Not because you want to fail, but because you’re willing to learn new things about who you are as a person.
Is it worth it to grow?
I think so.
But only you can answer that question for yourself.
Weigh the pros and cons.
Figure out what you want and how you’ll go about getting it.
And know if it’s happiness you’re after, no job or relationship or business or lover or money will provide that to you.
Your happiness is inside of you. Always has been and always will be.
So be quiet with yourself.
Be compassionate about whatever you’re feeling.
And make the best individual choice for you.