At church on Sunday, the speaker asked a question along the lines of, do you make decisions from a place of courage or fear?
I’ll be honest, with three young kids, I don’t always pay the best attention at church, but that? I couldn’t not hear it.
Are You Making Decisions Based on Courage or Fear?
About a year ago, I decided to stop letting fear control my life. I wanted to live life to the fullest! I don’t mean that I wanted to become an adrenaline junkie, but rather, I wanted to get the most out of what I was doing with my life.
Something as small as trying new foods, or re-trying foods that I had previously tried and not liked. I started finding a balance with my kids between joining them in their games and activities, to be more present, and sometimes stepping back, giving them room to spread their wings and develop into the human beings that they are inclined to develop into, without my interference. I stopped trying to please everyone, choosing instead, to make decisions based on my own preferences and aspirations.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I have always had a fear of heights but I do not want it to keep me from experiencing things any longer. It still isn’t easy, but when I see Nate and the kids walking across a high bridge or jumping from a rock into water, I take a few deep breaths and do those things that make me nervous.
You Don’t Have to Do it All
Acting on courage does not mean accepting every opportunity that comes your way. Its about weighing the pros and cons, then making a decision based on what will be the most enriching and beneficial for your life. For me, that includes factoring in Nate and the kids.
We have spent so many years dreaming of living abroad. Over those years, we found countless opportunities. Looking back, I can see how most of them were not the right option for us and I feel so grateful that we had the courage to say no. Some of them probably would have worked and we would have been safe and happy, but we were not brave enough to embrace them and move forward with courage.
Luckily, we cannot go back or else we would spend all of our time going back to fix every insignificant thing, and forget to live our lives in the present. All you can do is learn from your experiences and do better tomorrow.
Earlier this year, when we received the offer to move to American Samoa, we weighed our options and decided to move forward, but it didn’t feel real. None of the other options had worked out. I was afraid that this one would not work out either. I expected something to happen to make the whole thing fall through. I could not believe that it was actually going to happen until Nate had landed on the island.
Daily, I am reminded that there are things out of our control. When bad things happen, we can let the fear win, getting stressed, sad or worried. Or we can, with courage, embrace the thing we fear and experience something new.
Let me finish by saying, we all have things in our lives that make us feel afraid and hold us back. Instead of hiding from the thing we fear, giving it the power, we should choose the path that brings the most fulfilling tomorrow. I believe there is a right time and a right way for any good pursuit.
Samoan Language Study: